Day 1 Thur – 12/14
Great excitement as I start what I think will be an exciting month of adventures.  I board the bus to Tijuana at 10:00am clutching my 2 HP outboard.

Day 2 Fri – 12/15
By afternoon we reach Tijuana and I board the bus to Puerto Vallarta

Day 3 Sat – 12/16
After 2 full days and 2 full nights on the bus, I finally get to the boat around 8:00am.  Its dank and stinks and needs a good cleaning.  I start in with a bucket of water and cloths.

Day 4 Sun – 12/17
I spend the night on my dank boat and continue wiping and washing all day.  Meanwhile I also phone the most highly recommended mechanic in PV.  I left the boat totally functional but don’t want to try and start the engine until I have a mechanic check it out, and especially to change the impeller, and oil.  The #1 mechanic is not free for 3 weeks.

Day 5 Mon – 12/18
Today the (highly recommended) fellow that monthly scrapes the boat’s bottom arrived, and went to work.  I timed him.  He finished in less than half the time of other divers.  Obviously he has been taking my money and doing a really bad job.  When he declared “Finished and where’s my money?” I questioned how good a job he could do in half the time it takes everyone else??  I fired him – although he has made good money out of me for the past year. 
Today I called the #2 mechanic,.  He is going away for the Xmas and New Year period and won’t be back till early January.

Day 6 Tue – 12/19
Today I am goofing off – I am supposed to be on vacation, plus my body aches from all the cleaning,  Also I called a mechanic recommended by some other cruisers.  He will come by tomorrow.

Day 7 Wed – 12/20
Its been a week already – my time flies and I’m not even having fun.  Today the #3 mechanic arrived.  He is a surly Mexican and can’t speak English.  He also arrived with ZERO tools and borrowed all of mine.  Makes one wonder how good he is if he cannot afford the simplest of tools.  He removed the impeller and said he would open it in his shop.

Day 8 Thur – 12/21
Its a week since I left home, and 5 days since I arrived on the boat.  I continue to find spaces and corners in the boat to wipe down and tidy up,  I have laundered all the clothes I left behind and the boat is smelling sweet.

Day 9 Fri – 12/22
Waiting to hear from the mechanic.  Meanwhile I can’t cope with the bad attitude and surly mechanic, so I found the business card of a mechanic with an English name.

Day 10 Sat – 12/23
The Mexican mechanic (the one with no tools) arrived back and had his son wriggle under the engine and re-install the impeller.  Then we tried to start the motor and it wouldn’t turn over.  I told the surly one he could go. and paid him off.
The English mechanic, ED WEST, arrived with a dolly containing 4 layers of boxes of tools – plumbing, electrical, mechanical, and general.  I was THRILLED to see someone who arrived fully prepared to do any work required.  We checked my brand new batteries that I installed at the end of last season – they are all fried.  Ed drove me around looking for a new set of batteries.  Finding a matching set is not easy in PV.

Day 11 Sun – 12/24
Ed can’t come today, so I attended the local church service and treated myself to a leisurely day.

Day 12 Mon – 12/25   **Xmas**

Day 13 Tue – 12/26
Today Ed said Zaragosa had a full set of the approved batteries so I took the bus into town and paid for them.  Ed will pick them up later after he attends to another customer.

Day 14 Wed – 12/27
I have been here 2 weeks and still my engine has not started.  Ed installed the new batteries but still no joy.  His troubleshooting indicated the Starter could be faulty.  He disconnected it and we drove it to a place to repair it.  Last season the Mexican mechanic had (unknown to me) hot wired it to the Engine Battery; it may have been fried when the batteries were allowed to run dry and were fried when overcharged.  That Boat Management service was a real doozy!

Day 15 Thur – 12/28
Its 2 weeks since I left California and headed to my boat.  Yesterday we took the Starter to a store for repair but they said they only did car starter motors so we drove it waaaaay downtown to a machine shop that does marine starter motors.  They said they would take a look and tell me if they could repair it, or if I needed to buy a new one.  (Last year a Mexican mechanic claimed that my Starter needed repair and took off with it.  He returned it, installed it, got paid and left).  This is the same starter motor that now doesn’t work again.

Day 16 Fri – 12/29
While waiting for word on the Starter motor, I decided to spend the day in Yelapa.  It is a cute little place.

Day 17 Sat – 12/30
Spent the day doing some outside work on the boat.  Still waiting to hear about my Starter.  The shop said they won’t know until the middle of next week – its party time in Mexico.  I told Ed I was going home.  Since he is so competent, and running the “repair” show, I wasn’t needed.  I booked a flight home for the next day.

Day 18 Sun – 12/31
I flew home.



I can do simple repairs to the boat like plumbing and minor electrical replacement parts, and I can change the oil – but if the engine won’t start, then I am useless. 

It is one thing to have a breakdown in American waters where Vessel Assist will come out and tow you safely to your slip.  Its a whole ‘nother adventure breaking down in Mexico where finding a **certified** trustworthy highly recommended mechanic WHO SPEAKS ENGLISH to work on your boat is nigh on a miracle.

Perhaps I should take the boat back to America where it will be docked in a local marina down the road from home so that I can keep an eye on it, and visit it regularly, and take it out for a day trip or weekend to Catalina Island.  


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