s/v Just A Minute is a sister ship Lagoon 380. In fact, she was built the same year, just two hulls down. We stumbled on s/v Just A Minute two winters ago in the Sea of Cortez at Isla San Francisco's seaside anchorage. After a pleasant breakfast, they pulled the hook and ran away. This either indicated that they were new to cruising or that s/v Don Quixote terrified them. Probably both. After over a year kicking around in Mexican waters, however, they've settled into an enviable cruising rhythm. In addition to sharing boat geekery and Lagoon 380 tips, we share cruising-with-kids notes as JaM is another kid boat. The girls speak very highly of 12 year old Jack who is growing like an absolute weed into a handsome young man. Recently, Cap'n Patrick contacted us regarding replacing a broken rudder cable. We told him what we knew and then he ventured off into the Mexican countryside to replace it. This is his story.
Jack and I went into FerreMar in Loreto, and they had a decent assortment of small cables. They told us to try another place down the dirt road pass the cow on the right just before the river. So we did.
After finding a semi trailer with an old Mercury sign hanging on it all locked up, I went around back through the goats, chickens and dogs and found a very nice lady doing her laundry. Have you ever noticed how some Mexicans don't speak English a lot worse than others? Well, we spent the next half hour convincing this nice lady doing laundry to let us into the trailer.
It was very hot inside the trailer but Jack and I found piles of cables to dig through. All too small. After another half hour and I was ready to give up when a Mexican man came in and started talking to the lady as if we were not there. He started digging through the cables as well. It was all very strange.
He finally looked at me and in perfect English said, "How long is it?".
I said, "28 feet."
He replied, "Oh, I have one of those." He then marched passed me out the door.
We followed him around back passed the goats and chickens into the mercury grave yard and then into a large shop with brand new shrink wrapped Mercury 200 outboards lying on pallets and lots of other boat stuff. He reached up on the wall and took down a gray cable and handed it to me. Volvo Penta 28' stamped on the side of it. Used, but for 200 pesos I couldn't pass it up!
You can literally get anything in Mexico. At the risk of repeating something I've said in this blog about a berzillion times, if you plan to cruise Mexico, then just get the boat seaworthy enough to get it down there. Then park in La Paz until your boat is cruiser ready. My overwhelming impression of La Paz after my brief 4 day whirlwind return is that Mexico is a wonderful place to provision, and Mexicans are fantastically helpful people.