Arun is Bringing You...Your Daily Remedy

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Great Border Caper Part 3 - The Sailing Adventure

Now that Frederico had become comfortable with the mechanics of Sailing, it was time to step up to the plate and execute the plan.

Frederico discovered that there was a weekend sail boating race from San Diego to Mexico taking place soon. This was the perfect opportunity. With so many sailboats going over, and then coming back across, he could likely blend in to an extent (although his Sailboat is pretty rickety).

Frederico called Raul who had subsequently flown back to Mexico, and told him to go to Ensenada. He spared the details but simply said, "On X date, I will meet you at Y hotel in Ensenada."

The night of departure finally arrived. Frederico had to be extremely careful heading down to Mexico. While sailing down to Mexico is certainly not illegal, Frederico's Visa had since expired, thus any encounter with the border patrol would mean the end of his life in the US.

At the time, he spared me a lot of the details as well. He dropped off some of his valuables to me in case anything happened, but seemed pretty confident that everything would work out.

At about 10 O'clock at night, Frederico set sail. He left shore with a plan for every possible scenario. He had with him quite a few gallons of extra gas for the motor, he had mounted an outboard motor as a backup in case the primary died, night vision goggles, scuba gear in case water entry was needed, and a GPS tracking device for blind navigation.

He set off under the cover of night and headed toward the Coronado Islands about 8 miles off shore. His plan was to get far enough away from the border patrol coverage zones to pass through undetected. Sailing proved difficult as the winds that night were quite erratic, so he went on engine power. Furthermore, in was so dark this far away from shore that he was navigating solely with the GPS.

About an hour into the trip, the GPS indicated that he was at the islands, but there was absolutely no visual sign of anything. In order to go though the channel between the islands, he had to have SOME visual guidance, otherwise he would surely wreck. Suddenly, a towering black cliff appeared just a few feet away.

The Island.

He followed the cliff around through the channel and began heading south, now amply far away from the shore.

About fifteen minutes later though, a major problem reared its head. The primary engine began smoking, and died. Frederico inspected and found that the engine had guzzled nearly all of the gas in the tank!

He now had two options:

1) Go back to shore, fix everything, and try again later.


2) Take the risk and go the remainder of the trip (another 15 hours) on the back up engine and spare gas.

He chose option 2. But yet ANOTHER problem popped up. The outboard engine wasn't starting. He tried for quite a while and there was nothing doing. Finally, he got his flashlight out, and took apart the engine.

As he was consulting the user manual and engine interior, Frederico realized he had forgotten to do one important thing: take his sea-sick pills. The waters were rough and as he was focusing on the engine, he was getting sick. He'd spend a few seconds looking at the manual, then yack overboard. Then, a few more seconds looking at the engine, and yack overboard some more.

Things were not going well.

Finally, he realized a gear was stuck in between neutral and power, and after fixing it, the engine started up like a champ! Fred took his pills and was off to Mexico.

15 hours later, he arrived in Ensenada and met Raul. They rested the remainder of the day, and took off the next morning.

Again, they traveled far from shore, but there were still a few boats travelling in the same direction though much closer to shore, that they could "follow" into the states. About an hour from San Diego, Raul spotted a boarder patrol boat coming near and began to panic. He rushed inside the boat.

Frederico on the other hand was so supremely confident that he waved back to the coast guard and continued on his way.

Finally, some 50 hours after leaving San Diego, Frederico and Raul arrived and began planning the business venture that Frederico had been dreaming about the last two years.

But, they were in for some BIG, BIG surprises....(yes there's more!)

No comments: