I sure hope you would buy a boom from this man because we just did! Only in Mexico can you have the kind of experience we had yesterday; Mexico where people are resourceful as heck and will surprise you with what they have stored on top of their houses.
Our story began with a broken boom back in May, and continued with the trials of finding a fix. Ours is a story of denial of the seriousness of our issue, followed by the realization that a new boom would be upwards of 2000$ plus shipping to Mexico, and then the dogged determination that comes from simply refusing to pay that much money when there are many other things Galapagos needs. Our tale is one of reading the signs of the universe when they say ‘stop, this isn’t the right thing’ and then waiting for that green light when the pieces begin to fall into place. You never really know for sure when you are riding the waves of the universal green light until you have the boom in the back of the pickup truck and you’re barreling down the road with your husband riding in the back, arm lovingly draped around his new piece of metal. Frankly, we won’t be completely sure that some cosmic trick isn’t being played on us until that boom is installed on our mast. But anyhoo…
We got hooked up with the cowboy in the photo, Chuey, by the magic of the internet. Mike and I had posted all over the web that we were looking for a boom, knowing there was one out there somewhere and we just needed to find it. After many false starts and dead ends, we had come to terms with the fact that we were mistaken. There was no boom to be had and we surely would not have one when we went back to Mexico. Having several other things to deal with at the time, we just accepted that and were prepared to move on. Perhaps we would order one when we got south to the La Cruz area.
Then in early October I got a text from a woman named Lauralee from Sandy, Utah. She knew a guy; a guy who had salvaged a few boats back when Hurricane Newton came through. One had been a Moody 44 or some such larger boat and he may still have parts from that boat. She knew he had some booms in his yard so she sent him a message and he replied with some photos of the boom she had asked about
. When I got those photos I could not believe it. The boom looked just like ours, down to the fittings. Turns out it was the very thing we needed! Right manufacturer, right size! Just the length was wrong, but that was OK because we really only needed about 8 feet of length. This boom was 14 feet. Could this be ‘the one’?
Hitching a ride with friends and truck owners Lynn and Curt Brownlow on S/V Slow Motion, we showed up at Cheuy’s house with high hopes of boom ownership. He lives on the outskirts of Guaymas in an area of farmland and modest houses. There’s a dragon fruit farm down the road. Mangos and bananas grow by his house. Goats wandered down the street, chickens and turkeys scratched, and a serious guard dog announced our arrival. He announced and announced and announced, the cute little ankle biter.
As we knocked on the door and took in the local surroundings I wondered where Chuey was and why I didn’t see any boat parts lying around in the yard. Just about the time we began shaking our heads wondering if he was going to keep the appointment, a cowboy on a horse came tearing around the corner, little cattle dog in his wake. You can’t make this stuff up. Was it the stars in my eyes or perhaps the burning Mexican sun that took me straight out of my own life and into a western film set? With an absolute flourish, he ripped off his dark glasses and dust mask announcing, ‘Hola, amigos! I am Chuey! You want to see the boom?’. My mouth hung open as I missed the photo op of the century.
After hand shaking all around and talking cows with Mike (Chuey and his business partner have about 30 of them), Cheuy led us into his yard and leaned a ladder up the side of the house, motioning Mike to follow him. His boat yard? On the roof.
The boom looked like it was in very good condition, with the caveat of a small dent in one side. But even so, there was plenty of material for our needs and the fittings looked like they were in good shape. Extras! After their male bonding time, Chuey and Mike struck a deal that was agreeable to both and about $200 later that boom was securely tied in the bed of Curt and Lynn’s truck.
I had a nice chat with Cheuy, who showed me his boat skipper’s license. He also works on boats and that’s how Lauralee met him. He’s done work on her boat and she’s been a very satisfied customer. Business concluded and needing to get back to his cows, Chuey saddled up, gave the horse’s rump a slap, and rode off in a cloud of dust. Farmer, cowboy, boat skipper, and dealer in used boat parts, Chuey is a man of many talents. If you’re relating this story to your friends and in the telling you let slip that he bounded into the saddle in one super-human leap, I wouldn’t say you lied.
Next stop: the metal shop. Until then, S/V Galapagos out!