"Cruisers in the Sea of Cortez have been pretty casual about securing their dinghies overnight, usually just tying them to the stern of the mothership," writes Jon Doornink of the Puerto Escondido-based Morgan Out-Island 37 Seadream. "Not only has locking one’s dinghy for the night not been necessary, if you locked your dinghy to the Puerto Escondido dinghy dock, for example, the locals thought you were impeding their progress. But on the night of April 1 — I know, I know, but this turned out to not be a joke — a dozen cruisers were anchored at Caleta San Juanico anchorage. In the morning, one cruising boat near us was missing her brand new RIB and outboard. All that remained was a cut painter. Appeals to local fishermen and land-based Mexicans — backed by a big monetary reward and a promise of no questions being asked — yielded nothing. We have been cruising these wonderful waters for 15 years, and this is the first experience we’ve had of dinghy theft in Baja. Times — as well as the price of pollo — are changing in Mexico."
Is the following a coincidence?
"I live in La Paz," writes John Watts, "and I’ve noticed a sign on a trailer off to the side of Highway One that reads ‘Dinghies For Sale, Like New’. From what I’ve been able to see, it looks as if there are a couple of inflatables in the trailer. Knowing that dinghies have been stolen from boats, I can’t help but wonder if some of them have somehow ended up on the trailer. If people who have had dinghies stolen have the serial number or other identification, I would have no problem scoping things out and reporting back." Watts can be reached by email.