I am finally back from the boat delivery job. Since it was utterly boring and void of any interesting events, I thought I’d afflict the highlights and the lowlights upon the Holysmokers.

Feb 17, 1999. Johann told me he could not fly to Florida with me, so he gave me the plane ticket and told me to fly there and get the boat ready. I called the shuttle service to get a ride to the airport, and the lady told me I would have to be ready at 2:00 AM for a ride to the airport for my 6:45 AM flight. I told her she was fucked and I called another service. They told me to be ready at 4:00 AM. "You're fucked, too!" I told them, and called yet a third. They also told me to be ready to leave at 4:00 AM. Since there were no more services to call, I used this third one.

The shuttle driver came to pick me up at 4:00 AM, and he somehow managed to get lost in the parking lot of the condos where I live. Not a very good omen for a long trip. He made a 20 minute drive take 40 minutes by taking the toll road, claiming that "The El Toro ‘Y’ will be packed with traffic." At 4:10AM in the morning this section of the freeway is as empty as a graveyard at midnight during a new moon. Along the way he played Christian occult music--- bizarre shit about some guy being splattered with blood and dying because the guy’s father loved everyone but him. That kind of freaky crap. At the airport this driver boosted the fee from US$28.00 to US$35.00 and when I only gave him the twenty-eight dollars he blushed and said "Oh, yeah. It’s twenty-eight dollars." Sheeeish: I’m not even in Mexico and I’m facing price-gouging Christian bastards.

Feb 18. 11:33PM (Time Zone -5). Stuart, Florida. This is where people go to die, and from spending two hours in this place I can see why. The bars close at 9:00PM! Sheeeish. I got thrown out of "The Yacht and Country Club" due to the way I was dressed. The "Mexican" food in Florida is crap. 27N10.355 080W12.284

Feb 23, noon. Johann aboard; ship yard paid in full; provisions aboard; course to Key West plotted and plugged into the helm. We’re off to adventure! Johann and I will work four-hour watches.

Feb 24, 4:26 PM. Key West, Florida. This is more like it! Naked girls and women walking around, drinking and partying. We have a slip at A & B Marina for a day or two--- waiting for Captain Ron to fly in. 24N48.170 081W48.170

Feb 26, 12:24 PM. Heading to the West end of Cuba, course 236 degrees magnetic, speed eight knots. I wired Checkov (the auto pilot) to Sulu (the GPS) and between the two they are doing the driving. Destination is Grand Cayman Island. Current boat position: 24N07.744 082W16.599

Feb 27, 7:38 PM. A star to the right of Orion’s Belt and Sirus, in the center between them, flared bright and then went out while I watched.

March 5, 9:38. Pain. Terrible, terrible pain. Both ears are infected and the sides of my head are swollen; my face is full of blisters from a bad sun burn. We are currently in Colon, Panama (the Caribbean side). 09N20.783 079W54.687

I went into town to a pharmacy to get antibiotics and pain killer. I wrapped a veil around my face to hide it from the sun and walked very carefully because jarring my head made it hurt more. I therefore walked into the "farmacia" shrouded, burnt, and stumbling like the ghost of some martyred saint. I told the lady behind the counter (she had a mustache) "The pain! Oh for the love of God shoot me! I cannot stand the pain!" She sneered at me and asked me what I wanted. She wouldn’t give me morphine, needles, and syringes. She wouldn’t give me opium. She would not even give me cocaine--- which in Panama is unprecedented. She would give me codeine, ampicilian, and Otosporin.

The day before we arrived in Panama, a Big Name Drug Dealer (BNDD) escaped the Colon jail (with the aid of the bailiff, who was also hence missing). Machine-gun-toting guys were walking around looking for him: searching cars and peering under my death shroud.

March 6. Transiting the canal, we hope. Picked up a line handler named Indy. He is a citizen of British Guyana. A wee tike of about 110 pounds, five feet tall, 42 years old, soft-spoken and shy. He lives at the "Colon Yacht Club."

"Yacht Club?!" Hardly. More like Turk’s back home, only with more whores. Many, many, many more whores. I guess since the Balboa Yacht Club burned down (I later met the person who torched the place), the harlots had to relocate to the Carib side.

Panama’s canal ports (Colon and Balboa) are very cosmopolitan: every sort of folks pass through. At seven in the morning I was sitting on a restaurant’s brick sea-wall swilling cold beer (it was 94 degrees in the shade), singing a Gaelic song. I do not know the words but I know the sounds of the words:

Anois, táim buartha
's fad ar shiúil an lá.
Ochón 's ochón ó.

Na laetha geal m'óige
Bhí siad lán de dhóchas
An bealach mór a bhí romham anonn
Bhí sé i ndán domh go mbeinn, slán, slán.

Which was close enough to have a monstrously huge pasty-white guy interrupt his breakfast to waddle up to me with a big grin and spew a stream of Irish at me like from a shot gun. "No comprende Senior!" I told him. He stomped away angry.

The beer was sweating out faster than I could put it in, so I went back to the boat--- the boat has refrigerated air!

March 7, 8:12:54. Outside the ashes of the Balboa Yacht Club. 8N56.279 079W33.359 (fuel dock). One of the guys here said he burned the place down because the owner paid him to do it. He said he worked his farm for 8 hours, went to the yacht club, burned it down, and then went fishing for another 8 hours. He didn’t say how much money he got for torching the place.

The transit through the canal was quick, once it got going. Indy turned into a right Tar once he got aboard. "Panamanians are all lazy and stupid!" he told me. "They come aboard to handle the lines, and drink all the beer and sleep! They do nothing!" He said he was worth every penny of the five dollars a day he was getting. He then went to the refrigerator, got a beer and drank it, and then said "I’ll take five now" and went to sleep in the salon.

Our lock partner was a trading boat named "Coosmucky." It was filled with young Indians who go up and down the coast trading whatever comes their way (photograph of Coosmucky will be posted on my web site). These guys couldn’t stop partying to save their lives. Goat only knows how they survived on the ocean as long as they have. Tasks on their boat was assigned by them all bunching together to discuss who would do it, and they would argue, jump around, throw their arms about, and then somehow all agree which one would go and do it. It was eventually determined which two would work the bow lines and which two the stern lines, and who would drive the boat.

We finally entered Gatun Lock over two hours after the scheduled transit time. Indy jumped up from his "take fives" and took charge, barking orders at us like Admiral Nelson. The boat I was on, "Continuum Pleasure," rafted to a tug boat, while Coosmucky went "side channel," meaning they would only work one side of the boat. While the lock was filling the guys on Coosmucky abandoned their line-handling to go sit on the bow together and have the canal advisor take their photograph. While their boat was rising in the lock they were to have sucked up the slack lines--- the folks at the stern, who were now on the bow smiling for the camera, somehow forgot their assigned task, while the guys at the bow lines remembered to suck up the lines. The result was that the stern swung away from the wall while the bow turned into the wall, scraping the boat.

Indy, in the stern of our boat, was watching this and started to scream insults and obscenities at them. "You stupid dog bitch fuckers! God damned dog bitch lazy shits!" Indy picked up the end of our stern line and shook it at them in his fist. He then paced the stern of our boat, stomping the deck and barking at the guys on Coosmucky, pausing every two or three steps to yell at them. Ron and I were amazed at this behavior, but when we later counted empty beer cans were figured out the source of the vigorous criticism.

Coosmucky got her act together and we transited the canal without problems.

While going through the Gatun Cut Johann stepped away from the helm and said "David, take over for a few minutes while I get a cup of coffee." Johann went below while I was stepping forward to take the helm. Indy SHOVED me aside, with a big grin on his face, and said "Take a five: I got it!" He grabbed the wheel and started doing little experimental course changes. When Johann came back on the bridge he found a wee, wide-eye, insanely grinning, drunken Indian piloting his million-dollar yacht. Johann looked at me; I shrugged; Johann looked back at Indy amazed. Indy had a beatific, this-must-be-heaven look on his face. Johann didn’t want to take Indy’s new toy away from him, but did so after a few more minutes.

At Balboa we said good-bye to Indy (Johann tipped him two day's pay) and Captain Ron.

March 9, 19:05 Hundreds and hundreds of dolphins. The sea is so full of them that the water appears to be boiling. They are small and bottle-nosed. Location 9N56.775 085W51.891

The dolphins were holding some kind of contest to see which one could leap the highest while spinning on their long axis the fastest. I’ve never seen the like before. Literally scores of dolphins in the air at the same time, rotating in the air on every axis. Spins, somersaults, back-flips, and cannon-ball crashes (trying to make the biggest splash). While that was going on, other dolphins had their tails sticking out of the water and thrashing them about.

March 10, 17:25 Gray hump-backed whale swimming among several hundred pale purple-gray dolphins. Scores of frigate birds over head. 11N10.450 085W51.328

March 12, 19:19 Stuart landed a 7-foot long marlin. 250 pounds or so.

Stuart joined the boat at Grand Cayman Island. He is trying very hard to be very obnoxious. He loves to kill, and he knows I’m a vegetarian, so he takes every opportunity to ask me if I want some bloody tuna, a steak, or chicken. He refuses to honor my request to slay his hapless beasties quickly instead of hauling them aboard to let them die slowly.

It took 65 minutes to reel in the marlin. I filmed it with a digital camera.

March 13. While on watch and steaming for Acapulco, I caught movement outside the boat and looked out the window. There was a dolphin hanging ten feet in the air staring at me face-to-face, and he had a huge silly grin on his face. I waved as he fell back into the water. Three or four seconds he leaped back into the air and looked into the pilot house again. It seemed like he was looking for a particular human, or was just curious to see who was driving the boat. We "stood" there smirking at each other for a second or so, and he again did a tuck-and-roll and entered the water. On his third leap he must have reached 12 or 13 feet high, and he put a slight tail-spin on the jump, as he slowly rotated like a dashboard plastic Jesus, gave a last grin, and disappeared.

March 16, 14:42 (time zone -6). Acapulco. Got here yesterday at 8:00 AM. Stuart has left and "Don" has replaced him.

March 18, 16:56. Swamped the whaler at Bahia Chamela while returning from a beach palapa.

When the dinghy filled with sea water, Don insisted that I hand over my hat so he could bail with it!!! This unpardonable insult was just one of many I suffered from him.

20:41:33 Meteorite fall a few dozen feet to port. It lit up the inside of the boat like a floodlight. 20N38.239 106W43.361

March 21 12:46:45 Finally at Cabo San Lucas. 22N52.815 109W54.433

Cabo San Lucas during "Spring Break" is THE place to be! Naked girls and women hip-deep on the beach, and they are all drunk. So are some of the boat pilots: the guy next to us pulled up to the fuel dock backwards and bumped hard against the slip--- folks on board staggered around trying to stay on their feet. When he finished taking on fuel, he fired up his engines (62 foot power boat, some 18 feet wide), gunned both engines, and then put the transmission IN REVERSE. He slammed his swim platform against the slip again, tearing off the two-by-six boards and exposing the electrical wires in the dock. He then threw the gears into the forward position (again without throttling down) and charged out of the slip, dragging the port side of his boat its entire length against the dock. Once out of the slip he turned left instead of right and almost ran into the guest dock--- he put the boat in reverse and backed out of the marina. He didn’t even look at the damage he had caused. Boat’s name: "Piper Sea."

Don is still going on and on about all of the women he "could have." Don is large (220+ pounds) and somewhat of an eye-sore. He said he was "fat and ugly and I can still get all the women I want!" His fantasy life seems to have taken over.

Same day, 10:07 PM. Shit-faced drunk. Uncountable margaritas, a few beers, and a glass of wine. But what fun we had!!!

Nine hours of uninhibited Bacchanal self-abuse on the beach. Don and I wanted to go to the beach for a drink, but the surf was too great for us to land the whaler. We came back to the boat and our neighbor Rick (age about 60, who owned or owns the company that manufactures CBQ Barbecues) said he would land us. He has a jet-powered boat that will run up onto the beach. Rick and Don had been swilling beer for a few hours, so I let them drive the jet boat.

We jetted around looking for a place to beach the boat but the beach was packed with human and canine bodies. Finally Rick put a snarl on his lips, picked a spot on the beach, and threw the throttle into AHEAD FULL. We ran screaming onto the beach, scattering wading tourists, tee-shirt vendors, stick-retrieving dogs, waiters, and small children like bowling pins. As the boat shuddered to a stop I leaped out and Rick killed the engine. We had arrived!

"Let’s go find some college girls!" Rick kept chanting, leering at twenty or thirty within view. I found a table at a palapa while Rick and Don walked around the beach looking for women and girls to invite over. They came to the table with a gorgeous red-haired lass and a impossibly-stacked black lady in tow (both nurses from San Diego). When they sat around the table I bought a yellow rose for the woman at the table next to us (her spouse was on the water on a jet ski) and Don invited her over to our table as well.

What followed next is somewhat of a blur. Waiters kept arriving with "two-for-one" drinks, which isn’t a problem except for the fact that both drinks are served at the same time. I asked for a super-sized margarita and two were placed in front of me. No sooner had I struggled to finish both when Don orders two more for me; and then tequila "shots;" then more margaritas; and more; and more; and then more.

I had no choice but to drink every set of two margaritas, each new pair coming to me like waves on the beach--- endlessly--- at the same time, pulling on two straws at once. We wouldn’t want the ice crystals to melt now would we?! Hell no.

About my first two mucho grande put-it-in-a-five-gallon-bucket margaritas, I started telling all of the women sitting near by that I wanted to "make sweet monkey love" to them. I pointed at one and said "I want you!" then I’d point at another and wail "And then I want you!" and so on, stepping through the seven or eight women we had invited over until I had shamelessly propositioned each one. They were drunk enough to not take offense, and most took it as a complement.

Four margaritas later, I told one young woman (knock-down, drop-dead gorgeous, with a fine body and clear, pale blue eyes) how much I liked her belly-button. "Why, thank you!" she beamed. "I’d like to put my tongue in your belly-button," I told her. She said she was entirely happy to comply. With a jump she was kneeling on the chair I was sitting on, with her belly-button at the ready.

The mission was defined; the target was acquired; green lights all across the board. She put her hands behind my head, and with a gleeful yank I grabbed her waist and brought her belly-button to tongue-level.

Well, sort of. Somehow my nose ended up in her belly-button while my tongue was, well, south of the boarder. "Tfff nthh yufff bmmmmm-bmuff’n!" I said. She drew back her tummy and happily said "What?" "This does not feel like your belly-button!" I replied. She said she felt something in her belly-button but that it didn’t feel like a tongue.

She skipped away and vanished for 20 minutes (along with a handsome young stud she was flirting with), and came back looking... relaxed, I guess one would say.

I asked the woman next to me (whom I’d given the rose) if she had drunk enough to feel single, just as her spouse reappeared. She laughed and said "I started feeling single as soon as you gave me the rose." Hummmm.

Another wave of margaritas arrived, riding on a tide of eight or ten shot glasses of tequila. I fisted two shots and dumped one into each margarita. My belly-button friend took one, and I drank the other.

The sun set; the umbrella was taken away; waiters started taking away our chairs. Rick pulled out several hundred-dollar bills and he paid the tab: US$160. The time was about 8:00 PM.

Time to launch the jet boat. We all three staggered to the water’s edge, grabbed a part of the boat, and started to tug on it in opposite directions. "The ocean’s this way!" Rick yelled. "No, it’s THIS way!" Don claimed. I suggested we all look down, since we were standing in the surf by then, and check to see where the waves were coming from. It was not that night had fallen; the beach was well-lit--- we just couldn’t see through all of the alcohol! Disgusting.

The boat was hauled into deep water. Rick jumped aboard and fired up the jet. Don was at the bow and I was at the port beam. I jumped like a seal into the boat a second before Don jumped for the seat in the bow. The result was that I ended face-down on the bottom of the boat, mouth and nose well sealed by its rubbery bottom, while Don sat comfortably on my back. My legs were sticking out of the boat and up in the air.

For a second or two I thought "Okay, I’m buried alive. I’ll just sleep here for the night. They’ll dig me out in the morning." Don showed no interest in shifting his 220+ pounds, so I figured I’d just take a nap. Then I tried to draw a breath and couldn’t. I started kicking and thrashing my arms, which prompted Don to climb back onto the bow seat. Ah, sweet nitrogen and oxygen!

Rick drove us back to our boats and invited us to dinner. Don declined and I accepted. We went to Romeo and Juliet's. As we sat down Rick spotted two women entering, so he jumped up and invited them to dinner with us. One was a magazine model fresh out of high school (very ugly in my opinion), and the other was a Italian "countess-looking" woman of 42 years (very nice to look at). Rick behaved rather badly, so I pretended to be sober for contrast.

March 26, 6:11:38 (time zone -8). Dana Point. Home at last! 774 miles from Cabo San Lucas to Dana Point, with a stop at San Diego to enter the country.


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