Finding Crew

Clark May 3rd, 2008

Looking back on the 6000 or so miles since the Horn, I’ve sailed 80% of it solo. Some of this has been by choice, but for the most part I would rather have had company. In desolate Patagonia there are really no options: There’s just nobody around. Once I did start meeting people, I never knew quite what I was getting. People never really think about it, but almost everyone we meet in daily life comes through ‘the filter.’ If someone is a friend of a friend, or a member of the same organization, chances are that by the time we meet them there are many compounded years of others knowing this person. Once they get to us, we can be pretty sure they’re not a psychopath, otherwise the filter would have filtered them out long ago. On the road there is no filter, and people who seem quite normal and charming to begin with can end up being trouble. But of course not everyone is trouble. Sometimes these encounters can be just peachy, but they seldom last.

Take this guy, Nick:

He was a good surfer and a professional volleyball player. We could have volleyball sharked our way up the coast and made a mint, but Nick had to go back to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, to sell real estate.

Then there’s good old Larry:

After a few days Larry had to go back to Tamarindo, Costa Rica, to sell real estate. Is every gringo in Central America selling real estate? Yes, every gringo in Central America is selling real estate.

Then there was Max, a perfect example of what can happen without the filter:

Everything started out great with Max, but then he drank all the beer in the bar and peed all over my shoulder. I’m not kidding; he really did drink all the beer and peed on me. Et tu, Max?

I tried sailing for a while with my brother Rufus, but as you can see, Rufus is mentally challenged:

I had to tape foam rubber on all the sharp corners around the boat, and keep Rufus tightly secured in his harness.

“Pull the rope, Rufus!”
“OK Clar, I pull the rope!”

The rope just led to a piece of bungee cord on the foredeck, but it kept Rufus busy. Having Rufus aboard was a bad idea and we were both badly injured. Now he’s getting the kind of professional care he deserves.

Of course there was Norman. You remember Norman. Our time was short, and Norman was gone as quickly as he came. Where are you now, Norman? Where are you now?

I did my stint with the Bond Girls:

But geeze, all the nudity and public bathing. Really disgusting. And making me all those crepes and home cooked meals: What am I, a little kid? I had to ask them to leave.

There was this nutter I picked up wandering the wharf in Mazatlan. Glad I got rid of him:

And of course there were the romantic liaisons. A sailor has a girl in every port, right? They’ve been hit and miss. There was Imelda:

But her passion burned too strong to sustain. Perhaps I’m not man enough for this much woman.

I’ve recovered from the tragedy of Bianca. We were deeply in love, but the cultural differences could never be bridged. Her family would never accept me, and we had to return to our respective worlds. I still hold hope in my heart that the world will become a more accepting place and we’ll have another chance at love someday:

Then, when I least expected it, there she was. It’s funny how you can search and search for something, then when you give up the search, there it is in front of you. She was basking in the surf. A mermaid, she was! All her curves and feminine charms gloried under the sun and the eyes of God. The sea water glistened off her body, and she was looking longingly at Condesa before I even approached. She had adventure in her eyes and voyaging in her heart. I walked up to her, ankle deep in the surf, snapped this photo, and the rest is history:

Kudos to Matt for posting this manually, since we’re still having problems with the website.

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1 Comment »

Comment by K. Vonnegut
2008-05-04 18:25:36

Great stuff!

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