Kids, Don't Try This At Home!

Hi, and welcome to the adventures of "Triton", a 45' Robertson & Caine Leopard catamaran we purchased in July of 2007, in Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands. We sailed her back to Emeryville, California, located in the lovely San Francisco East Bay area, worked a few more years, then set off cruising in the fall of 2014. This journal is the story of our ongoing adventure, the folks we've met along the way, and the hardships and joys of that journey. Please read along and let us know what you think!

You can click
here to start from the very beginning of the entire adventure. You can navigate from post to post simply by clicking the NEXT or PREVIOUS phrases at the top or bottom of each page. To find out what we've been fixing, changing, upgrading, click on the Triton Boat Work link under Related Websites. If you want to subscribe to this blog (and get emails letting you know whenever we update it) just click on the icon that says "subscribe to: posts (atom)" at the bottom of each page.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Women on boats is bad luck


Avast Ye Maties,

They say that having women on a boat is bad luck, that they are devil spawn, attract sea monsters and sew disharmony amongst the crew. I'm not sure why they say that, cause we've been fortunate enough to have woman in one form or another along for almost every leg of the journey, and they have proven to be fantastic crew. They worked harder than any of the guys, grumbled less, and except for AnnMarie, never tried to pee standing up. The few times we didn't have them aboard, they were sorely missed. Never leave home without them!

Rain joined the crew last week and, aside from her glowing red eyes, small horns, cloven feet and long pointy tail, it has been nothing but goof ball fun since. She is more than able to put up with the antics of Robinson and myself, matching our cutting remarks insult for insult. In fact, she might have bested us a time or two, but we'll never admit that. What is really amusing is the way that Robert and her have taken to snarking back and forth. You would think they were siblings. Not ten minutes goes by that he doesn't comment about the need for expanding the hatches to accommodate the size of her butt, to which she makes some quip about his lack of intelligence (he is English after all) or inability at humor (English, remember) but it is mostly all in good fun. As I've said before, a lot of the humor that goes on in a boat is "location joke", and you just had to have been there to really appreciate what was funny about it. None the less, it has made for good morale and lots of laughs. Oh, and the dishes seem to get done faster. Rain explained that she tends to clean when she gets stressed. We've taken to shouting at her unexpectedly, throwing lit firecrackers in her bunk, and randomly apologizing about losing her passport. Its mean, but the boat has never been cleaner.

We went into town to do the last round of provisioning, which included seeing all the sites of Chinandega. It is a fascinating town, with every street a one way, but there aren't any actual signs indicating this. Of course, everyone has lived there all their lives, and knows them by heart, so why would this be at all necessary, but it has made for some interesting driving conditions. The pedicabs, bicycles, motorcycles, horse drawn carts and Nicaraguan taxi cab drivers all add to the mix. These traffic calming measures are used to keep vehicles flowing directly into the center of town, where the heavily congested markets are located, so that no trip through town can be accomplished without either driving several miles around the outskirts, or sitting in bumper to bumper traffic. The town has maybe ten thousand people, and worse traffic than L.A. You really have to admire that kind of long range planning. CalTrans must send its trainees here.

We've also met some interesting characters, including a guy who has the best job I could ever imagine. Friday evening, around 11pm, I heard someone walking around on the dock, so I went up top to see what was going on. Normally there isn't anyone around at that time of the night, but the fish were jumping around a bit and the phosphorescence was illuminating them underwater. There was an guy with a fishing pole casting lures into the marina waters. Now, I've spent the last three weeks listening to the fish jumping around in the bay, and when the phosphorescence is really strong, especially during a new moon, you can see their outlines flashing through the dark waters. Some of those fish are over three feet long. Yet we've never been able to catch anything that didn't first leap up onto our boat deck and die. So I sat down in the cockpit and said hello and started chatting with him.

In a weird, metaphysical way, it didn't surprise me to learn that he was from New Jersey. After a while, you just know how to recognize them. His name was Nick, and he was a professional fishing journalist. "What? You do what?" I stammered back. "I get paid to fish, and then write about it." he said again, but this time with that look you usually see on little kids that have just eaten an entire pie without permission. "I'm only down here so to check out the fishing tournament, then Sunday I fly off to Costa Rica to go after deep sea Marlin." he said, but all the while you could tell he was absolutely delighted about it. "Good On Ya, Mate!" was all I could think to say. I then asked him how he came to have what I would consider to be one of the best jobs in America.

"Well, I decided I wanted to be a writer, and I loved fishing. So I got a job working for a coastal newspaper that had several pages devoted to fishing, and eventually worked my way up to being one of the top writers. Now I also freelance for a couple of other papers, and I've got two books out about it, plus I'm working on a third." I was awestruck. If ever there was an American Success Story, Nick was it. Imagine your toughest day at work consisting of stressing over not catching enough trout, or your boss giving you a hard time because you came back with a Marlin when what he wanted was a Swordfish.

We chatted for quite a while, about fishing, New Jersey, writing, and then I invited him by for drinks tomorrow. He explained that he was going out fishing with Robert (the marina owner and builder) in the morning, but maybe he'd be by afterwards. Later that day he stopped by and invited the entire crew to dinner. Nick and Robert both did well for themselves fishing that day. They had caught several large Spanish Mackerel, and the cooks had made a special dinner for everyone. We were flattered and delighted to be invited, and had a fabulous meal of the freshest fish you can get. It was wonderful to eat something so delicious! And, it wasn't a gray burger or beans and rice. A great time was had by all. Thank you guys!! Oh, and Nick, we actually did catch a bunch of fish, so we owe you dinner man.

We expect to leave Puesta Del Sol, Nicaragua on Sunday and begin the trek across the Bay of Tehuantepec towards Mexico. We were supposed to leave on Saturday. We'd checked out with Customs & Immigration on Friday, and technically our Zarpa (the exit form that allows you to leave a country) didn't allow us to stay longer, but we developed "engine problems" and needed to stay another day. Engine problems being the euphemism for too bloody hot and tired to get our asses in gear.

Robinson has developed an ear infection, which has become very painful. We bought some antibiotics and drops to put in his ear, but it still leaves him feeling a bit under the weather. I'm still beat down from whatever it is I've got, the antibiotics seem to be making a difference, but I spend a lot of time horizontal. Rain is feeling a bit low herself, but Robert seems upbeat and chipper, although he brought bannanas on the boat. That is another one of those sailing superstitions, like changing the name of a boat, or leaving on a Friday, or trying to find a cheap marina in a luxury resort area. Hope the sea Gods take pity on us and forgive us our sins.

So, unless you hear otherwise, we should be bashing our way up the coast, hell bent for Huatulco, Mexico, in just a few hours. This means getting past the bay of Tehautepec, known for its ferocious winds. Wish us luck!




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