Day 5 – La Paz and The Boat.
Let me describe “the boat.” If a drunk took javelin lessons using the hull as a target, it would look better than this boat. What’s left of the unscratched surface is a chalky mess resembling something out of an 1800’s school room black board. The teak rails have turned a grayish color unknown to man. They’re chemical make up has changed so much that it isn’t even wood anymore. Touching it leaves permanent microscopic slivers embeded under the skin all swimming in your bloodstream headed straight for your heart. The sails are okay if you think using tattered wet toilet paper is okay. Down below looks as if Brad Pitt tossed a hand grenade into a Nazi tank just before slamming the lid shut. Anchor? We don’t need no stinking anchor. Is there supposed to be a 45-degree angle in the mast? Did I mention that this is not Ted’s boat? This is the boat anchored on a mooring ball on the way to Ted’s boat. Apparently it survived last year’s hurricane, barely. Ted’s boat is beautiful. One turn of the key and the motor purred to life. All of the wood work below has recently been varnished. Very nice. The batteries work. The GPS and other electronics seem to work fine. While Kelly was futzing around with mounting some IPerp thingy, Ted and I did most of the heavy lifting, really getting things ship shape (that expression works well here). Ted is one detail-oriented neat freak. Insert hilarity and knee slapping here. Thank God for EPIRBs (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon). The dinghy needed a little help with some patches and a new fuel line to the outboard. We did it after 6 trips to various marine stores. While at the marina I met this guy named Sea Otter Jimmy or Pelican Pete or something like that. This guy, approximately 105, had gnarled knuckles, knees and elbows that looked like socks full of golf balls. His one eye was skimmed over with a layer of cataracts thicker than a teaspoon of rancid honey. The other eye socket dangled open with the lids looking similar to the lips of a child’s doll. His bushy white beard was only interrupted by a tobacco-stained corner above his lip where a permanent filter-less cigarette. Of course he had a dog. You know how sometimes pets look like their owners? This mange-ridden cotton ball with three legs had a permanent brown stain below its tail. “I’m never going back to the United States. I was supposed to leave for Panama today.” You’re a real national treasure, Jimmy. The country’s really going to miss you. Good luck to you. Good luck Panama. May the wind always be under your keel. May Neptune smile upon your backside and keep your sails wet. Something like that. Later in the day I saw of Jimmy and his dog sputtering out to sea in a dinghy possibly headed to Panama. Or, possibly taking the Mexican Eskimo suicide ride. The rest of the afternoon was spent visiting museums and taking in the vast history and culture that is Baja California. Yeah, right. How about, the rest of the day was spent guzzling tequila in every bar along the Malecon trying to erase the image of Jimmy’s empty eye socket blowing little doll-sized kisses at me. Spanish lesson: Malecon, direct translation to Mal is bad, con is with, and because the “e” in the middle means you’re supposed to put the second part of the word in front of the first part, you have Withbad. Spanish is easy. You’re welcome. Kelly learned how to make a flower out of a palm frond from some dude who looked like he had a quart of tar under his fingernails. The locals ran for the actual hills when we put Meatloaf’s Paradise By The Dashboard Lights on the sound system. To top off the day we all ordered this molten lava bowl filled with meats. I figure they had to kill 7 different animals for that meal. Sorry dog.