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Thursday, November 7, 2013

LOGAN AT SEA 3 - bonus round

DAY 4

As we set out for open water, the captain related some of the 'business practices' of the other boats:

Buy nothing but cheap food.  Yes, sometimes everyone gets sick.  They don't buy food from the locals as it decreases their profit margins.

Nobody is allowed out on deck for 'safety reasons'.  I've got to tell you there are many times when you 'need some air'.  I can't imagine being cooped up in overcrowded cabins or a wheelhouse.

Double or more the amount of people on board the ship we had.  Believe me, sometimes it felt a bit crowded with just the six people we had on board.  More would feel like the old 'tight pack slave ship'.
Not that I spent a lot of time on these or had shares in 'Confederated Slaveholdings' like some people I could mention.

Other than that, day 4 went quietly.  Nothing much to look at unless you are into the whole 'endless ocean' thing.  I find it loses it's appeal after about two and a half minutes.  Ditto for 'gosh there are a lot of stars out at night'.



DAY 5

Spent most of the day in bed, 'relaxing'.

Life aboard a boat, I've determined is a lot like a bratwurst cooked to perfection and garnished with spices both subtle and rare.  Stuffed inside a VW sized bun of boredom.

The end of the day showed us to still be 100 miles from our destination.  Why they use miles is beyond me.  The reason we were so far away and should have docked today?  Becalmed.  Were it not for our little engines we wouldn't have moved anywhere.

We did finally break out the 'Cards Against Humanity' photocopy game I was given.  Thanks!  It's amazing how 'America-centric' the humor is.  I got to translate a few fun words into German or explain them to the Swiss guys.  A good time was had by all.

Note that if you are going to be at sea, bring a lot of little games to play and hopefully have people around who want to play them or you're kind of fucked.  "Oh, I'll read a book!"  Yes, if you are blessed with the weather we had you can.  If not, have fun trying to stare at a page while feeling miserable while Mother Nature tries to bump you off.



DAY 6

The captain informs me he is 'putting on the breaks' so that we arrive tomorrow morning rather than tonight.  Since by now sinking the ship is getting more and more interesting over continuing to live on it, this news doesn't make me a happy boy.

His reasons for arriving in port do seem sound (less parking problems, less getting run over by other bigger boats since we have all the running lights of the average drug smuggler) but that day being Sunday does concern me.  Will they actually be open to give us our visas?  [Fuck no was the answer for those who are sick of all of the suspense.  And, no reach around.  In addition, they were closed the next day for a public holiday.  Yes to the 'laid back lifestyle'!]

Again, bored out of my fucking skull.  [See "Logan's Head" below for yet more information about Logan's skull.]

Just for the record, you can NOT swim safely in the high seas if you are Logan.  Perhaps if you are other people.  And you can't swim while the boat is churning away going somewhere.  Well, actually, you can swim.  But getting back onto the boat is not certain.


By day six, everyone - and their stomachs - had become accustomed to the relentless rocking of the boat.  I'd heard that a lot of people who claim "I'm seasick all the time" simply are speaking from short experience.  If you spend a week on a boat, you cease to be seasick.  That, or all of these people with seasickness and motion sickness just need to 'harden the fuck up'.


The captain talked about a bit of the business behind the ships.  Some of the hostels (like the horrible Hostel Wunderbar) actually make more money booking the ship rides than having guests.  If you're paying $550 USD (as I did), the hostel gets $50 for sending a couple e-mails.  If you contact the captains directly you could save fifty or more dollars.  Of course knowing who to contact could be rough.  I only know one of the captains and that is Bernard.  In addition to his linked Facebook page, he can be reached through his e-mail at IEMANJA57@yahoo.fr.  Fair warning - he doesn't really understand computers.  The unkind of you (my friends, mainly) may well point out Logan doesn't understand computers either.  He understands significantly less than even Logan.  So, show some patience when contacting him.  He knows boats much better.


The chicken had all turned green and needed to be thrown overboard.  Bernard explained that in Central America the food may only have a day or two left from when you bought it before it goes totally bad.  They routinely let stuff thaw and refreeze it several times due to either inadequate cooling equipment or gross incompetency.  So keep an eye on your food.  Just because you bought it from a reputable looking super market doesn't mean it isn't wonky.



DAY 7

At about 6AM our boat truged toward port.  The process of getting into port and finding a parking space (trickier with a boat) takes about four or five hours.  Nothing is fast on a boat.

As we were heading in to the harbor, we noticed it was flanked by two old fortresses.  The captain said that in the olden days they use to stretch an iron chain between the two to keep out pirates.

I asked if it worked.  This is never a convenient question to ask someone as they never know.

Apparently, they took the chain down as there is a large pirate ship that routinely makes its way back and forth ferrying tourists with it's big diesel engines.

After spending an hour or two cooling our heels in the dock aboard ship, the captain rented us a 'water taxi' which I christened the "Oh gods oh gods we're all going to die".  It was actually a dug out fishing canoe and the most unstable craft I've been in and survived.  [For a list of craft I have been in and didn't survive, please reference previous blog entries.  All of them.]

The captain took everyone to a hostel (in Cartagena, Colombia) which cost 22,000 COP per night.  I said "Fuck that" and went and found a private room which cost 24,000 COP.  About a dollar more per night.


And that concludes my exciting (well, hopefully more to read about than experience) voyage at sea!  As you can see, the five day voyage actually took seven and overall was a mix of interesting bits and a huge boring base.  I can now say that I've traveled in a very small vessel on the open sea however.  Not planning on a repeat performance but my life is very strange so I can't say "It will never happen" with any finality.



LOGAN'S HEAD

Like many other places (including the Republic of Georgia) boats were constructed for shorter people than I.  The top of my skull has yet another new scar.  I'm sure that should a futuristic anthropologist discovering my skull would classify it as several different unsuccessful attempts at trepanning.
Hell, this has happened so many times I really feel I should get a t-shirt.  Preferably free.  And in XXXL size.  Air dropped to me by the Marines.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, Logan, nothing to do with this topic, here is, as you always suspected, me in my natural habitat: http://jamasenright.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/hobbiton.html

    ReplyDelete

PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan | Portugal: Faro

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