Tuesday, November 5, 2013



From David Holt:

Yes, this is the first fan art of this blog!


Note, the writing style (aka 'no style') I am using is pretty much the same order as I put notes into my notebook.  Hope it builds toward a breathtaking climax for you.  It didn't for me, but it might for you.


Went with one of my future shipmates to town as the captain asked us to pick up some chicken breasts and eggs.  We're kind of getting the chicken both coming and going if you ask me.  Note that despite the chicken breasts being from a major store and professionally wrapped, they turned green after just a couple days at sea.  In Central (and perhaps South) America it is not unusual to sell something just before it goes bad.  Nasty.

To get to the town with a working ATM and for the shopping required an hour each way in a Bluebird school bus garishly repainted and outfitted with shitty speakers to pump out shittier music.  In some places, these are called 'chicken buses'.  The seating is made for two children.  Hence, two or more adults is not comfortable.

After arriving, I tried the ATM.  Splitting my daily allowance amount in half and doing withdraws for that doubled my chances of getting something as well as my bank fees.  Fortunately, it worked.  Happy.

We got the money, picked up the requested groceries and some extra stuff for ourselves.  They even had Booberry at the store.  I was floored.  Unfortunately, it didn't taste that good.  Don't know if my pallet has changed or if they have a different recipe in this part of the world.

The captain himself is a 56 year old Frenchman who shuns redundant (or most) safety gear as an 'American thing'.  Like running lights.  Like the thing that when activated tells the coast guard where you are, who you are and that you are in trouble.  Like life rings.  There were some life preservers I discovered later but I'm not sure if there were enough for everyone if we sank.

Cast of characters:

Bernard:  Captain
Mark:  Swiss guy
Roman:  The other Swiss guy
Lawrence:  French girl who joined us
Daman:  American tourist

We sat around until eight at night waiting to see if an 'old American lady' would join us - she didn't.

The trip itself started on a fairly depressing note for Logan as there was no plug ins.  Sure, those of you with sailing experience might say "Well, of course not!"  But we did have a deep freeze.  The captain had a plug in for his computer - which did the vital navigation.  We had interior lighting.  But no plugs for my computer.  Hence, no computer for the trip.  I found that 'trying' to say the least.

Unfortunately, the captain liked his music.  He has perhaps 35 'hippy dippy trippy' songs from the 1960's he plays on a loop.  That shit got old real quick.  I've no clue why people fear the silence so.

Due to the heat, the shirt got lost real quick and didn't reappear until day three when I noticed it was getting close to sunburn time.

We cast off.

As we were the only crew the captain had, we got to pull night watch.  Having been in the military, I immediately jumped on my favorite watch - the last one.  I graciously volunteered to take it and immediately went to bed.

That night watch was the coolest of the trip.  The weather was clear but overcast at high altitudes.  The silence of the sea slapping the small boat, spears of lightning briefly illuminating the sky.  Distant lights of other ships and fish farms.   Dawn eventually came, casting its milky glow.

Being on a boat during calm waters is like being on a slow bucking bronco for days.


We stopped by a very small island.  The other, more fit shipmates swam to the island.  Being a smoker, weak, crippled and generally more adept at video games that physical activity makes me a very weak swimmer.

Hell, if I jumped off the boat, I felt lucky to be able to swim the three or four meters to catch it.

The water was warmer than many showers I've had.

I can't even imagine trying to do this cruise with more than the six people we had on the boat.  Officially, there are four double rooms and two single rooms.   Like so many other things, this is a lie.  The captain sleeps in one of the doubles.  The two single rooms are full of bed - nothing else and separated from a double only by a curtain.  To get into the room, you either go through a very inconvenient hatch in the top or through someone's room.  The French girl who had been assigned to a single ended up sleeping in the wheelhouse.   Since she choose to sleep in the room with the radio, people smoking and doing watch, etc I'm guessing the singles weren't very comfortable.

Sometime during this day, I put a head sized hole in the shorts I'd been operated on while wearing in the Republic of Georgia.  Those went in the trash and it was underwear from then on.

Wear European boxers.  No hole for your penis to attempt it's escape.  Note, for those without a penis you can order one online.

Lunch was fresh vegetables, cut up hard boiled eggs, rice - all mixed and served cold.  It was excellent.

After sitting around for awhile, we were offered - and accepted - a guy coming to get us with a boat for $2 each to take us to see the Kuna.


We went to see the native tribesman of the area on their island.  Part of the island was natural.  I suspect the rest was made from trash, old seaweed and snot.

My wiring seems much different from my shipmates and indeed, other tourists.  While they saw it and perhaps saw a 'charming simpler life', I thought 'what a tumble down depressing squalid shit hole'.

Despite of what Logan thinks of as an 'acceptable standard of living', the Kuna did seem mostly happy.  We were told we couldn't take pictures of any of the individuals but everything else was alright.  Later, this turned out to be only mostly true as I wanted to take a picture of a mural on a wall and an old woman wanted to shake me down for more gringo tourist money.  She failed to get any.

But Logan, don't you feel obligated to give any of these people money?  When you have so much and they so little?

No.  Not even a little bit.  If someone wants my money it is simple.  Offer me a product or service that is good at a reasonable price and I may give them money.  This is not a difficult concept.  I dislike supporting beggars.

Even the children had been taught to say "One dollar!" though they did it without expectation of getting anything.  Ah, raising them right.  If you want them to become beggars...

They do have quilting as their native art.  Nothing I was at all interested in but pieces did go for roughly 5 to 50 USD - depending on who you bought it from, quality and the tourists lack of haggling skill.


The conversation shipboard seems to be about 60% in French and the rest in English.  Unfortunately, my French sucks.

Considering we have only six people, it is a bit wild that the conversation ranges in French, English, Swiss German, German and of course Spanish.  This just seems to underline the lacking areas of the American educational system to me.  Or perhaps the lack of American interest to leave their continent.

Regardless, my life needs subtitles.

Some people say things like "Life aboard a boat is extremely laid back".  That doesn't really illustrate anything.  Saying "Not much happens" misses the mark as well.  Lets try:

If you see something even moderately interesting, everyone will come and look and that will provide the next hour of conversation.

It's a bit slow paced for me.

There are people who have not experienced travel by sail and have a certain picture of it in their heads.  The amazing thing is that this picture may not even be disrupted by reality.

Tune in later for day 3 - when nature makes a half hearted attempt to kill Logan!  Will it succeed?  Stay tuned...


Should you want to skip the week long voyage by sea, you can always take the 24 hour trip length Panama to Colombia ferry for $249 USD (about half of the week at sea cost).  The price includes 50 KG of luggage.  Contact www.SANBLASFERRY.com.  I've only heard that it may be amazingly disorganized.  No experience with this at all.

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{{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

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster | Thailand: Bangkok | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2018}} Ukraine: Kiev - Chernihiv - Uzhhorod

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