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"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong in the broken places." -- Hemingway
|45--Mexico: Mistress Tries On Her Legs|
@ Where`s Cherie?
Aug 05 2002 - 16:46 PST
|cherie writes: From the Baja Ha Ha Cruiser's Rally 2001|
I'll start off this log like an official sailor might, with the things that broke. The shittiest thing that broke was the head. The phrase 'two heads are better than one' was coined when a very similar incident happened to our forefathers. And even that was okay until the other head became infected with the same disease (some bacterial poo poo virus?).
Tom, Dustin and Joe got to clean the toilets. (They get to have all the fun!) Gloved, they also offered free prostate exams to all the boats in the vicinity. According to Tom, it was 'Ray's friend' who messed things up by putting tubing in the head that was too short. If anything breaks, you can be certain that it was the fault of one of Ray's friends. Ray, of course, denies any of these friendships, 'I just hired the guy, he's not my friend!'
The non-stinky crew was up on deck just really glad not to be covered in fecal matter, when Ray said, 'It may not seem like it, but Tom loves this kind of stuff.'
That's when all the other boating parts joined into the 'breaking' party. The engine was the leader, and not wanting to leave anyone out, recruited other parts and appliances. A partial list includes the autopilot, water-pump impellers, and generator.
So we arrived at the end of the first leg of the sailing race with everything broken, but our spirits. I have seen too many movies, but I was expecting a cheering crowd, or at least two boats with a red line we could break through. (As I might have mentioned, our boat is good at breaking things.) But there were no people, no finish line and no champagne. We cruised past the finish line programmed into our GPS at 1:15 on November 1. Our time was recorded in minutes 3,044, because people who sail also like to do a lot of unnecessary math. For most of us, that translates into a little over 50 hours, or two days. I was the winner of the 'predict our finish time' contest just fifteen minutes shy of a perfect guess.
We landed at Turtle Bay (no turtles), the 10th boat out of 105. Which means, it wasn't a race, we're all just here to have a good time and break Tom's boat. We began by taking quick inventory of our bruises. Mine were most significant because Dustin doesn't like me. It is the only explanation for the 'milkshake' incident.
Our boat was sailing through the waters when I decided to take my first shower (and last) on board. Now imagine you want to make a quick Slim Fast shake for lunch. Replace the diet-power with a naked Cherie, and the stainless-steel shaker with a teak shower and you pretty much get the picture. Either, a massive storm hit the moment I entered the shower or Dustin was at the helm playing 'Indy 500' with the steering wheel.
Everyone had a few moments on board. Tom, after giving me a lecture about which side to throw trash off the boat, threw his own dirty plate off the wrong side of the boat. Sometimes it is hard to figure out which is the 'starboard' side in the day when the stars aren't out. Or was this just Tom practicing his boomerang skills? We'll never know.
Jean (Environmental Studies major), a little jealous of Tom getting all the trash attention, decided to throw out our perishables and its plastic trash container all in one quick swoop. The plastic shell of the trashcan has a half-life of 8,937,398 gazillion years. But items like aluminum cans deteriorate after a month at sea. (Fact Source: Tom) Either that or Tom is just a big litterbug that doesn't like to recycle.
I also had to have 'the talk' with Scott. I couldn't take any more of it. For 2 days he kept calling 'Dustin' 'Justin'. It went uncorrected for so long that no one could say anything. So, I just came right out and said it. Now, everything is fine except that now Ray calls him 'Justin'. A good way to remember it is that 'Dustin' was named after 'Justin Hoffman.' Oh, I see how they get so confused.
Jean had quite a brilliant observation about the sailing community in general. Sailing people are just RV people in boats. Every morning they have a check-in where goober boat owners armed with their CBs broadcast the dumbest things. First each boat announces their position (okay that makes sense) then you announce how many fish you caught. Must be a guy thing?
No one has a scale on their boat, so these weights are estimated which explains why everyone's fish is one pound bigger than that last guys. This same phenomenon is seen in measurements; no member of the male species knows how long 6 inches is. We caught a 32 lb tuna, after the boats before us caught a 30 lb Skip Jack and a 31 lb Yellow Tail.
Then there are the total morons who say things like 'we didn't catch any fish, but we have some porpoises off our bow.' This is pretty much equivalent to saying, 'we didn't catch any fish, but our boat has a mast.'
Dustin's 32 lb Albacore was sliced into sushi and served with wasabi and soy sauce, later prepared into seared Ahi steaks, then into fish tacos, then into fish sandwiches. I would like to invite everyone to Cabo San Lucas, to meet us on November 9th and share a nice tuna casserole.
Note to self: Next time you go on a sailing race, bring your own reading material. Otherwise you're stuck with the boat's stock of bestsellers like: 'Weather Predicting Simplified,' 'Charlie's Charts of the Western Coast Of Mexico' and my favorite, the titillating 'The 12 Volt Doctor's Alternator Book.' Oh, I can't wait until that one comes out in paperback.
I figure, that if this boat were a 'Survivor' episode, I would be the first one voted off. I thought I should pick up some of the slack, to compensate for my poor sailing ability. When Ray asked, who wants to 'grease the mast' I offered my lubricating services. A single girl has got to get her kicks somewhere.
The next thing I know I am being strapped into harness and then hoisted into the air to climb up a mast and spray WD-40 (or the sailing equivalent) all over the place. Before they pulled me up, Joe said, 'You weigh less than 200 lbs, right?' Note to all men: Never say that to a girl, unless you want to fork over the $6,000 for therapy.
While I dangled from 'a sheet' or 'a line' (who knows, except that it was definitely not a rope) 72 feet above deck my crewmates (funny little things) decided to have multiple sprinting contests on deck. The boat lurched from side to side and I finally understood what it was like to be a grammar-school tetherball.
From the top of the mast, I took some pictures with a digital camera that can also launch the Space Shuttle. And after all that rocking, my crewmates blamed me for the fuzzy pictures! They didn't understand my creative need to do some blurry impressionist camera work up there. Clear pictures are so old school.
Stay tuned as prepare to enter the much awaited 'Margarita Making' contest.
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