The Dirty Sanchez Goes Down
Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
a tale of a fateful trip.
That started from this tropic port,
aboard this tiny ship...
or something like that, as agent mcbryan checks in from south america with a reality check from that side of paradise:
Itís not always beaches, babes and palm trees here in Nicaragua.† Sometimes it sucks.† Last night Roberto woke me up at 2am and told me my boat, ďDirty Sanchez,Ē had sunk.† I asked him three times to repeat what he was saying, partly because I was dazed ,partly because I didnít know what ďBolteadoĒ meant in English and partly because I just didnít want to believe what I was hearing.† You mean itís pitch black outside, pouring down rain and stormy and my brand new boat, that Iíve only had out a handful of times, has sunk?† Un-Fucking-Believable!
I donít know what it was inside me, but I felt from the moment that I got this boat that it would end up upside down.† Itís a narrow boat, a Panga, thatís designed to go very far with a small motor and little gasoline.† Itís the local fishing boat in every third world country and it works well.† I wanted one as soon as I got here.† Even though I told myself that I would never put lipstick on an elephant, I realized when I got it that I took it a bit too far.† Two motors, a full sunshade, fiberglass floors Ė man it was nice, some would even say ďAmericanizedĒÖbut it was still a Panga.† I could see it on the faces of the locals, ďcheck out this gringo and his nice shiny, new boat.† He has no idea what heís in for.Ē† And I didnít, but knew it wouldnít be easy to have a boat down here.† I wasnít naÔve about it.† Iíve spent my time on boats.† It wasnít like this was something completely new to me.
The boats here in San Juan Del Sur are moored in the bay.† Itís not protected, so it can get pretty rough in bad weather.† For this reason, most everyone has a watch guard sleep on the boat.† Itís a shitty job when the weather is bad, but thatís when you need them most.
Well, I can only imagine the thoughts that went through my guy Christianís head as my boat filled up with water.†The bilge couldnít keep up with the downpour and we forgot to leave the bailing bucket for him.† It was the middle of the night and nobody heard his cries for help.† The water level in the boat kept getting higher and higher until the boat was sitting so low in the water that a wave flipped her over.† The kid stayed on the boat until the last possible second and then swam in through the storm.† We know this because we found his things this morning, still inside the boat.†
Iím not one who usually believes in premonitions, but I knew this was going to happen.† I saw it coming.† You see, the night before this happened, I woke up three times dreaming that my boat was sinking.† I would normally pass this off as a strange coincidence because it was raining and storming and of course you worry about your boat.† But this was different.† I rarely remember my dreams, like maybe once a month Ė maybe.† For a dream to wake me up Ė man, thatís only happened a few times in my life.† Three times in the same night, the same dream.† Thatís a sign.† I knew this was coming.
We got down to the marina before anyone, just as the sun was coming up.† I could just see the new green bottom paint of my boat in the distance, just peaking out through the passing waves.† Itís a weird feeling seeing your brand new boat upside down.† It hurts.† Especially this one, which I had custom built from the hull up.† A labor of love.† It looked so helpless when we went out to it to tow it back.† All you could see was the bottom of the bow.† The tip of the iceberg.†† My brand new twin Yahama 60ís were completely submerged, pulling down the stern with their weight.† The locals just stood on the dock and watched as we struggled to get her back near the dock.† Theyíve seen this many times, maybe not with a shiny new boat like mine, but a submerged Panga is not a new thing here in San Juan Del Sur.† In fact, I was one of three to lose a boat last night.† Two other pangaís overturned and a big fishing boat broke itís mooring and washed up on the beach.† Yes, it was a busy morning in the bay.
Iíve always been amazed at how helpful Nicaraguans have been to me.† Itís always been easy to round up 5 or 10 guys to give you a hand.† It wasnít like that today.† Maybe because they were fishermen and they needed to get to work.† Maybe they thought the gringo should pay his own dues.† Whatever it was, the help wasnít coming like it normally does.† In fact just the opposite.† With the exception of 4 guys who were with me from start to finish, I had to round up people on the beach to help us flip her back over.† The culmination of which was a pair of young guys who claimed to have ďfoundĒ my engine cover on the beach and were demanding that I pay them 30 bucks for it.† Great, a flipped panga and extortion to boot.† Thanks guys, I just lost my boat and you want to sell me back MY engine cover.† I was pissed at the time, almost to the point of fighting, but I canít say I blame them.† They saw an opportunity to make some cash and took advantage of it.† Thatís what happens here.† If I grew up here like they did, I canít say I wouldnít be doing the same thing.
Sheís righted now.† She looks like hell but at least sheís safe and sound and up on dry ground.† It wasnít easy to do, but we were able to round up enough help to tip her over and bail her out in the shallows.† She got fairly thrashed in the process, but nothing that canít be fixed with time and money.† Anybody who owns a boat knows what I mean.† Thereís always something.† Itís the motors I worry the most about.† Man, they were brand new and now theyíll never be the same.† Hopefully the Yahama guy can work some magic on them.†
Iím sure Iíll have some time to reflect on this during the next couple of days.† Especially when I get the bill.† It sucks now, but a month from now, it will be funny.† Years from now, it will just be another good story that I can tell about the time I lived down in NicaraguaÖwhich is exactly the reason why I came here.
ah yes, bojon adventures are not guaranteed to be all fun and games.
but they are guaranteed to be adventures...
Posted by bojon at October 14, 2005 08:57 PM