Friday, April 21, 2006

What I'll do for horsepower & clear ear canals

This is a very strange life.

As you may remember, thieves stole my outboard almost a month ago. I still haven't been able to replace it. I am getting off the boat in the dark tomorrow morning to meet a taxi driver at 06:00. For $100 and lunch, he has agreed to drive me from Tambor to Tamarindo and back so that I can pick up a 9.9 hp mercury outboard that my new friend Jeff has agreed to sell me for $825 (it was $850 but I gave him an electric air pump I never used and he agreed to take off $25). I can't believe I'm going backwards. I never go north.

While paddling the long long distance to the beach in Tambor for the second time today I heard myself laugh out loud at the epiphany I had just had. The problems I encounter, become the next adventure. Man, that attitude adjustment has helped all day.

Here's what I got to experience that I wouldn't have, had they never stole it:

1.) Chico. He's my new friend in Puntarenas that sells really crummy outboards. You should see his house. Not one wall is structurally sound. His dock is far worse. Eric almost cried when he was forced to traverse it one afternoon with heavy luggage. Chico and I drink coffee at noon break & beer together at sunset while we take turns butchering each others languages. He's proud of the fact that he can say "no" in English.
2.) A 5 hour stint in the cockpit back in Tamarindo taking a 3.5 hp Johnson apart and trying to fix it. Jeff gave it to me. It doesn't work, yet. I gave him my TV/VCR
3.) Countless hours kayaking and all the muscle building that goes with that.
4.) This crazy trip tomorrow.

Wish me luck.

A couple days ago I spent 2.5 hours in the water cleaning the hull. There is a lot of surface area down there and it's exhausting to hold your breath, fight to stay under and scrub away. I wear leather gloves and around each wrist is a tethered tool; a plastic scrapper and a metal putty knife. After an hour my ears filled with water and it was really uncomfortable for the remaining time in the water. After I got out and the water drained, the discomfort didn't go away. I found my swimmer's ear drops and as soon as that cold isopropyl alcohol got into my canal a mini crab about the size of a bb came right out and ran onto my lobe. I squashed him. Other ear, another crab. This is a very strange life.

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