Saturday, August 5, 2006

A Story For Terry Allen

I originally wrote this for my friend Terry but after I typed it I thought the rest of you might enjoy it.

Terry -

You're on a quest for the weird ones. This one might suffice. It has Germans and I know how we are both a little fixated on the Teutonics.

About 10 days ago I was in Benoa which is the great surf spot where I thought the sharks were going to eat me. On our second day there a big catamaran pulled in and anchored next to us. I met the lady as I walked down the beach. Her name is Star and she looks like an aging sorority sweetheart. Nice enough. Her husband Bruce I met moments later in the lineup. He's 46 and really ruggedly good looking. Total hunky dude. Great surfer from Santa Cruz. It’s impossible to speak in his presence as he interrupts constantly. He'll ask a question and then as you begin to speak he'll answer it. So, a little annoying but very likeable.

He tells me they are leaving for Ecuador the next day and that they have 2 German 20 somethings on board who are hippy street musicians. The Germans are hitchhiking to Ecuador and he needs the extra hands. Once on land I meet his blind long hair dachsund. His name is Mr. Rocky Balboa and Bruce talks to him all the time, and kisses him even more. It's the most ridiculous thing you've ever watched. "Oh Mr. Rocky Balboa, you want some of that hot surfer chick huh? Yes you do! Your not THAT blind." Then his wife gives him a dirty look and he says, "What? It's not me. It's Mr. Rocky Balboa. He wants that girl. Not me!"

And you think I'm immature.

We had the Germans over to Barraveigh for a bottle of wine and they groused about how insane Bruce is. "Ya, und he talks to zat hund all zee time. He can't be wiz a human. He operates on a dog level. He is not man. I tell you. He is not."

We left to come to Balboa and they left to go to Ecuador. Most boats check into a cruisers net on the SSB at 9am. They give the weather report and boats in distress can get advice and help. Sure enough, Bruce comes on. He sounds composed but you could hear the stress and the howling wind. He'd been fighting a bitch of a storm for 24 hours and everyone was exhausted, cold, hungry and sick. One of the cruisers is a meteorologist and he advised Bruce to head out to 82 and half degrees which was another 200 miles west, not really the direction he wanted to go.

The next day he comes back on the radio and sounds wiped out. He told me later that he called the Coast Guard back in LA on his sat phone and they had a ship within 100 miles ready to pull them off when he asked them to stand down. Star told me she was praying for her life with every breath. He tells the weather man he can't make any progress and is thinking about heading to Columbia. Everyone listening advises against it. One veteran cruiser advises him to turn around and come back to Panama. Colin and I realize we were probably the last to see them, so, who better to improvise a play than us. I take the role of the Germans and Colin performs Bruce.

Colin: "It looks terrible ahead. I can't decide. I don't know how much pounding we can take. The mainsail is . . . Oh Mr. Rocky Balboa, look at you. You're majestic. You little heartbreaker! I love you!"

Me: "Bruce, vat are you doing? You must stop licking zee dog's face and concentrate on zee matters at hand. Vee are in a crisis here."

Colin: "Ok. Ok. Here's what we're going to do. I've thought this through. We're going to go into Columbia for kibbles. Oh Mr. Rocky Balboa, you’re my little buddy. Yes you are! The Coast Guard has a child's harness that will fit you."

Me: "Bruce! I varn you - zis must stop! You are insane wiz zee dog love. Mr. Balboa is not human. He can't even see. Star vat can be done?"

You get the idea. This entertained us for 20 minutes and we broke into it at random throughout the day.

They fought that storm for 5 days and finally made it back here. The Germans flew out the same day.

Am I still the same insensitive bastard I've always been, or am I maybe just learning to see humor in the midst of danger?

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