… And the muddy mess beneath is exposed.
The next day we arrived at The San Blas Islands, an archipelago that had always been a place of fantasy for me since my parents had two pieces of Mola on the wall for as long as I can remember. These fairy tale islands and the Kuna people who inhabit them were truly as one- peaceful, friendly, and warm. The couple of days we spent sailing from island to island were magical.
But, In every magical fairy tale you need a wicked witch. Ours was our captain.
The day started with spats between him and his girlfriend. Nothing serious, but enough to make us migrate to the forward nets instead of relaxing under the canvas in the stern. We then found out that the captain hadn’t purchased additional food for the passage after HP2 and I had been added to the roster- we were never short, but there certainly was never any fear of leftovers from any of the meals. The captain then decided that it was too much effort to use the sails, so for the rest of the trip the constant noise of a diesel engine was our cruising companion. The worst, however, was the sleeping arrangements- HP2 and I had been given the large couch in the salon to sleep on instead of the bunks we were promised- annoying, but certainly not earth shattering. The real problem was when we found the captain, his girlfriend, and the mate using it as their afternoon napping place- using our sheets and pillows. Four nights sleeping on your own unwashed sheets in The Caribbean isn’t bad, but when three others you don’t know expect to use the same sheets it dampens ones mood somewhat.
These issues along with some other minor ones quickly caused friction between the passengers and the captain. The girlfriend and mate seemed as trapped in the situation as we were and did their best to be helpful while we all became friends with a speed that only a shared enemy can encourage.
And really, it does take quite a lot before you don’t enjoy days spent like this.
Our final morning on board started with a screaming match between the captain and his girlfriend that went on and off for hours, the only constant being the womans tears and the captains contradictory orders to both his girlfriend and the mate. Upon docking the boat the Austrian captain turned against the Israeli passengers who had bristled at him giving them orders to help instead of asking his paying customers for their assistance and said “Just what I expected from the fucking Israeli Navy!”.
Needless to say, we were all happy to leave. Though, to be honest, I can’t get too upset at the captain. Despite him we all did enjoy the trip, and better yet, most of us met up again that night to enjoy reliving our experiences with the captain.