Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ikin wit Jessie Janes and Snake

With two other kid boats, we organized a family ike (a/k/a hike) into the rain forest. Along the road we met “Snake” and company, our river guides. Their vehicle resembled a former demolition winner being held together by rope and chicken wire. Snake taught us that eating and drinking bacteria tainted food and river water would make our bodies stronger and healthier! He had a pet snake (hence the name) that the kids enjoyed holding. Jessie, the perpetual tour guide, engaged the kids in fauna and Hindi culture as the van chugged higher and higher into the mountains on the ever narrowing roads. Our initial walking decent was straight down a paved road that could only be used by 4x4’s in creeper gear. Angie’s knees screamed when not using any available body as a brace down the hill. The trail decent was easy and led us to the jungle stream. The fauna was lush and of ancient origin. The cool mountain stream eased our adult aches and pains and provided playful entertainment for the younger half of the tour. We climbed and jumped down waterfalls, floated along through gorges and waded in other areas. Alas, the trip up and out. Again the trail was easy but the road section was so steep we had to zig zag our way up it. How they were ever able to pave this I think must be the 8th wonder of the World. This climb brought tears to some due to the angle and necessitated heart saver breaks. Fortunately there were fruit trees with oranges and mangoes for everyone along the way. We completed the climb in an uncontrolled sweat and smiles of accomplishment on our faces.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Treasures of the Bilge and "the rock"

We had missed the morning “net” on our first Sunday back because we, like everyone else, are still sleeping. However, Kurt on Crystal was listening while on the john for “free treasures of the bilge”. This is a time when one man’s junk becomes another man’s treasure. Never in history has anyone come on the net giving a way a whole boat and all its contents to the first person who gets there! Kirk finished in a hurry and raced in the dink to the boat.

It seems an English man bought an older ferro-cement ketch on Ebay and flew to Trinidad to start working on it. The boat was too much hassle and he decided to give it away. For the $1 transaction fee, our friends on Crystal were the proud owners of a 47’ boat and all of its contents. The contents included a RIB dinghy, 15 HP Mercury, a new portable generator, more charts than one could ever imagine and a boat that needed a lot of love. Kurt, the optimist and head of the family, had the boat hauled out and was making plans to get her sailing again. Two boats needed work, two home-schooled kids a dog and a marriage are more that most people can handle at once. With a little nudging from an ex-navy captain, they decided to put boat on Ebay and were paid 10’s of thousands for their blood, sweat and tears spent cleaning her up.