Monday, December 28, 2009

Quick Update

Hmm, lets see now.  Completed the steam from Cartagena, Colombia to Theodore, Alabama (Mobile) in about 7 days.  Using Google Earth, I pinpointed the closest bar and found a favorable review for it, as well as phone number.  I checked out the front of the bar on Google Street View and all of this worked brilliantly.  I called the bar on Sunday evening, when we arrived.  The owner said she would alert the bartender and stay open for us.  We walked there in the dark, miles down a very dark, loney road, bounded by swamps at some points.  Google, The Prophet, did not let us down.  It did not know that the bar had been sold back in September and that the former Julies was now The Brier Patch, but everything else was spot-on, including the review. 

Southern hospitality?  Look it up in the dictionary and you should find a description of The Brier Patch, on Daulphin Island Parkway.  It started when they said they would stay open as late as WE wanted, on a Sunday night.  When the bartender heard we walked, she asked why we didn't call for a ride and said one of the customers would've drove over and loaded us in a pickup-the two old guys at the end of the bar both nodded.  She bought us shots, gave us free snacks, even going out to car for a couple bags of pretzels she had bought for home.  At the end of the night she promised to make us a pot of gumbo, ask some girlfriends to come up the next night and told us we could drive her car back to the ship, instead of walking.  We declined and most of us left, walkng.  One poor sod ended up sleeping in her car and she drove the rest home after closing the bar at around 4:30 in the morning.  True to her word, she had gumbo waiting for us the next night.

The last night, when we again showed up hungry, she called up a friend who showed up a while later with a giant tub of BBQ'd ribs.  You just don't get that kind of friendly, everywhere.  We won't soon forget the Brier Patch.

Anyway, we sailed and began deploying for the next job.  Christmas was a pretty good time, despite being stuck onboard and at sea.  I dressed up as Trailer-Trash Santa, smoking and drinking and gettin some skin from my homies.  I guess I'll have to attach an image to this post, along with our crew Christmas card.  I gave out presents and afterward we played bingo (party-time, I know).  We gave away a few hundred bucks in cash and prizes including a play station, Wii and some computer gear. 

Santa didn't win squat.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

To the U.S.

In just a couple of days, I should be leaving Colombia behind, for some time to come.  I should be heading back to the US, for the first time in, oh, 3 1/2 years, I think.  Wow.  Working in the US for a while will be nice:)

The weather and sea state here is crap.  We were up to 8 meter (~25 foot) seas and 50-60 mph winds.  It will be good to find calmer waters if we can.  Possible port calls are Grand Cayman, Freeport and Galveston, as we make our way North.

Just started a book called Blood River, by Tim Butcher.  It details his quest to follow in the footsteps of fellow Daily Telegraph reporter, Henry Morton Stanley, crossing the Congo.  His journey across one of the most violent, lawless, remote and fractured countries in the world is nothing short of insane.  Over 2,000 miles of fetid, disease-ridden, impenetrable jungle, populated by brutal military rebels, cannibalistic tribes and well, pretty much by only people and things that want to or would kill him.  No roads, no law, no infrastructure and he tackles it alone, with a few grand in his show and an old motorcycle.  As I said, insanity. I'm only part way into the book, he is only just about to start on the journey and I am mesmerized by this guy.

Food blows.  The cook should be fucking shot.  I had pork loin that I COULD NOT CUT WITH A STEAK KNIFE, last night.  Well, obviously I did not "have" it, I just put it on my plate and then tried to cut it.  I actually had some white rice and two pieces of toast.  Fuck me, the pounds are just melting off but I've got a permanent, gnawing pain in my gut.  Starving to death must be extremely unpleasant :(  And on that note, it is time to shut down and head for what passes on here as "dinner".  Later people.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

still alive and kicking

I'm still out here and haven't given up entirely on the blog and writing in general.  Today, I posted a product review on my other site.  Its hunter-specific and if you can't appreciate talk of anal cavities and entrails, well, you might want to skip it.  The Butt-Out (TM) is a wonderful thing, but it's not for everyone, just hunters and people who like butt jokes.

I'm back down in Colombia.  It's hot (91), sunny, windy and the seas are rough.  Work is a bitch and I'm struggling.  The lack of sleep during travel and now onboard, is making me a bastard to live and work with, but such is the nature of the job and myself.  Hopefully, things will get ironed out in the very near future and I can look forward to steaming back up to the States for the holidays.  Freeport is high on my list of places to be in 2 weeks.

I hear of a blizzard back home and wish with all my heart I was there for it.  I LOVE extreme winter weather.  LOVE.

Hope you all are safe, happy and healthy and for those of you in the Upper Midwest, warm and cozy.