I will endeavour to give you a more personal and introspective view of life aboard the Natural Mystic, and I’ll try to come unstuck from dry facts and linear narrative.
Back in Latin America, land of sweaty tropical jungles, tall mountains, stark deserts, an ethnic mish-mash of people dark and fair, biodiversity such that it could never be taxonified, elements of danger and disease paired with natural beauty and obscene architecture, derelict hotels and derelict paupers, rubbish and corruption, parties and dirty money, stunning women and macho men. All in all the effect is exhilaration, the perfect cocktail to assuage the itchy feet and short attention spans of young men such as myself. The effect is a deep connection with a place so wholly unlike my roots that it has probably changed my outlook forever.
So far Panama is paying off in spades with regards to indulging new things with every passing day. There’s new waves to surf, new species of sea creature and jungle dwellers, new foods to titillate the taste buds, new people to meet from every corner of the earth, new words to learn in foreign languages, and new jokes to giggle at.
Humour is one thing returning to my life aboard the Natty M, helped in part by my fellow fruitcakes, especially the Dizmiester, and our relaxed atmosphere as far removed from a service environment as humanly possible. To illustrate I recall today in the surf in under thirty seconds from zero conversation we were babbling about monkeys with cement boxing gloves in Russia (which don’t exist, I sincerely hope).
Currently the most pressing issue in my life is the tender chafe on my comely inner-thigh from excessive surf related activity in cheap Brazilian boardshorts (sorry, no photo). Now I have a cowboy’s walk to match my cowboy hat. I look at my life and surmise that if that is the foremost concern in my mind at any one time, life must be running pretty smoothly. Our biggest challenge in life is maintaining a cohesive social group in blurry roles, constant contact, and limited space. Cabin fever is our worst enemy. The best cure is to take good care of your own body and mind so internal stuff does not get projected, and be considerate.
I hope that my friends all read these blogs and then maybe when I finally hang up the towel on loopy adventures across the globe I will not be a foreigner in the places I call home. The longer I stay and the further I go, the more distant that rugged green land in the south Pacific becomes. Having been absent for a full governmental term I now feel ineligible to vote. Who am I to dictate the direction of a country in which I pay no tax, and use no services? Such is the life of the non-resident citizen.
Life on boats is a strange kind of limbo. The time is usually unknown, the day of the week becomes long lost along with the date. Recounting which day contained which activities is a futile pastime. Yet every day still begins with optimistic enthusiasm. Each day greeted with a grin. I am in my element, where the goal is to push physical limits in the remote corners of the earth. And with our team of frothers we undertake recreation with diligent professionalism.
Soon we will leave the tranquil berths of Shelter Bay for fresh pastures, and then later return to scalp a fresh Ocean altogether. Bienvenido el Oceano Pacifico.
Bring it on…
Sometime in May, couldn’t tell you exactly, maybe a Sunday.