Mind numbing heat, torrents of torrential rain preceded by sky-splitting white bolts of lightning visible by day, altitude pelican cluster bombers circle menacingly above like swarms of flies, and our tub marinating slowly in the scud bucket harbour water in which bored boat boys fish by night for Tarpon, their eyes glittering in the night.
By the highway mangoes drop uneaten by the thousand, labourers hide from the sun under bridge overpasses, trannies man the corners, old American school-buses lumber past filled with dark faces and painted in bright colours with interwoven airbrush murals of women and fantasy scenes, us boys flying by in our taxi transport. By night the workers go home and the clubbers come out, the streets lined with painted beauties and eager young men.
Outside the city it morphs seamlessly into dense green jungle filled with snakes and bugs. Off the coast old pirate island haunts decay into tourist attractions and holiday homes for the rich, and logs flushed from the rivers lurk semi submerged to ram the unwary sailor. The tides whoosh up and down up to eighteen feet causing the Gulf of Panama to swirl and eddy like a river, fish congregating around the current divisions to feast of the blended detritus of jungles and civilization. Innumerable sea washed plastic bottles cover the high tide line on otherwise pristine and uninhabited island paradise beaches.
Through it all swish four white horsemen on a worthy steed, mastering the fickle winds to navigate the coasts. They are stocked, trained, equipped, amped, half baked, and fully committed, ready to milk the best of whatever experiences the wide world can throw at them. This may not be the beginning, but surely it is a landmark step in a bold move to not only complete an exploration of the largest and remotest ocean the planet has to offer, but to make such a enjoyment of it as to offer worship at the altar of life.
KAHLIL – MULLETHAWK