Saturday, November 29, 2008

Black Saturday, Flying Cell Phones, and More, oh My!

Today was one of those 5 days in one day that happen here once in awhile. This stealth pelican should have been a sign, an omen. But I would have misread it, it was a very good day, mostly...
First and foremost, selfishly speaking, it was a GREAT day at the cart! My little world is a microcosm of the economy at large and has been following the trends pretty accurately. Three days of nada, a good day, two days of oh man, one good day. Today was a good, a very good day. Not only were some people spending some money, but even better and a big part of why I do what I do, we had FUN while they spent. I have this rule I call the 97.3 rule. 97.3 percent of people are awesome: interesting, fun. People I can learn from and enjoy. And the rest are...the rest. That percentage is from working with the public most of my life in either emergency mental health, working with kids, running hotels, working in marinas, blah blah and blah. And invariably, it holds true. Most people are pretty damn lovely. So it was today.

After being done with the cart, I went to Dinghy Dock for a drink and a wind down. A couple of tourists, Mike the Gifford and Krista the new and ever so wonderful bartender. A great couple, Doug & Sheryl, here who live on their sailboat Prudence, went by in their inflatable kayaks. A beautiful sailboat was doing trials. The afternoon was a living postcard of tropical beautiful. Oh...I'm so lucky.

Mike gave me a ride home where I had BIG PLANS. Ok, one big plan. Go out to the houseboat and clean pelican poop away. Three months of pelican poop, as I just got (with help from friends) my dinghy back in the water. I went in the dinghy, no problem. I get to the houseboat and go to step aboard. This isn't rocket science, one foot on the houseboat, one on the dinghy, one hand on the deck of the houseboat. I make the move to stand on the houseboat, that little tiny bounce moment, and catch, out of the corner of my eye, an object that literally FLEW from the front pocket of my backpack...over my shoulder....over the stern deck...into the water. I immediately knew what it was. My emergency cell phone. Plunk.

Slight history. I'm known for NOT having a cell phone (ah fame). But I bought one when I was in Florida this fall, trying to co-ordinate my family for a reunion in NC while staying at my daughter's in Florida. She doesn't have a landline and was at work, usually when I wanted to use a phone. Hence, the emergency cell phone. Stupid expensive, the minutes, but whatever. It worked. To the shock of the very few people who knew I even had it. So for it to go flying, and I do mean flying, into the drink...I could only laugh.

Ok, ha ha. But...maybe I could rescue it? Plus, I wanted to check my moorings. What was I wearing? Because I was cold when I left this morning, I had on the heaviest polo type shirt possible and a terry cloth material skort thing...lucky I didn't sink immediately. The bottom turned out to be this pluff candy soft? If it was wet and still cotton candyish. Forget the cell phone, it is gone forever. But what IS that stuff? I really do NOT want to know.

I swam around a bit, checking my lines and then knew I was avoiding what was next. Getting back on one boat or another. No way the houseboat, too high. Ok, let's try the dinghy. Once, in the not so distant past, I could have planted my hands on the side and whooped over. However...times have changed and so have I. Finally, I grabbed one of the lines with one hand, had the other on the rail of the dink, slung one leg over...oops. Try again. Both hands on the rail, sling BOTH legs over. Ok, this is...closer. Embarrassing, but closer. All I have to do is get the boat. One hand goes to the deck of the houseboat. One hand clutches the rail. Grip with my toes. Heave! And in the dinghy! Hooray, I don't have to swim to shore. Another moment life. Small victories.

There were a few more moments (slipping with mucky feet down the companionway stairs, smashing my blood, no story), but finally, clothes in a bag and sarong on, back to home base.

The creator & owner of this very cool little catamaran was putting on a solar panel to run the battery for the electric motor. If anyone is interested, it's for sale. 2 grand, but I know he'll bargain and it's worth it. One of a kind, strong as the proverbial brick la. Send an email if you're interested and I'll hook you up with him. Not into electric? It will take a conventional engine as well. Buy it! Get it off my dock!

I thought the day was finished, but as I was writing this I heard a lot of laughter from out on the water and knew it was my friends who'd gone out to Culebrita and that they were coming in. It's pitch dark around my dock, so I went out with a flash light to guide them in. One by one they came onto the dock, with Lucy the Wonder Dog last to jump ashore for a much needed walk. The perfect ending to a very Culebra day.


  1. Imagine trying to get yourself aboard an inflatable dive tender in full scuba gear. We ALL look like beached whales. Sorry - that is what I was picturing as I read your tale of launching yourself onto the dinghy.

  2. No sorry necessary...I'm just real glad no one could picture it for real. T'weren't pretty.