Every once in a while life throws you a character/sense-of-humor building exercise....

My birthday was the 27th of April. I turned 28.

No, I didn't feel old. I did, however, feel like I was dying... and the day just got worse.

For the week leading up to my birthday I surfed 4 hours a day and spent the rest of the time not sleeping.

Additionally, I ate about 1/3rd the calories I burned... despite nightly burgers and buffalo wings at GRIF's. Having a disgruntled 90 pound Canadian Nutritionist stock the boat for the week was a mistake. Notably lacking were candy, cookies, greasiness, and other legitimate calorie sources.

We did, however, have a shitload of beets and a smattering of utterly inedibles.

From this deficit, I got sick as hell for three days and it started peaking the night before my birthday. The worst fever of my life took over.

I didn't sleep a wink and pissed a gallon throughout the night. Getting out of my sweat-soaked blankets prompted a 15 minute spell of the chills so I peed in a gallon milk jug. Filled it.

At dawn on my birthday I had an appointment to meet "El Pirata" the craziest unlicensed taxi driver in Nicaragua. I had to get to the airport to pick up a crewmember.

He's called "Pirata!" by all the other taxi drivers because he is unlicensed and untaxed.

Pirata is 35 but looks about 25... drives a beat-to-shit nissan sedan with 298,000 miles on it... whistles or utters profanity at every "culo" we pass on the street... fat, skinny, young, old? he wants em' all... smokes like a chimney... drinks and drives whenever possible...

I opted for El Pirata's services because he charges 1/3 the going rate for the 5 hour round trip to MANAGUA AIRPORT... and his priceless ridiculousness came gratis.

Swimming to shore for our 7 am rendezvous, I couldn't swallow and the rest of me felt like it'd gotten shit kicked. I couldn't move my neck. Is this malaria? Spinal meningitis?

I need to get to La Pharmacia and get some NUKEY Pastillas.

Taking off his shades, Pirata revealed eyes almost as bloodshot as my own. Hammed.

I'm hoping to get some sleep but we pick up two hitchhikers and the questions start.... and the road is bone-shatteringly shitty... and the suspension is shot... and braking is all or nothing in Pirata's car... and naturally, though we've no rush, we have to drive as fast as fucking possible at all times... so I'm awake.... wide awake.

Maestra is loving it.

We ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere... Pirata offered complimentary smokes all around for the hassle and took off to beg at the next roadside shanty... ten minutes later he's back with a Coke bottle full of gas.

The car won't start so he pops the hood. Cig in hand, he casually removes the fuel line from the carburetor, sucks up a mouthful of gas and spits it in and all over the general vicinity of where it's supposed to go... takes a drag on his cig... sucks and spits another mouthful.


The car fires right up and we're back underway.

We have to stop to pick up a tire being repaired in RIVAS and it occurs to me that we've been driving on the donut thus far. It also occurs to me that all the tires are bald as baby balls.

We make it to the airport damn early but I can't sleep because Pirata won't stop talking... and keeps fiddling with the stereo... trying to produce something other than deafening static.

It is 11 am.

SNOOTCH missed a connection due to storms in Texas and his new arrival time is 8:05 pm. I can't afford to pay Pirata so I convince him we'll have "the best day ever" if we hang out in MANAGUA until 8:05 pm... 9 hours to kill.

We go for lunch and end up at the most expensive restaurant in MANAGUA. I spend $40... I can generally live for a week on $40.

At the restaurant the dog keeps weasling out of the cracked windows so we have to close them almost entirely. When we're done eating, she's almost dead. Welcome to the club, sweetie.

Hosing the steamy dog off behind a bank, the cops show up and search the car and us for the first time of the day.

After lunch I cry out for sleep so we go looking for a shady park. We end up at the lakeside where a crazy, fat dominatrix prostitute won't stop touching my hair.

As soon as she goes away and I doze off under a tree, the cops show up and search us for the second time of the day. Then they make us leave.

We drive to another park and I nab an hour of sleep. For about five minutes afterwards I feel functionally human.

Pirata is bored so I suggest we go to a movie. After an hour of chaotic driving through trash strewn streets, refugee tent cities, strip mall development, mansion-covered stupidity, and the like we end up at a very disgusting mall.

Across the street folks are living under old vinyl Coke and beer signs but here the oppressors are living it up gringo style. It makes me sicker than before.

Pirata has never seen an escalator before and he is scared. He hesitates, stumbles getting on and faceplantsgetting off. This was the highlight of my day.

Naturally, I pay for the movie tickets. The movie theater is frigid inside. All I've got is a t-shirt and damp swimsuit. I shiver and get sicker as we watch vampires and werewolfs do blurry battle... the movie is a horseshit pirated version.

Pirata had never been to a movie theater before. He loved it. For the rest of the day, he frequently reminds me I missed the "incredible sex scene" when I embarked on a fruitless search for a hot beverage.

Now it's about 6pm so we head back to the airport. The plane is delayed again... now 9:30 pm. I convince Pirata to wait.. and I pass out in the passenger seat despite Pirata's booming music, until the police show up and search us for the third time of the day.

I check the board again and the flight has been delayed another hour... 10:30 pm. Pirata is now hitting on a female cop who apparently came to search the car. I neglect to tell him about the delay and pass out again.

At 9:45 pm I check on the flight status again. It has been delayed until 11:55 pm. I tell Pirata. He is less than stoked and demands to leave.

I've already spent $60 entertaining Pirata and there's no way I can afford to pay him $80 in cab fare on top of that. I have to convince him to stay for the next two hours.

What do you want to do, Pirata?
Una mujere.
En serio.
OK. Vamanos.

So, at 10pm, I pay our $5 parking fees and we go off trolling for hookers in MANAGUA. In the sketchiest part of town yet encountered, we find a gordita streetwalker Pirata likes.

How much will it cost, Pirata?
I thought the going rate was $10.
No, $20.
(I hand him my second to last $20)
Where are you going to do the deed?
In the car.
Fuck that. I'm staying here. The dog and I are not leaving the car. Take her to the "hotel" across the street.
Are you sure you don't want a woman too.
Yeah. I'm sure. Wash your hands, jefe.

Pirata disappears and I lock the doors. Pass out. 40 minutes later he's back. He whistles along with the radio during our return to the airport.

We get SNOOTCHER at 12:15 and I fail to sleep on the drive back to GIANT'S FOOT. After almost hitting a horse, stopping to get Pirata some beers, and assorted other nauseating disconcertion, we arrive at 3:30 am.

We pass out in the hammocks in front of Dale Dagger's. Snootch offered me his sleeping bag, which was the greatest birthday present I have ever received.

At sunrise, 5:30 am, we're awakened by roosters, parrots, rich old surfers strolling the beach with fancy coffee mugs and other assorted activity. B.C. shows up and describes the amazing day he'd had the before and we all swim back to the boat.

Apparently we sailed back to San Juan... I can barely recollect. The antibioticos made me super-sun-sensitive and I burned my nose off.

And that was the worst birthday ever. Fortunately, now I'm better.

Time to go kiting/sailing/surfing... back NORTH to PIE DE GIGANTE.



Like Al Green, I'm so tired of being alone but instead of exercising good sense and recruiting a beautiful woman (or two) to "crew" for me, I've recruited a few men equally or more stinky than myself.

Equally, senseless, I recruited not 1...
...nor 2....
...nay 3...

...but 4.

4 Stinky Dudes + 1 Max + 1 Maesta
6 Filthy Beasts Coinhabiting a 27 Foot Sailboat.


And yet, it feels less crowded than it did when Ol' Macky was aboard... because none of the current crew saw s(k)notty logs 8-10 hours a day...nor sit staring stupidly the remainder of the day... and they can all be trusted not to chump out when fair weather turns foul.

Who are they? Profiles will follow as time allows. Here's a group photo.

They're all learning to kite... and a few of them are teaching me how to really surf.

As long as we all don't contract P.S. from B.C. the A.D. it'll be one hell of an adventure.

The inside jokes already flow.

Gotta go.




 1 snapped surfboard.
2 broken motors.
3 nights scrumbling on the beach.
4 friends' shit scattered about the boat.
5 times caught hopelessly inside.
6 ounce tumblers of Flor De Cana.
7 meter kite sessions.
8 different surfspots.
9 rides of my life.
10 second rides in the washing machine.
11 new friends.
12 months from now I'll be God know's where...
...right now, Foot of the Giant, Nicaragua.



I spent a month in Italy but the best Italian food I've had is at Pizzaria San Juan in San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.  I've eaten there 9 times and have yet to take a bad bite.  Big, dank pizzas are $5-7.
Two good friends are en route at the end of the month.  We're going to live it up along the coast of Costa Rica.  Yep.
Right now, a 7-10 foot swell is en route.  It should be around through the weekend.  I can feel the energy building. STOKE.
I'm going surfing with a So Cal beast and a few ladies for the week.  We're heading north to here:
There looks to be kiting there as well.  Hmmm... Ha Ha Ha!
The polite tourists ask to take my picture.  The rude ones just take it.
I've never gotten hit on by more gay men... like 3 a day.  Quite flattering.
My friend ALFREDO, a PERUVIAN MADMAN, gifted me a old 9 foot longboard.  It's been cracked in half but I've no doubt it's the sickest board on the planet.
It's bright yellow... BANANA BOARD.
GET THIS: Alfredo BICYCLED from PERU to here with the board. 
On a prior surf trip, he biked from Lima to Ushuai... the furthest south city in PATAGONIAN CHILE.
He ran out of money here so he's been teaching surfing here for two years.  He's an amazing teacher.
He calls me HERMANO and I love it.
Gotta go stockpile food for the week.
Get back to work.




Well, I'm broke and no one is donating and daily charters are an all-consumingly HUGE pain in the ass.

SO!!!! Here's the plan...

Nicaragua is incredible... as is Costa Rica...

as is sailing...

and kiting...

and surfing...

and fishing...

and sipping frosty beers on the beach.

The surf season is here.
The wind is good too.
I'm not nearly as crazy as I come off in print.
And my dog is really cute.

So, any of y'all interested in CREWING for between two weeks and a month should get in touch.

Fly into Managua, Nicaragua and I'll meet you at the airport... flights MSP to MGA are only $350!

As we progress south, we'll stop at every sick surf break in southern Nicaragua and throughout Costa Rica.

Don't know how to surf? I can teach you.

You pay for food and gas for our joint surf trip.

Accommodations and entertainment are on me.

Expect to spend about $25 daily... cheap.

I'll sleep on deck or the beach so a couple could have the luxurious cabin all to themselves.

I've got room for up to 3 of y'all.

 Getting back to Managua from Southern Costa Rica is a cakewalk.

Make contact before you book a ticket. I'll be checking email daily.

Don't be shy.  Live a lot.  Spend a little.

Yer Friend,




I've got too many stories in the bank so they're coming out at random.

I avoided El Salvador because it was too expensive to check in and out of the country.

Sailing around it, however, I met two SILLY SALVADORAN SHITS...let me explain.

It was mid-day and hot as hell... on days like that I feel like a long-since-fried chicken tender under a truckstop heatlamp.

As such, I try too keep out of the sun and don't pay the most attention to where I'm going... the story of my life.

Anyway, I was down below rereading this...

... when my 6th sense called "SHENANIGANS!"

I jumped outside and caught sight of two Salvadoran fishermen engaged in monkey business.

About 50 feet ahead, one was manning their panga's outboard while the other FRANTICALLY tossed a long floating fishing net directly in my path.


Immediately they came off sheepishly embarrassed so I knew they were non-violent.

Quoth my inner Walter, "FUCKING AMATEURS, DUDE."

I tossed the autopilot aside and cranked hard on the tiller, veering 90 degrees and coming to a stop alongside their panga... my sails flapping in irons.

They wore the expressions of 4th grade boys shortly after being caught pissing in the sink.

A conversation ensued...


That has been my only experience with "PIRATAS" thus far.

The worst crooks I've encountered are young female store clerks (especially at Mexican Supermarkets) who intentionally short your change substantially.

They'll give you the coins and small bills but forget the one "fatty" bill you had coming.

Thrice, I've had it done to me... caught em' every time. Their bad acting alone makes it worth notifying the management.

"Screw the GRINGOS that don't speak, LADRONITA." is my closing line.

Fucking Amateurs, Dude.



Hey All,

A group is lobbying to ban snowkiting from US Public Lands. This would essentially kill the fledgling (and ridiculously fun) sport of backcountry snowkiting in the USA.

The anti-kiting group is concerned about the harmful effects of kiting on wintering wildlife... a valid concern... to a point.

Anyone who backcountry snowkites knows there aren't too many critters lounging around on the windswept plains and mountainsides the snowkiter inhabits. Snowkiters are generally conscientous types as well... proper ettiquete is to avoid herds of elk, buffalo, deer, and such that may be present.

Snowkiting is much less invasive than SKI RESORTS and SNOWMACHINES... and even less invasive than snowshoeing and backcountry XC skiing... because kiters never (intentionally) go into the woods.

Sign the petition if you feel so inclined.



Propositional Breakfast

This morning at breakfast in the Mercado Municipal, I got hit on by a guy cop. He was straight outta the Village People.

I was quite flattered... but declined the invite.

His lover, the restaurant owner, gave me $.50 off on breakfast... a pretty big discount considering it was meant to cost $2.50.

Spanish is a fun language!

I'm going surfing.



The Gulf of Tehuantepec was a major letdown but I did score a free traveller bottle of Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum... and a decent story... while there.

After sailing solo 1200 miles from La Paz, Baja I was ready for a rest and some kiting... but it wasn't meant to be.

My plan had been to enter some ginormous lagoons for protection from the 50-60 knot winds commonly found here... NUKER!

Google maps showed a lot of water at the lagoon entrance. All the nautical charts I'd seen showed 3 fathoms (18 feet) of depth there. I had doubts, however, because good old Google Earth showed this at the lagoon mouth...

Looks pretty sandy, to me... and sure enough it was.

Arriving at the entrance, I anchored offshore and waited for high tide. Even then, a six foot wall of sand stood between me and the lagoons. Game over.

As such, I backtracked 25 miles (aka 5 hours...which sucks) to Salina Cruz. Maybe I could dock there and take a bus/truck/moped/tank/donkeycart to those remote lagoons.

Salina Cruz is a nasty industrial port... it looks like one ginormous oil refinery. Dodging giant container ships I radioed the controller. After a stressful hour I got clearance to enter and passed through enormous jetties where a guard with binoculars gave me a good look and radioed in whatever there was to notice.

A few SUVs full of additional guards followed me along the wharf as I entered. While preparing my docking lines I chucked my "penny bag" over the side... a Crown Royal sack with a foot of heavy chain tied to it.

It sank like a stone.

What can't you do with a Crown Bag?

Apparently Jerry Rice is a fan.

Well appointed.

And so forth...

I was greeted by four military gents with machine guns and a very annoyed Port Captain wearing one hell of a fancy uniform.

There are no "pleasure craft facilities" in Salina Cruz so I had to tie up to a 10 foot tall concrete wall.

I filled out all their forms while squatting in the middle of a semi-circle of well-armed young men.

I suggested that I wanted to leave immediately... I could already tell I didn't want to spend any time here... they insisted I spend the night.

The wake from a tug slammed the mast into the wall, so they allowed me to tie up to the Port Captain's son's "YACHT". It was a shitty 30 foot sportfisher in permanent repair mode.

All the shrimper fleet had to get a good look at Sin Fin as I tidied up.

The water was utterly disgusting... and, naturally, the dog fell in. Par for the course.

As I was giving her a bath with my last drinking water, the Port Captain's son arrived to see just who'd tied up to his "yacht". He proved a character.

He showed up driving a spotlessly clean silver 2002 Dodge Pickup.

The other side of the truck was completely smashed to shit.

I'd call him late-30s... moderately obese... overgelled, spiky hair... knockoff Ray Bans... old man jeans... a white T-shirt featuring a topless, apparently hung over Homer Simpson with a TV REMOTE holstered in the elastic band of his underpants... to coin a term, I'd now call him a "GIT".


After the requisit questioning he realized my boat wasn't going to hurt his any worse than it already was.

After a tour of his "yacht" I complimented it and his truck: IN LIKE FLINT.

He, naturally, offered me a tour of the city which I winkingly accepted... I needed enough gas, water, and food to get the hell out of Salina Cruz... and a taxi ride wasn't in the budget.

Rolling around town, we listened to some pretty bad music... and then, my amigo's FAVORITE SONG came up on the CD... some old country western tune.

He understood none of the words so I offered a loose summary of the song's meaning.
So stoked, he was, that at the end of our tour (and errands) he insisted I translate the song into Spanish... he offered a nub of pencil and the back of an old envelope... I wrote against the side of the truck.

After each line of the song, he would pause the CD until I'd completed scrawling and given the nod to proceed. Twenty annoying minutes later, a pretty piss poor, third grade level rendering of the song had been completed.

He ceremoniously started the song over again and read along as we listened. A tear or two streaked out from below those Fay Bans... he made no attempt to wipe them away.
Satisfied, he rummaged in the center console for a few seconds and pulled out a traveller of Appleton Estate.

I offered to share it with him then and there. He told me to save it until I needed it... and need it, I eventually did.

The song?

Ev'ryone considered him the coward of the county.
He'd never stood one single time to prove the county wrong.
His mama called him Tommy, the folks just called him yellow,
But something always told me they were reading Tommy wrong.

He was only ten years old when his daddy died in prison.
I took care of Tommy 'cause he was my brother's son.
I still recall the final words my brother said to Tommy:
"Son, my life is over, but yours has just begun.

Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
Now it don't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek.
I hope you're old enough to understand:
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man."

There's someone for ev'ryone and Tommy's love was Becky.
In her arms he didn't have to prove he was a man.
One day while he was workin' the Gatlin boys came callin'.
They took turns at Becky.... n' there were three of them!

Tommy opened up the door and saw his Becky cryin'.
The torn dress, the shattered look was more than he could stand.
He reached above the fireplace took down his daddy's picture.
As his tears fell on his daddy's face, I heard these words again:

"Promise me, son, not to do the things I've done.
Walk away from trouble if you can.
Now it don't mean you're weak if you turn the other cheek.
I hope you're old enough to understand:
Son, you don't have to fight to be a man."

The Gatlin boys just laughed at him when he walked into the barroom.
One of them got up met him halfway 'cross the floor.
Tommy turned around they said, "Hey look! ol' yellow's leavin'."
But you coulda heard a pin drop when Tommy stopped and locked
the door.

Twenty years of crawlin' was bottled up inside him.
He wasn't holdin' nothin' back; he let 'em have it all.
When Tommy left the barroom not a Gatlin boy was standin'.
He said, "This one's for Becky," as he watched the last one fall.
And I heard him say,

"I promised you, Dad, not to do the things you've done.
I've walked away from trouble when I can.
Now please don't think I'm weak, I couldn't turn the other cheek,
Papa, I sure hope you understand:
Sometimes you gotta fight when you're a man."

Ev'ryone considered him the coward of the county.

Then a guy wheeled by with a cart full of dead sharks. I bid Salina Cruz goodnight and hoped to get the hell out at dawn.

Which, with the Port Captain's gracious permission, I did.




I always shoot the shit with overnight Port and Marina security guards. They always get a kick out of the fact that I worked overnight security too.

Here in San Juan Del Sur, the guards pack heat but otherwise run a pretty loose ship. The other night, passing through, the guard had four friends hanging with him.

The guard and three of his friends were young, clean-cut, friendly Nico dudes. The fourth, conspicuously out of place, was an equally friendly 45-year-old RASTA.


I accepted a cigarette, Maestra made the rounds, and we shot the shit for half an hour.

I introduced them all to the music of ANCIENT KING and MIDNITE. They were stoked.

When I finally got up to leave, RASTA got real serious, looked me in the eye, and gave the following advice...

1. Form your DREADS and NEVER cut them. NEVER cut them.

2. NEVER use shampoo or put any chemicals on your body. Condition your hair with COCO WATER. If it starts to itch, use VINEGAR to kill the problem. Then go swimming because you stink like vinegar.

WEED? Sparingly.
BEER. Sparingly.


BAKED/SMOKED FISH (never fried)

6. Do lots of PUSHUPS and PULLUPS for "FORMA".



Well... I've gotten worse advice.

I went back to the boat, hacked open a COCO, and alternated PULLUPS/PUSHUPS til' exhaustion put me to bed.

The next day I was back to my old self.




Financial woes have made the sale of my "PLAN C" home/transportation essential.

What was PLAN C?

Well, living in a VAN down by the TETONS.

So, let it be known...


*Semi-Functional 4x4*
*135,000 Miles (before the speedometer/odometer broke)*
*Semi-Street-Legal Rubber*

*Elevated Queen Bed*
*Seats for 20 with BC ski gear (and 4 dogs)*
*Custom Stereo (needs work)*

*Very Fast*
*Unique Internal Biosphere*
*Deluxe Smoke Screen Feature (just like SpyHunter!!!)*

*Responds to DUBWAGON*
*Usually Parks FREE at JHMR*
*Comes Pre-Equipped with Assorted Ski Bum Trash*



My night on the town was over by 9pm. I'm either getting older or smarter.

Additionally, TECHNO SUCKS as do agro-Nico-wannabe-circa 1999-fratboys. Last night I experienced a ten year timequake filled with intentionally misspelled "ABERCOMBIE", "HOLISTAR", "and AEROPOSTLE" nonsense.

Bad vibes and harsh utterances bounced off the gringo at makeshift discotecas on the beach... if I stayed out too late or got too drunk my ass would have kicked and/or robbed. The whole capital city converges on tiny San Juan Del Sur during Semana Santa for three days of non-stop fiesta.

. Liberally applied hair gels... stylin' knockoff sunglasses... muffintops (and much worse) in teeny bikinis... tricked out whips. It's like the muthafucking Fast and the Furious here. Apparently I've got much further to sail in escaping the U$A (pronounced Ooooooosa).

Additionally, I called it a night because MAESTRA was feasting on way too much garbage, a cost-cutting behavior normally encouraged but not while she's recovering from a stomach parasite.

Semana Santa is streetdog heaven... greasy napkins flutter down trash strewn alleyways... whole plates of food are chucked earthward with flourish by dancing drunks... spilled cocktails, caloric excess, and deafening beats have got all the pooches riled up... I had to reinstitute the leash.

On to the point of the post...

This morning I awoke to find the dog's eyes crusted shut with dried pus... and she'd developed a whooping couch. At sunrise, discotecas winding down, thousands on the beach, and hundreds already swimming in the filthy water, the pooch and I set off in search of the VETERINARIO.

Who the fuck goes swimming at dawn after partying all night? Well, for us gringos, maybe "that" friend... the consistently craziest... but here... well... 30% of the population. That, my friends, is life lived with a reckless flourish.

You want entertainment? Try to find a Fiesta-Driven Nico's Blog... my shit is boring.

So we're walking the streets... stepping over folks dozing where they dropped... old men loading donkey carts and wheelbarrows with stanky trash... dodging vehicles of all sorts going way too fast... every other parked car has folks sleeping in it... one old jeep had four chubby, greased up ABERCOMBIE fratties passed out, strangely, with their seat belts on... classic.

After half an hour of searching I asked the right person where the VETERINARIO's office is... I'd been zeroing in... and it turned out he was right next door. No sign.

So I wake the VET up at 7am on Semana Santa Sabado... the dog is that sick. He comes to the door slipping a shirt on... completes his wardrobe with a "Quiksiver" baseball cap. Not a surfer. The courtyard is full of parrots and fancy chickens. The dog is too sick to chase anything... something is very wrong.

Ten minutes later, we're back on our way. Maestra has gotten two shots, eye drops, and a hearty squirt of FRONTLINE flea and tick medicine. I've been assured that everything will be fine.

The vet didn't even expect me to pay... (do I look that broke?)... but when I insisted he threw out the figure $10.

I gladly fork it over and everyone is stoked. Strolling off to a $2 breakfast, I gigglingly recall the time I needed a tetanus shot in Argentine Patagonia... ten minutes after entering the clinic and $0 poorer I was back on my way, assuredly immune to LOCKJAW.


It's amazing how efficiently such inefficient countries can meet the health needs of the populous... especially when you consider what a BUTTFUCKING health care in the Ooooosa is.

Ridiculously expensive healthcare is a cog in the most complicated machine of societal control in world history.... as everyone knows.

I'll be posting quite a bit today... the dog needs her rest and I've got shit to say.




"Holy Week" in Nicaragua is anything but.

The dog and I went kiting for a few days about 18 miles south of San Juan Del Sur.

It was gusting 40+ for two days and the anchor(s) proved their radicalness.

I learned about 15 different ways to make pancakes, beans, and rice (all we had to eat on the boat).

Then the dog got a stomach parasite and puked all over everything.

And I developed a whole new appreciation for ECONOMISTS, MODEST MOUSE, and SURF.

More on this later... it´s Holy Week... and I haven´t danced for months.

I´ve got $15 in my pocket... and a smile on my face. Gotta go.




320 hectic, sleepless miles south of Puerto Chiapas, the dog is giving me the stink eye and I'm losing my mind:

We have to stop.

Guatemala was not an option: the entry fee alone is $125.

El Salvador has a nice marina, so they say, and entry/exit is $30. I can get in and out with some rest for about $80... not bad... not good, either.

HONDURAS: $3 to enter. $3 to leave. DING DING DING! We have a WINNER!

The only things I hate more than CITIES are LATIN AMERICAN CITIES. Fortunately I could clear customs in the tiny "tourist" town of AMAPALA on ISLA EL TIGRE.

Never heard of it? That's because AMAPALA is a tourist town for HONDURANS.

As became apparent immediately, gringos are a rare treat.

The impression of a pimple ready to burst stays with me when I consider Isla El Tigre.

A pimple ready to burst?

1) The whole island is a volcano.

2) Previously wartorn and impoverished, this place is, for lack of a better term, FUCKED UP.

Sailing into the Gulf of Fonseca, I was stopped, searched, and interrogated by the El Salvadora Armada.

They were stoked to shoot the shit with whitey and really liked MAESTRA.

Who wouldn't?

My dog is an ALL-STAR in international relations. She speaks every language. DIPLOMATIC.

As I lower the anchor off the Amapala MUELLE I hear a succession of gunshots. Five of em'. This enhances my apprehension of entering Honduras, but hey, I'm already here.

As I find out later, folks here just shoot the sky for dramatic effect. It happens all the time.

I haven't seen another gringo boat since leaving Huatulco, 500 miles NE. The only boats here are wooden canoes and gigantic pangas, seriously overloaded with passengers or supplies.

They fit 40 people into these boats... or TONS of COCA-COLA.

The waterfront malecon throws back to Spanish Colonialism. The stone muelle (pier) has been there for hundreds of years.

News of a YATE has spread and folks are congregating. I feel all eyes on me as I'm farting around with the sail cover... prolonging the inevitable.

The dog can't take my childishness and takes the plunge. The fearless little Mexicana has to poop... and start collecting novios.

I jump in after her, paddling a surfboard ashore. The current drops us at the private police dock. We're greeted by two cops with assault rifles and a dozen young boys with homemade slingshots.

The cops are initially displeased. The kids are stoked I speak spanish and fight over who gets to carry my surfboard. They ding it all to hell.

The port captain arrives riding bitch on a dirtbike. He's in a tizzy because I haven't IMMEDIATELY checked in with him.

90 minutes and four offices later, I'm officially allowed to stoll around AMAPALA. All the officials were charmingly incompetent and smiley. Unfortunately, I didn't have the required $6 for them to process my exit papers simultaneously.

A crowd has gathered to see "EL VELERO". I should have worn my captain's hat for dramatic effect. All the world's a stage, right?

Several cuties are giving me the good eye. Everyone has to fondle the surfboard and ask me the same questions repeatedly.

claro. fue baratisimo.
empiezo seis meses antes en el estado de oregon. norte de california en los estados unidos.
mi intento es chile. pero es lejos. ahorita, aqui.
maesta. una simpatica mexicana. de la paz, bcs.
son caro los mujeres, no? no tengo la plata. tambien, es velerito. no es yate. es como acampando en el mar.

Most men then crack a joke about how I probably fuck my dog. It breaks the ice. Sex and fart jokes always do.

No sooner have I stepped off the dock than I'm waved into a bar where, whaddya know, everyone is my best friend and wants to buy me a beer. Their wish is my command.

Their ultimate intent become apparent.

Every man I meet, except the Port Captain and the wise taxi driver "Eddie" is intent on getting me laid while I'm here.

The most charismatic and scheisty of the town drunks, looks like 2pac and is named Francisco. He's intent on pairing me up with his 15 year old sister.

500 Lempira, for all night, all access he says again and again and again, shamelessly.

500 Lempira is approximately 26 dollars.

I'd had offers for prostitution all through Mexico but never near as blatantly.

I prefer to remain diseaseless and decline continually. The shifting subject always returns to SEXO and FIESTA.

I only want to pay MIGRATION and get my exit paperwork so leaving ASAP is an option. Unfortunately, I have no money and there is no bank. Only the Coca Cola Deposito has credit card capabilities.

Francisco escorts me down the waterfront to barter some LEMPIRA (Honduran currency) but the Deposito's machine hasn't worked in years.

The Deposito is a trip... an ancient colonial warehouse packed to the gills with Coke products.

Francisco offers me dinner and I accept; I'm starving. We have fried bananas and pickled chicken feet.

Walking back to the waterfront Francisco insists I visit his family so we take a cab to the fringes of town. He pretends we're going to eat more but I know the truth:

He wants to introduce me to his sister.

The house is pitiful... a filthy shanty. Francisco looks my age and has 11 children of his own. Several have horrible deformities.

His wife gives him shit for drinking up all the money again.

His sister shows up. 15. A baby on each hip.

I decline more food, arm wrestle his legless son (losingly), thank them for their hospitality, and stroll back to the waterfront.

This sort of thing would have shocked me a few months ago. I'm suprisingly indifferent.

Light waning, I hitch a ride back to SINNY with this guy...

...and sleep off a beer buzz.

The next morning I need to go to San Lorenzo to visit a bank. It is a 30 minute panga ride and an hour in the bus.

Folks in AMAPALA are friendly. SAN LORENZO, a shitty port city, ugly and predominately hostile. It's 8am and many young folks lounging around have to ridicule the gringo. I just smile and stroll on by... pretending I don't understand.

The bank has six guards out front. They're all packing shotguns or assault rifles. They are very friendly and we chat it up. The dog rolls in muddy water and we all have a good laugh.

I'm headed back to AMAPALA by 9 am.

On the bus back a semi-retarded young man is obsessed with MAESTRA. I let him pet her but he is way too rough with her so I eventually have to tell him off. Getting off at a dusty crossroad he tries to steal her. WTF?!

He has to be thrown out the back door of the old schoolbus by myself, the driver, and two other Hondurans. Noone enjoys doing it although we joke about it to deal.

Back in AMAPALA, I get all my papers dealt with and decide to climb the volcano.

The summit was a major CIA/HONDURAN base during the '80s continual conflicts in the Gulf of Fonseca. US-supported Honduras was fighting Russian-supported Nicaragua and El Salvador. It was apparently a very ugly war.

I catch a ride to the "trailhead" with a taxi driver named "Erick".

He comes off as the sanest, most competent HONDURAN I have yet to meet.

As I ascend the "trail" he promises to return in three hours to pick me up.

Crazy shanties litter the trail for the first half-mile. Everyone is very friendly and curious.

I take a wrong turn and end up at a mine where guys are shoveling rocks into bags and loading them into a cart pulled by donkeys.

Another wrong turn puts me at a mid-mountain paradise farm where a friendly man (packing an M-16) offers me a coconut and directions.

Bagged water is pretty rad for . Some muppie should market it to the "light, fast, overpriced" dipshits and charge

The joy of exertion takes hold of me. The dog, now pissed, hadn't heeded my sunrise warning to properly hydrate. Soon we reach the summit.

The old base is a trip. 2500 feet above the water, I find a deserted killing factory.








The whole mountaintop is ringed with sandbag bunkers. FORTIFIED!

The dog and I run back down. I reminisce about days of perfect skiing and miss all my crazy ski bum friends.

Erick the cabbie is awaiting me. Unasked, he takes me to his house for a shower.

Apparently, I stunk.

I invite him to dinner and we go to the nicest spot in town. A whole fried fish is $2.50.

We get to talking, and Erick blows my mind.

He's 43. Fought in the war from 85-89. Was stationed atop the volcano in that base for 6 months... recalls frequent Russian bombings.

He has been all over the world working on ships of all sorts.

He is very insightful.

"The previous war is to be blamed for the shameless prostitution and alcoholism here." I agree.

"The next big war is coming and Honduras will be a bad place to be." I agree.

"It will be a war of economy, technology, and information." I agree.

"There will be much hunger. It will be very, very hard." I agree.

"The rich will get much richer and many of the poor will die." I agree.

"Where did you learn all this?" I ask. "Books," he replies.

I tell him about my trip and my motives. He gets very serious... wishes me luck... declines payment for the day's travels. We toast our Port Royal pilsners and call it a day.

I decline three offers for sex while walking to the pier. I also decline to watch the much anticipated Honduras/Mexico soccer game getting underway.

The panguero who shuttles me back to SIN FIN offers to bring me a "novia" for the "noche". I decline.

His shout of "GOODBYE, MY FRIEND!" is eerily reminiscent of my dead friend Chino.

I try to sleep... I need to sleep... but can't.

A roar of celebration explodes from the waterfront bars, down the pier and out to SIN FIN, Maestra, and me. Clearly, Honduras just scored.

Honduras 1. Mexico nada.

Later, a second, louder celebration explodes and is punctuated by a chorus of gunshots, maybe 50 in all... two three shot bursts from an AK-47 and a hearty spray from some fully automatic blend with a smattering of handgun reports.

Apparently, Honduras won.

All over town, volume knobs are cranked to the MAX. A trainwreck of sound echoes off the pier.

I give up on sleep and climb into the cockpit to watch. A hundred lights dance on the waves. The whole malecon is a blur of bodies.

The power goes out but the party continues under moonlight. OVERLOADED.

A few minutes later, all the lights come to life and the wall of sound slowly builds as stereos are restarted. Volume knobs creep skyward until prior intensity is reached...

...and the power goes out again.

Welcome to Isla El Tigre, Honduras, I've been here two days and I'm raring to go.

The moon is big and high so I start the motor and attempt to weigh the anchor. It's stuck beneath an enormous chain fouling the seabed... army navy surplus?

I wait until morning to swim it free. That's daylight work.



Journey to St. John's of the South


After two nights out, the dog and I have gone the 190 miles from Isla El Tigre, Honduras to San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua.

HIGHLIGHTS? LOWLIGHTS? It's all about the same... here they are.

Apparently in HONDURAS colony of wasps took up residence in the mast, resulting in 17 stings... 14 for me... 3 for the dog.

I killed 73 wasps during the last leg. I'll deal with the queen and her minions on the next calm day. RAID, BITCHES!

Nicaraguan fishermen are curious, some sketchily so. Dawn on day two, after a Q and A with a boatful of particularly disconcerting eyeballers, I felt compelled to prepare my "defenses".

I've got a fake handgun. A machete. Two ice tools. Not bad. But not enough.

I made napalm (gas, detergent, oj, and dissolved Styrofoam) and put together three molotov cocktails.

I intend to talk and gift my way out of any piracy... but it's nice to have options.

The next boat of fishermen proved friendlier... gifting me two delicious LOBSTERS.

The dog was curious.

Then shit got out of hand.

Yesterday I got heat stroke and almost lost it due to exhaustion.

IT IS NUKING and the swell is about 2 meters.

I'm going kiting.

I should be here for a while... check back for updates tonight and tomorrow and so forth.






If you´re looking for the western hemisphere´s slowest internet connection, you may find it on Isla Del Tigre, Honduras.

You will also, undoubtedly, find the most amateurish scammers on the planet here. Get this: I scammed them... you gotta be a sucker to get scammed by a gringo... especially one not attempting to scam anyone.

Ohh, the stories I´ve got to tell now... but apparently the internet is closing until 130 for lunch. I´m getting the stink eye from the librarianesque cross-weilding boss.

I´d write more and post some pics if these computers actually worked. It will all have to wait until my next stop.

Tonight, I´m setting sail for San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua... 200 miles S... and close to the windy Gulf of Papagallo.

Check back in 3-4 days. All is well.

Time to climb the volcano... there is apparently a recently abandoned CIA outpost at the summit. Should be interesting.

Your Friend,