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Old 13-02-2019, 06:23   #31
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

I went to a little bar at Culebra about a decade ago. Anyway I'm sitting next to a manly sort of guy (let's call him Tony) at the bar, nice guy, decent size with pony tail, normal bloke, normal bloke type talk. I noticed his denim shorts were abit tighter than normal and something was abit different but not different enough to put much thought in that direction . The next day I see him sail out singlehandling a decent size boat.

A week or so later we are at the Salinas marina Puerto Rico (I think that's what the place is called). I'm at the marina bar talking to a guy and I see Tony coming over standing up in his dinghy. This is where my brain was struggling to make sense of the scene, he was standing up wearing a nice blouse, female earrings and a handbag. Well it turns out he knows the guy I'm talking to as they frequent this place, he comes over grabs a beer and starts chatting, three blokes all having a beer and all chatting like blokes do EXCEPT Tony's in a full blouse, handbag etc and everyone's talking normally as if it is completely normal, which it obviously was.. Lol.

Of course I wanted to say "what's with the dress" but of course I didn't.. Lol. He was good bloke that obviously liked wearing women's clothing!

Then there's the guy I met last night that's built a small submarine in his backyard!
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Old 13-02-2019, 06:49   #32
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pirate Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

Originally Posted by Sojourner View Post
Hahahaha YASSSS y'all give me LIFE! That's some cool stories, keep 'em coming!

Update: Hans came over the next day with that chain link connector as promised, gave it to me along with a small baggie of uhhhh oregano, refused payment for either, and said that he'll be back for the beer. So far, the beer has not materialized, but something else has: an english language newspaper neatly folded on my transom every morning at 7am sharp since then

I'll keep y'all posted
Next time you see him ask him if he was in Faial, Azores back in 07..

Born To Be Wild.. Double Click on the picture.
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Old 15-02-2019, 10:11   #33
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

In the search for our Crusing Boat, took us to a marina in Brooklyn NY. Wating for the broker 1 hr late. We saw a one off Chineese Junk, on the hard covered with plants, and rain water barrels. He was studying how to grow food like the aincent Chinese, and planned to sail to the Bahamas in Nov. We are sure he's still in Brooklyn.
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Old 15-02-2019, 10:42   #34
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

Originally Posted by Ken Z View Post
This has definitely been my experience too. Most of them I've met manage to blend very crazy with completely rational in a surprising, such that you walk away after meeting them convinced for a moment that smuggling is a great career option.

One guy I met was a former SAS guy who dabbled as a mercenary for a while before getting into sailing/smuggling between gigs filming sharks. He probably wouldn't have fully opened up to just me, but I had a friend visiting on the boat who was a current special forces guy taking his annual leave aboard with me. He might have been the most intense guy I've ever met
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Old 15-02-2019, 10:52   #35
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

pulling into tiny bay in the gulf islands.. big enough for a couple of boats.
anchored safe distance from other boat.. took dogs ashore much to their relief.
While they stretched and swam I admired my yet unseen neighbour's boat,
upon my return a head popped out took a look around and disappeared below
Next morning having coffee my neighbour appeared, rowed over and said morning... I offered him coffee which he gladly accepted. over coffee destinations were discussed... he was just heading north looking for some peace from a stint in Viet Nam... ohh i thought... vet ?...( Back in the 70s we were just learning about ptsd.. ) I had a few friends who spent time in viet nam pre war it was pretty hairy then so i figured discression was a good idea.
coffee done we readied to go we were both going in the same direction so we motored north... about an hour out he disappeared below only to emerge armed... something to repel boarders he said.. long medium and short range.hmm! did I want to fire a few rounds... nah I said... think I'me gonna head east instead of north... have a safe journey... he smiled a goofy kind of smile and we parted company... I often wondered if he found "peace"?
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Old 15-02-2019, 17:57   #36
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
Well... you know... "If everyone else in the room seems kind of normal..."
After cruising for a length of time everyone else does seem normal - the standards for normalcy change. If normal means what the average person does/is then none of us who went cruising before retirement are normal by the greater society's standards. Works for me. So what does one have to do to be called crazy?

A guy here in the marina in Portland who died last year was a pilot in 'Nam, then a drug-running pilot for a Mexican cartel; he was always smoking pot in his pipe. Is that crazy? Was he less crazy after pot was legalized here? Is he crazy because he never worked a 9-5 job, much less have a "proper" career?

Or how about my pilot/sailing friend who was partially blinded in one eye as a teenager and spent his entire career as a commercial pilot by cheating the eye exams and relying on sympathetic doctors? He spent many years flying as a contractor in Afghanistan, Chad, Congo and other dodgy places - and loved it. He was also a flight safety instructor and responsible for flight safety at a major contractor. All while lacking depth perception and cheating on his eye exams. Is that crazy, or was he just pursuing his dreams any way he could?

The Caribbean is full of characters. I met an (apparently disbarred) American lawyer living on a boat in Cartagena, Colombia, living the easy life and always willing to pass his joint. He was an advisor to a "drug lord" who frequented the club, although on what matters other than yachts I do not know. His description of visiting a bario in Medellin was truly scary; walking through the neighborhood the locals were suspicious of him and needed to test him. This was done by putting two fingers in a bag of coke and then putting them under his nose: inhale and he was trusted to not be DEA - don't and he was dead. The twist was that the white powder might have been scopalamine instead, which would have knocked him out and left him to their mercy. It seems his girlfriends were often widows of gang members, one with GSW scars from her husband's sloppy murder. Crazy or just criminal? Seemed like a nice guy to me...

I met a young Swede in Madeira who had built a cigar-shaped 19ft boat and had sailed from Spain and went on to the Canaries and across to the Caribbean, in one of the roughest years for crossing. It was all very well planned, if risky and very uncomfortable (a sleeping bag on top of a plywood deck, single burner camp stove, and a bucket&chuckit head). Was he crazy? I don't think so.

I suppose to most landlubbers these are crazy people, or at least "abnormal". Thank God I am not normal...

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Old 15-02-2019, 21:06   #37
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

A few years ago I was sitting on the mooring doing some work on the OB when some activity on the beach caught my eye a person launching a wind surfer nothing overtly special there but for the month (Nov. in MA) As he goes by we exchanged a greating, and more remarkable,he's clearly shall we say "well seasoned" and I noticed him tearing through the outer harbor with gusto most of the afternoon, making a point to wave as be went by if I was on deck as he passed by. Finally around supper time he comes by and stops along side and we start having a conversation about nothing in particular and I invite him aboard. Talk flowed and he had some stories, a self professed crazy, and "former professional beach bum" used to see him all the way out toward Cuttyhunk and in Vineyard Sound a few times. Didn't see him at all last year, kinda wonder what happened to him....
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Old 15-02-2019, 22:04   #38
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

the guy in the mirror is the most interesting perdon I know and what is weird is no matter ehat I do he is always staring at me. If that isn't weird enough for you he is WAITING for me I get back to the mirror. I would love to know who tells him where I am going to be next so he is WAITING .there for me again . That guy in the mirror needs a life.
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Old 16-02-2019, 00:53   #39
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?


So each morning since our meeting in his apartment, an English language newspaper had been thrown onto my transom. Knowing Hans goes on early morning walks, it wasn't a stretch to guess where they came from...

A few days went by like this, a paper delivered to me every morning, and then he appeared one evening with his Romanian friend, with my chain link connector and a lot of joints in his pocket. Wanted no money for either, only company. All told, we drank 3 bottles of wine, 1 full liter of whisky, buckets of beer (plus all that they smoked;we don't but since 2/3 of us are from or have lived in Colorado and one Russia, it ain't a biggie to host), traded stories and ideas and they talked about how excited they were to move to Romania together and we all laughed very long into the night, one of the best I've had in a while.

His Romanian friend turned out to be the sweetest human I've met in ages.... When I told him how much I hate docking but as soon as I'm done, I hop on the dolphin seat at the bow with a beer to watch the other boats trying to fight the crosswind, he said, "Oh no no no...I understand how difficult that can be, so I try to look away so I do not put pressure on the captains trying to do their best." I mean, WHO DOES THAT?? The same kind of guy as Hans, who won't sell a gun to anyone who tells him it will be used to hurt an animal. Who invented these two??

Hans told us he's trying to get his Romanian friend in shape, helping with his discipline and nutrition. His Romanian friend told me Hans was very grumpy most mornings, but before he left on his morning walks (to walk the dogs, to deliver my paper), Hans always made sure there was a hot cup of coffee prepared by his bedside for him for when he woke up. They gazed at each other when the other spoke with more affection than most cruising couples I've met. My heart melted.

Cheers to the strangers whose strangenesses line up with your own, and cheers to these two crazy beautiful souls! They were the goddamn best.
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Old 16-02-2019, 01:36   #40
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

Of course another thing to consider is that the craziest people may be those who waste their lives keeping up with the Jones, nose to the grindstone 50 weeks a year (if they're lucky), doing everything they think is expected of them, hoping to actually start living when they retire, which many will never be able to do - and many won't live long enough or be healthy enough when the time comes. Now that is crazy.

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Old 16-02-2019, 02:06   #41
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Re: The craziest character you met while cruising?

I was once accussed of being the craziest person an English cruising family had met....and I may have deserved it !

Back in the 70's I owned this 35 foot trawler in BC that I spent summers onboard in the Gulf Islands, doing dive charters.

My favourite hidey hole was on the North bay of Thetis Island.
A skinny long cut into the Island, with barely enough room to swing behind a partial breakwater as it shalowed out immediately into eel grass full of Dungeness crab

No houses except for a marvelous one on the far point, so when no charters, I would anchor there and read.

I had a much needed 6 day break between dive charters and headed there only to find a new small floating dock put in, with no shore access.

So i tied up and started a binge read of the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Hot summer days and nights of constant reading, only taking a break at low tide to wade up the cut with a fish net and paddle to trap, flip and take as many male crabs as I could was easy in those days

I became totally emersed in Tolkien's World.

By the 5th day of solitude, poor hygiene, high cholesterol from a steady diet of crabs and gin and tonics, crab shells flung all over the dock, I was by then, in a hermit's world of my own,... that Gollum would have approved of.

Then this lovely ketch flying the Union Jack anchored on a short rode near me.

They launched their tender and the father/ daughter rowed over to ask if they could dock on the other side?

Without even being aware, I launched into the old English cadence of Tolkein's book saying something like:

"Would that it were my humble dock, you would prithee be most heartily welcome, but since I am a squatter to an unknown landlord, you may share at your own risk".

I knew I was talking funny....but I just couldn't help it!

Anyway, they came over to share a BBQ on the dock while I provided the crabs.
We spent a nice evening, before I had to clean up and leave next day for a charter pickup at Saltspring.

I ended up dating their daughter as they had moved to Vancouver and she told me that their first impression of me on the dock was crazy strange, to say the least and they debated staying.

Never did manage to win over the Father !
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