Sai Baba is Dead. What a Shame.

Totally irrelevant but I just heard of the long-overdue death of that delusional, narcissistic, lying prick Sri Satya Sai “Bend Over Boy” Baba, in India at the age of 84. About 50 million people will be upset. I say grow up and start using your brains and you can save yourselves and others a lot of trouble. Otherwise I’m sure you’ll find someone else to milk you.

And I would like to add HOORAY!

Often I eat breakfast with little Ami from next door staring at me with her huge and lovely brown eyes. Three years old, she has taken a long time to get used to this strange gringo who can’t talk properly. I inquire of her what she is going to do today, she says she doesn’t know, so I ask:
Are you going to tell jokes to the President of Mexico?
Are you going to climb onto an elephant and go for a walk down the beach?
Are you going to use expensive chemicals to make a bucket of diamonds?
Are you going to use a long snake to tie a lancha to a tree?
Are you going to speak french to a frog?
Are you going to open the stomach of a cow because it ate too much grass and is sick?
Are you going to throw a fish at the Queen of England?

She squirms about and answers no to each question. It is a strain to think of new ones each day. One day I am going to guess right.
I may be getting a reputation for nonsense. I call many people “Doctor” here. This is because of chiropractors: I figure if they can call themselves doctors then anybody can. Really it is a disgrace. I declare that only doctors may eat at the Restaurante Reyna (Reyna’s kitchen) although in exceptional circumstances nurses may eat there if accompanied by a doctor. I myself have many doctorates: gutting fish, laundry-in-a-bucket, tick removal, fruit appreciation and so on. These folks have a great sense of humor and are quick to award themselves doctorates of their own, a practice of which I approve.
Further nonsense in which I delight consists of taking up arbitrary and random religious objections to things, a result of learning from the Evangelists that “dancing comes from the devil”. If offered a naranja for example, I might say “No thank you, oranges are the fruit of the devil”. Tomato ketchup I similarly condemn… in this case I think it may really be the sauce of the devil. I also enjoy telling complete lies and gross exaggerations about Los Estados Unidos. “In the USA” I might say, “Buses only drive backwards and criminals are punished by being forced to eat pastries until they explode”. Reyna calls me a liar, I tell her she makes some of the best food in the world, and that’s the truth.

I only go and haul nets about once a week now; it takes up too much time. I am keen to get to work in the morning, or these days maybe to go sailing, but between hauling nets and eating breakfast it is often 11 or beyond before I can get to it despite starting at 6am with the inevitable lancha-pushing. I am still building things for the boat: a seat, spar extensions, vinyl drybags, changes to the sails, a little tent for nights on the platform. I have to look after my shack, sweep sand, fix the Toyota and clean the salt off it, sew my dying clothes and repair chainsaws, sewing machines, motorcycles and pumps for the village. I draw the line at cars. In between all this there is a lounging when possible, preferably in the company of villagers under a shady palapa whilst swinging in a hammock in the sea breeze slurping on a bit of watermelon. I do not spend enough time in this way sadly.
We are all a bit sick of watermelons. May the harvest season end soon and return next year.

I may have mentioned that I have great trouble finding sailing partners… this puzzled me for a while until I asked the villagers why they wouldn’t come and they frankly said, frequently, “Because I am afraid”. I am amazed. These are fishermen and most can swim, and fishing is no employment for pussies. Some of the kids will come but getting parents’ permission can be a hassle. Not that anyone seems to think that necessary, it is quite common to see young boys carrying around horribly sharp machetes and the attitude is not uncaring but the lads are to learn by experience and getting maimed is a lesson they don’t forget. However I would rather have the parents’ blessing but cannot trust the kids to go get it and report to me honestly – so often here people give you the answer they think you want to hear. But few of the adults will come and then only when the sea is calm and the wind very light. Mexicans, in my experience, are afraid of the sea, snakes, spiders, bees, sharks, moths, the police, bruhas (witches), darkness, bus drivers, the devil, and sailing. They are not afraid of hard work and getting up at 4am, both of which give me the absolute willies.

Some local Medical advice.

If you value good pee, don’t walk on hot sand, for it will give you mal de orino, and who wants that?

The Secret Village of Certain Death.

This title is of course another one of my gross exaggerations, but nonetheless there is some mystery here.
When Crumpetina came to visit we sailed south along the cliffs looking for the next village along, Salinas. We saw it about 5km past the village of Barrancas but did not land and returned to Playa Zapote. However, recently I looked at my GPS and saw that Salinas is more like 15km past Barrancas. So what was the village we saw? I asked several people, all said no, there is no other settlement of any kind between Barrancas and Salinas. I said I’d sail back for another look. At this point it was revealed that there was a sort of village, kind of a private compound as I understand it, with its own helicopter and a private road leading in with armed guards watching over it. It is owned by very rich and unpleasant people thought to be narcolistas, drug runners of the worst kind, and evil befalls anyone foolish enough to go there. I have never heard a word about this place in all my time here, I wonder if nobody thought of it when I asked, or if they knew what we had seen and said nothing. If so, to protect me or to protect themselves?
My plan to go back there is shelved for the time being.

Oh so Holy.

The dreaded Semana Santa, Holy Week, commemorating a man who came back to life three days after he died, easily believable, happens all the time, has arrived. It is dreaded because a torrent of Mexican tourists arrive to despoil the beach. This is where one can come to despise Mexicans; for the complete lack of social conscience shown by so many. Throw your garbage all over the beach, drive like a maniac up and down the sand. Drive with your high beams always on. Drive with no headlights at all. Run red lights, right in front of police cars if you like. If you are a policeman, do nothing about it. Do NOT signal. Force your music upon anybody and everybody. Chow down on the last of that legally-protected species. Take any bribe you can get, offer any bribe that will help. Never stand on principle. Never speak out for what is right. Accept the unacceptable, because that takes no cahones. Never fight for your rights or for those of others. Let obvious scumbags run the show, even vote for them because they gave you a baseball cap, you cretin. Really, really, shove your disgusting moneyed ego in the faces of the poor. Go to a cockfight. Steal a dog. Block an entire lane of traffic because you want to make a turn but are in the wrong lane, and don’t signal even here. Leave pieces of wood with nails sticking out lying around, or broken glass on the beach. Sell women. Use them like chattel, even if you are a woman. Build to steal the light and the view and the breeze from your neighbors. Knock down somebody or their motorcycle, or both, then drive away. Burn your garbage if you haven’t left it all over the beach or just thrown it out of the window. Roll in diamonds and pay people peanuts. Don’t fix your broken muffler, in fact buy a big fat stainless one to increase the noise of your assmobile. Install your air-conditioner so it drips water on the people on the sidewalk below. Use the beach or a public road as a construction site. Park on the sidewalk, a pedestrian crossing, a bus stop, right in the middle of the road if you like. Steal. Endanger others. Pollute. Line-jump. Lie.

Somebody said “Feed man first, then ask of him virtue”. Well most seem well fed here, though admittedly poor. I despair for Mexico. Rarely have I met people so personable, so pleasant, but things are going downhill so quickly here as the moral climate rains and sociopaths run amock; without enforced rules and personal virtue the situation spirals towards “Every man for himself”. Mexicans despise their government and police but need them desperately to restore order and social justice, but it cannot be done for the people by the people without a will to behave well and follow valid rules on the part of the majority, and moral corruption is absolute in Mexico, it seems to pervade almost everyone. The problem for most Mexicans is not the narcolistas, it is not even the economy, it is the assholes next door. And in turn, they are the assholes next door.
And there is this great falseness, a for a person who is nice to those he must look in the eye but grotesquely inconsiderate to everyone else is not a nice person at all. Even dyed-in-the-wool psychopaths are usually perfectly pleasant towards those in their social circle, for they may have voids where their consciences should be but are still human and need the approval of their social circle. (In fact many psychopaths/sociopaths are very charming precisely because of their intense narcissism and need for the adulation of others. Sound like anyone you know?)
Oh, you think I exaggerate. Well, mark my words. It is true I am generalizing, and it is also true that Mexicans are no worse inside than anyone else, in fact I think very highly of many. It is just that in such an atmosphere of disorder, without fear of retribution the assholes and the oblivious can really get up a person’s nose. They do mine, and it is hard not to write about it.

As Gringo Jack says, the first step towards solving a problem is talking about the fact that there is a problem.

Yes, Holy Week, when we pretend to love Jesus whilst not even trying to emulate him. (Not that I believe he existed, I don’t). Jesus, that guy, he would have roared up and down a crowded beach on a quad, or in a pickup booming 120 decibels. He’d have left all his trash. It’s unbelievable, the trash. I helped put up some signs requesting they take their garbage with them but it will make no dent. I’ve bagged a bunch but it is hopeless. I am a toilet attendant for the same folks who throw it because they come to me asking nicely to use my bathroom and I cannot say no. It is a little-known fact that Mexicans poo just like people of other nations, sometimes more.
[A few days later: The worst of Holy Week is now gone. I gave a lot of people free rides, the boat has become celebrated and famous and is in a thousand holiday pictures, many with women and kids sitting aboard on the beach. I was approached by an old lady who asked me in all seriousness “How do you play the music?” Though I am not completely immune to the pleasures of so much attention and praise I got tired of it all and went alone to sea, far out from the cliffs to the south where the sea is unprotected by reefs and the swells seem enormous, huge masses of water heaving around with me flying from their crests, just wonderful. I get a little queasy at times, especially if the boat stops moving forwards; one reason I launch in such conditions is that I wish to overcome this handicap. Still the boat performs fabulously, without much wear and tear. I have not capsized in almost a month and am now switched-on to the extent that I can go out alone in a strong wind carrying the largest sail and keep everything under control.
To everybody’s amazement the anti-litter signs did seem to have some effect. A wave of unreality sweeps over us. There is still much to clean up. We are all hoping for a really high tide and a strong current.)

To my surprise the villagers report that Changa can see me returning from at least 2km out, and watches me intently until I hit the beach whereupon she goes back to sleep under a lancha. She is pregnant and weird and I must woo her with the best food I can find to keep her around, bless her
When they are not lying about under boats the dogs are stealing my socks one by one when they fall from the line. The footwear situation is becoming critical, as it is with the rest of my clothes.

I drill my drinking coconuts nowadays, it is quicker than all that machete work. The locals are fascinated by the way I use a drill to drive screws. I in turn can’t figure out how they manage to drive nails into concrete. Old Raimundo thinks I shouldn’t sail alone but he is a very cautious fellow which may be how he got to be Old Raimundo. I hobble on my thorn-spiked bare feet over to Gringo Jack’s for coffee in the morning, I can’t help it. Hot nights in my sandy, anty bed take a long time to pass, then just as I finally pass out it is time to push lanchas again. I sweep sand all day but there is always more, I should just accept, but no, no, I must fight on. . The cat will blow any day now, My well went stinky but about a thousand hauled buckets cleaned it out. An iguana keeps falling in and has to be rescued, four times now, when will it learn? I keep building a revenge fire over the stump upon which I twice wrecked my car but it is practically fireproof and will not die. The bassholes pass by and if I am on the sand I make sure to let them know that I believe they have tiny penises, and they prove me right by never stopping to answer my insults. I sew and saw and glue and varnish. Sometimes I compose odes to my ever-damp and decomposing towel. I had a sick iguana in the house for a while but he croaked, not in a good way. My 45th birthday came and went, oh fuck I am nearly dead.
It is, though, kind of easy being me. I am very happy here and it will break my heart to leave. It is starting to look like I will leave sometime after the end of the season of the dreaded norte gales May 3rd. I am making no commitments as to which direction I shall go, or whether by road or sea.

The Bubbles of Terror

Well the weather is certainly warming up here in little ol’ Playa Zapote, Veracruz, Mexico, but I am barefoot and shirtless and pleasant breeze cools me each afternoon on the patio of my beach shack. I pop in and out of the ocean like a seal. Breakfast this morning was a plate of fried bocarone fishlets

Bocarone before...

...and after frying. When they appear I will sometimes sing "O Bocarone" to the tune of "Figaro", such is my joy. Mostly these are just left wasted on the beach after a haul. On the left is a kind of salsa macha, dried chiles in oil, one of those things that is so very good it is hard to see why it is not eaten everywhere.

with tortillas and salsa and pico de gallo (spicy stuff made of finely divided onions, cilanthro, tomatoes, habanero peppers) along with tamales (maize and vegetable oil (usually lard but I am special) wrapped in corn husks and steamed) and tamarind water (tamarind, water, sugar, mmmmm…).

I hope you enjoyed your corn flakes this morning.

Gringo Jack’s labrador Lucky is so intelligent that he not only knows his name, he knows the names of other dogs. If I say “Go to Changa” he will look at me quizzically then go over to Changa. He was taught neither Changa’s name nor “Go to” (he has been taught “Go lie down”) so I think that is pretty smart. He makes obvious attempts to communicate verbally, a sort of strangled howl. He and other dogs have good enough eyesight to see me returning from the ocean from a half-mile out; I see them running along the beach as I approach and my first task after hauling the boat out of the waves is to give them some love for coming to greet me. Changa is pregnant, so is the cat. I just know she is going to give birth on her favorite pad, one of my sails. I am the only person who has ever been able to pet this extremely nervous cat, and the day I picked it up the villagers fell to their knees and worshiped me as a god. OK they didn’t, but I am definitely the cat whisperer of Play Zapote.

I have been sailing. I am sure that took you by surprise. Yesterday I launched with young neighbor Tomas in a full 15-knot blaster out through surf which whammed us about and thoroughly cleaned every part of us, then we hared up and down the beach in a cloud of spray, diving and reemerging under my largest Oceanic lateen sail at a ripping near-12 knots of speed. Looked pretty good from shore I’m told. Most of the locals will not go out through frankly-admitted fear of my vessel, but young Tomas climbed out on the outrigger as counterbalance and didn’t even scream. I was very impressed. The waves hurled us upwards, then we’d slide down the back and the nose and outrigger would crash clear through the next one, then we’d be out out and climbing the third. I sure screamed. Tomas was nearly washed from his perch a dozen times but maybe he thinks this is normal. I don’t believe many small-boat sailors have ever been out in anything like this. I am trying to push the limits of the boat in order to find out what they are, so that things break and I can fix them here whilst I can, or so that some fatal flaw is discovered which renders any kind of a real journey impossible, but so far the boat is simply amazing and takes a real beating, the crossbeams flexing about and the outrigger float (ama) pointing skywards or seawards independently of the main hull as volumes of hurled water that would make the creators of Titanic weep with envy bash into us at speed every few seconds. The mast thrashes and its wooden base grinds in its half-coconut cup, the ends of the spars whip, the deck bucks under me, stays are taut like piano strings, the rudders gouge great tails of spray, the sail is so hard you could bounce a cannonball off it, but NO PROBLEMS! A leetle beet of varnish rubbed off at the bows, a rope slightly chafed at the mast head, the paint worn off part of the rubrail but that’s why they call it a rubrail. Nothing to worry about. Incredible.

I did find one limit. The dreaded nortes. A bad one struck the other day, howling at about 70kmph. I’d had to leave the boat in the next village the night before after a spot of night sailing endinng witha dearth of wind so I thought, dumbly, here’s a good chance to test the boat in a real gale by attempting to sail it with the wind down the beach back to my village. I was dubious abut my prospects but thought the chances of serious damage not too great because a norte blows parallel to the beach resulting in diagonal surf, frothy but not severe. So whilst being sandblasted on the beach – I had to wear a diving mask to protect my eyes – I rigged the smallest sail, a ridiculous affair which is long and thin due to necessary geometries familiar only to proa nuts

The silly storm sail. Needs a total rethink.

which I aligned carefully parallel with the wind then slowly raised. It thrashed around up there with impressive violence so I pulled in the mainsheet to get it under control and POW! I found myself lying on the sail on the ground with the boat upside down above me. The windward mast-support bungee stick saved me from a bit of a squashing. The speed of this flipping was astonishing, pretty much instantaneous. I will not try this again until the sail is cut down and lowered to reduce it’s torque on the mast. But I will try it again. I am that stupid.

The only real damage that has occurred to the boat so far has been my own fault: some bashings during two capsizes in the surf due to failure to release the mainsheet in time (and carrying too much sail in strong winds), and minor damage to a rudder bracket trolleying the boat about on the beach. The sacrificial dowels in the rudders have broken a few times when surf landings go wrong but that is exactly what they are there for and I am unbearably smug about having devised them.

Surf landings go wrong. If I can come in directly perpendicular to the waves all goes well, surfing in very fast and very cool. This is great. But I cannot always run in straight with the waves. The oceanic lateen sail tends to fold up when running directly downwind so it is better to run at an angle. This means that if the wind is coming in perpendicular to the beach as it often is I have to come in at an angle myself, diagonal to the waves, but this diagonal business often causes things to get wildly out of control, the stern gets picked up and pushed sideways which slews me around broadside to the waves. The next comber will cream me pretty bad, worse if the wave has not yet broken and slams into me like a train. If the rudder is down it can hit the sand and bust a dowel in its support bracket. I think every sailor knows that most of the comedy happens when the boat is leaving or returning to its mooring/resting place, so I return through the surf thrilled but nervous, and hopeful that the audience on the beach is just a pack of dogs.

I often come in at such speed that when the keel hits the sand and the boat lurches to a stop I allow my momentum to carry me forward, sliding on my backside right off the deck to land on my feet in the water ahead of the boat right where I need to be to grab the bow and haul it up on the beach.

Some random pictures:

Gluing the deck sandwich using coconuts as weights.

A good half of the fish caught in any net-pull on the beach are left for the birds.

The aforementioned birds, cleaning up.

Out to sea in a lancha before dawn we haul up gillnets as the pelicans wait and hope. Such a mercurial calm on the ocean at this time of day is movingly beautiful.

Hacinto works on a crab trap, Reyna hides from the camera.

Fine beasts these burros. I find the tack used fascinating - it is all leather and cotton, a little ironmongery, very traditional and earthy and effective.

Before the ricos come.

After the ricos come. This is a public beach as are all beaches in Mexico ands this horrble destruction is illegal, but these people are wealthy and can do as they please. So let us call a spade a spade shall we? These people are scumbags.

Just so beautiful.

Two sharks caught by anchored hooks, They weigh about 60 kilos each and will fetch 100 USD or so,

I haul the boat to the beach on its mad wooden-wheeled axle.

The Bubbles of Terror.

Maybe 800 meters off the beach at the next village north, Mata de Uva, there is a discolored patch of water in the midst of which rises a gout of marble-sized bubbles and faint smell of petroleum. Some kind of natural gas vent I figure. I call them the Bubbles of Terror because a certain friend was so scared when taken to see them that he cried which I find doubly amusing because this person is not afraid of anyone, whereas I myself am terrified of people but I think I can handle a few bubbles. My friend made me promise not to take him near the bubbles when we went sailing. Anyway I was curious so I anchored over the plume and after some messing about – the boat kept veering left and right and wouldn’t sit still over the target – managed to collect about a pint of gas. That night I lit the gas, it burned very well as expected with a blue flame. The next step is to sneak out on a windless night (one can already see a flaw in my plan for my only watercraft is a sailboat) and ignite the vent. I don’t think it will burn long in a wind but on a calm night, maybe, and the village will have itself a nice little mystery.

The Search for the Camera

To my great annoyance I lost my Go-Pro HERO high definition head-mounted video camera in that ghastly capsize in the surf last week, up on the beach of the Naval Academy. There is a large bay which collects tons of flotsam towards which the current was heading at the time and I figure that there is a good chance that the camera is there, but this is a restricted military area crawling with armed security, especially uptight after the heroic part the cadets of the school played fighting the Americans the last time the latter invaded, in 1914. So I landed the boat at a blind spot midway between two guard posts which happened to be exactly where the capsized occurred, and after lowering the sail for the sake of inconspicuousness jogged off down the beach clean-shaven and dressed in black shorts and a white T-shirt, just another cadet out for a run. Didn’t find anything but it was fun. I tried again later by asking permission to enter which after some delay was granted by these highly professional, courteous, helpful and friendly people about whom I only have good things to say. They gave me an armed escort who was most keen to assist in the search especially after the offer of a generous reward. Now I must await a low tide during daylight before getting a new permiso. It helps that the sailing master is intrigued by my curious boat.

I see that my attempt to upload video was a failure, my only hope now is to go to an internet cafe to use a more advanced computer than this ancient Apple abacus. I am strongly allergic to some mysterious substance found in internet cafes and certain other establishments (strange but true), even after leaving I remain allergic to my own shoes for weeks or until they are washed completely, so this prospect pleaseth me not.

If you are lucky in the next post I shall tell you about the Secret Village of Certain Death. I’d tell you right now but I have some serious lounging around to do today and had better get started or I’ll never get it all done.

Just another morning heaving pescados to their grisly end.

It pains me that I have so far failed to upload any video of the boat in action. Either I have my hands too full to securely hold a camera, or I am using cameras whose hd video my computer cannot handle, or the camera dies in action, or I lose it in the surf, or the person I bring along to film for me is just completely hopeless at the job. My computer is now so old that its boiler needs cleaning. However maybe this works – it does not show anything on my computer but a blank screen – if so it marks a major advance in my savvyness.

Reports of my Death were Greatly Exaggerated

I lay in bed having lazily returned there after a spot of dawn boat-pushing. I heard the loud rythmic booming of somebody’s grotesque ego approaching. Then an awful crunching noise. I ran the thirty meters to the beach expecting to find one end of my boat torn off but it was much worse than that:
-A large man covered in blood lying on the sand.
-A motorcyle, smashed to bits.
-A young man and woman lying motionless in the water.
-Another young man standing over the two motionless ones, holding his head weeping, crying out at intervals “They killed themselves, they killed themselves”.
Two bassholes (also known as dickless fuckwits) complete with medallions, string vests and baseball caps on backwards, stood drunkenly by their car – still booming, huge “muffler”, coffee table bolted on the trunk. I had them turn off the “music” then call an ambulance on their cellphone. Another man was attending the big guy so I checked the two in the water. Both were breathing and unmarked except for some blood leaving the nose of the girl. Others gathered, I forbade the new arrivals to move these two, fearing spinal injuries and figuring that the two inches of water they lay in would not hurt them. We flagged down a taxi and helped the large man into it, he was badly messed up but amazingly conscious, and off they went towards Veracruz. I can’t imagine the awful journey he must have had. Incredibly, after about ten minutes the two in the water regained consciousness and staggered to their feet. The girl had a back problem and bled from both nose and ears and was confused. Both were taken away by friends.
Two motorcycles had been racing the bassholes down the beach after a three-day drinking binge. The large fellow was out for a stroll and one bike hit him at full speed. He sustained broken ribs, internal injuries, headwounds, one arm broken in three places, a broken shoulder and a broken ankle, but lived. he turned out to be a highly-placed state official so this is being taken very seriously; I have twice been interviewed by some real policemen, a forensic team came and so on. The driver of the bike escaped, vanished, which is the thing to do here in the land of accepting responsibility.
By the time the story reached Mata de Uva, the next village northwards, it was myself who had been hit, and I had died in hospital, so I had some worried visitors later which was touching.
I was an anarchist, naively believing that left to themselves people would behave reasonably, but here I see what happens when there is no threat of punishment for absolute disregard for one’s fellows. This story, death on the beach from nutcases out for kicks, is way too common, as are a thousand other troubles of daily life that simply needn’t be. It is not good for people to live with so many annoyances, impoverishments, inconveniences and dangers caused by the sociopaths amongst them. I understate things here; this place is way out of control and getting worse for most every day. Mexicans, I say it’s time to get out the big sticks! But who could be trusted to wield them, where corruption is pandemic and few have the least conception of what is just?

A capsize in the surf whilst returning from a long run to Boca del Rio. We’d had an amazing ride, 14 kilometers at 8 or 9 knots most of the way, just flying along with the boat racing diagonally up swells and leaping into the space beyond their ridges. I see why they call these Flying Proas. It was just thrilling. We again encountered the Naval academy cadets out in their sailboats and this time we joined their race and we were soundly thrashed, being unable to point upwind as well as they, nor change tack as quickly. Might do better on a longer course because our speed is greater reaching and running.
Shortly after we left them my mainsheet camcleat did not release when I tugged and we went over. Capsize recovery system 4000 failed, Gringo Jack nearly drowned in his waterproofs, we lost sunglasses, knife, clothing and my Go-Pro HD video head camera, most upsetting. Hole in the sail, damage to one tiller and a snapped windward mast-support stick. More work to do. I was able to right the boat only after letting the sail go completely to get pounded in the surf. It is all a bit discouraging. I jury-rigged the boat and we arrived home well after dark, cold and tired.
This morning I launched in the dark (for I am getting quite comfortable sailing about in the blackness even on wild seas) in order to go looking for the camera on the Navy’s beach, a restricted area but hell I want my camera back. It is waterproof but it sank, apparently. No luck but I did meet the Navy cadets and Captain who were most friendly and all struck me as first-class people of whom their country should be proud.

Back into my workshop. It is hot as hell here now but a sailor’s gotta do what a sailor’s gotta do.