My apologies for the long silence.

Things have not been so good. The black guy mentioned at the end of the last post was not my friend at all, he was in fact a con man and he took me for a lot of money. Maybe I will tell the tale someday but right now it hurts too much; I would rather not think about it.

I am still on Isla Mujeres. I have been profoundly depressed, lonely and anxious, and at present lack the ability to continue my voyage. At least life is not stressful here… I exist as a beach bum using my only asset – the boat – to make a little cash by renting it out with myself at the tiller. I meet interesting people but they are mostly tourists and they leave, I walk the streets in the evening in the faint hope of some momentous encounter, fail, swim or wade back to bed wherever the boat is anchored. Occasionally I catch a barracuda but I release most of them. I started salsa dancing lessons this morning, this seems essential for a visit to Cuba should I eventually decide to head that way. Maybe I could live here? I don’t know… better than returning to the forest in upstate NY with winter coming on, though at least there I would have a bed.

To rent out the boat I have attached myself to SUP Isla Mujeres, an outfit consisting of two groovy guys who rent out Stand Up Paddleboards. I like David and Marcelo a lot and they have been most welcoming. At first I felt I was tempramentally unsuited to life as a beach bum but it is growing on me a little. It is low season – barely anyone on the beach – and I am unable to advertise my services for fear of legal consequences (I am here on a tourist visa for one thing) so renters are few and far between. Desesperado always gets a lot of favorable attention, he is the fastest sailboat around and the prettiest. For some reason he is able to outrun catamarans of twice his length which just shouldn’t be. Sometimes I take him out with the big sail up to blast around the windy edge of a rainstorm and try to beat his speed record but we cannot break 12.7 knots. The sailing is fantastic here – good breezes over clear blue warm water.

I will be here at least another week or two.


15 thoughts on “Aground.

  1. Hey mate, thanks for your update. Love your blog, and remember you are feeding the dreams of many an armchair adventurer back here in nine-to-five land.
    It may be cold comfort but you are by no means the first or last to be conned out there. It happens to the most seasoned/cynical amongst us. I was had in Nairobi Kenya a while back, and swore it would never happen again; next I went to Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia, and got conned again. I felt so stupid I couldn’t tell anyone for ages. The Ethiopian guy took five days to set me up; I later realised I’d been had by a Grandmaster of confidence tricksters, but that didn’t help at the time.
    Hang in there mate, and keep us posted. Something will come up. Us Aussies love a battler!
    Regards from David

  2. Don’t dwell on this. We all make mistakes. Just learn from them and move on. Rehashing the mistake over and over in your head just makes life more miserable, when you should be really be focusing on the good experiences and successes of your voyage. You’ve already done more than most wannabe sailors will ever achieve. Regards. Bob

  3. Chris, I just recently started following your fascinating journey. I’m glad you are alright, got worried by the time lag in your post. Like many, I, too, have been ripped off and disappointed by people I thought were friends, but it was him, not you, who is a bad person. I’m sure he scoped out your weaknesses and set you up. Your weakness was your trust and good nature. Gain wisdom, don’t become bitter. Write a book! Have it made into a movie. You are a good writer. I wish you fair journey. What a memory.

  4. I would like to initiate an offline exchange about recent events.

    Flip me an email when you get a chance.

    Pete Cresswell

    Confirm at FatBelly fullstop Com

  5. I have already said how I feel about the chap that conned you, offline, so no need to repeat my suggestions about a sock full of sand, and/or one way sailboat rides far out to sea.


    • Chris replied to my post here with an email.

      In turn, I sent him an email back – but it has been 3 days and no response.

      The content of my email was such that he probably would have replied.

      Is Chris still online?

  6. Really sorry to hear that Chris. I’ve done it.. it’s one of those most profound of sinking feelings that just happens, re-defining gravity as it goes.. and what to do, but move on & realise that it’s the treasure you carry inside that is meaningful – the exterior stuff is transient – and that you are safe and well is the only thing that truly matters.
    Beach bum? Yeah, I can see that.. and I concur – bed nothwithstanding (I love being able to get that word into sentences) north doesn’t seem to be a good heading at this time. I can see you strutting your salsa stuff with some aplomb so shake them tail feathers – your normal resplendent plumage will surely follow. Let me know if there’s anything to do from here – and feel the love!
    Take care of yourself shipmate.

  7. Hey, I am very sorry to hear what had happened. But anyhow: thank you for your blog, probably you cannot imagine how many inspiration you give to people (in this case me), whose existance you even not anticipate. keep going and please: keep writing, maybe a book is a good idea? a part of it you have in this blog…
    all the best from cold Poland

  8. > To rent out the boat I have attached myself to SUP Isla Mujeres,

    How about killing time with some photos of Desperado carrying paying passengers?

  9. Chris,
    Have been following your blog ever since Sue Lange first turned me on to it… amazing and wonderful! You’re clearly an extradordinary person and fine human being. It’s depressing that someone heartless and twisted took advantage of your open and trusting character. But focus on all the wonderful friendships that character has also brought to your life and experience and–tempered with more understanding and wisdom–will bring in your future.
    Your journey continues to fascinate and inspire so many of us out here in modern technocivilizationland; for every one of us who Reply there are probably another hundred who don’t but who are following you and–consciously or not–sending positive energy your way. Do keep writing when you can, for yourself and for all of us. Blessings, Chris. Thrive in Love…
    And thank you!
    –Steve Grant (Encinitas)

  10. Thinking of you.. and your decision to stay in the sun.. (as it gets slowly colder, darker and more drearily dismal day by day here) Yep – you doin’ good! As much as I want to hear more I think it sensible you’re not tweeting too much tho’ – unsure how much global sympathy you’d gain with #OccupyHotMexicanBeach at the moment with such intents competition around the globe. Is it my PC (quite possibly) or did your Panic button get ripped off? I’ve tried to locate you once or twice and I’m having to old-school it with maps & shit. Gees – didn’t know those funny looking stumpy keyboard prodding digits I have, opposed like that (or had I just forgotten?) neat! Hoping your spirits are continuing to be topped up (hic) and you’re making the best of a mediocre situation. Darkest hour before mowed down as those lamped rabbits chant. Stopping now before I lurcher into a mad diatribe – off to lunch with a mod diet tribe – two-tone tofu & rocket rocker salad. (too late) All the best ya beachnik xxx P

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