Saturday, September 08, 2007

Pittstown Point, Crooked Island, Bahamas

0 nm
Wind: W 10-15 knots, tropical storm Gabrielle 900 nm north

Yesterday night, we watched half of the second season of Entourage, lent to us by Joel, another of the guys with a house down here. It was great. Just what we needed to take our minds off our distress. Or my distress--Karl seems to be dealing with all of it just fine, as usual. Joel lent us another fantastic TV show earlier this week, which you should all go run out and rent forthwith. It’s called The Trailer Park Boys, and it’s a fantastic Canadian show about three guys who live in a trailer park and do nothing but sell drugs and go to prison. Hysterical. Although it may not sound it. I don’t know how Canadian television can be so consistently better than American television. Well, better than everything except HBO.

So, we’re slipping back into civilization, slowly. Maybe that’s the root cause of our current problem. Having internet access and ice and DVDs is great, but with all those luxuries come the other curses of modern life. We went and downloaded email last night and I read my sister’s blog, who had just taken a camping vacation to the primitive islands off of Wisconsin in Lake Michigan. She talked about how wonderful it was and how much I would relate to it, and then proceeded to discuss how disgusting the toilet facilities are. Maybe that’s what it boils down to: the more primitive and close to nature one’s life is, the more you have to deal with filth. I know it’s true. We idealize our ancestors’ idyllic lives on farmsteads, but they had to deal with outhouses, water from a pump, cow feces, and baths in a washtub once a week. Doesn’t sound romantic anymore, does it?

With luxury comes responsibility. Every system we install on the boat requires an equivalent degree of maintenance, and every convenience we sacrifice comes with a corresponding quantity of freedom. You don’t get nothin’ for free. As my economics professor always said, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

Nappy’s decided not to come back until Monday, too. Good in some ways, because we’ve now untied the knot of the flat tires, and half of the neighbors are leaving today, but bad in others because we’re out of hardware and tools for the work that needs to get done. I feel a lot more legitimate using the email these days--we have to use it to communicate with Nappy. I guess we’re doing him a big favor just by letting him know the things he needs to buy in Nassau so he doesn’t need to order them or bring them on a subsequent trip. The October D-day is coming fast.

I keep shaking my head over just how difficult everything is down here. If you run out of bread, you can’t just go buy it. You have to wait for a woman in town to bake it or for the mailboat to come in, or you have to make it yourself. Karl discovered this morning that the screws we have are too big for the latches he has, but he can’t just run out to Home Depot for more. He can’t even tell Nappy what size screws to buy, because there’s no way to test them. The only way to be sure would be to have Nappy fly back, pick up a latch, fly it back to Nassau, and test screws at a hardware store there. Or the tire ordeal: we ended up finding a brand new tire, but that was sheer luck. When we were rolling around on our bare rim, I suddenly realized the genius of American society: if your tire goes flat, you can just pull into a specialized tire store and buy one. Chances are they’ll have eight choices for your size. Chances are, they’ll do all the labor for you, it’ll take less than half an hour to install them, they’ll be cheap, and you’ll get a warranty.

So be grateful, everyone. Be grateful for your Home Depots and your Midas Muffler Shops and your Jiffy Lubes. Be grateful, in short, for all of those disgusting mini-malls with their limitless supplies of propane and gasoline and cheap imported groceries and hardware. Paradise doesn’t have them. That’s what makes it paradise.

4 comments:

An-Magritt said...

Funny how that works, how dependent we are on those mini-malls:) As always, a refreshing pause in my day to read of your doings and beings. Looked at your Flickr photos as well; gorgeous!
Vaya con Dios, amiga.
am

Anonymous said...

Cruising is boat repair in exotic
places.

A good friend.

bobash said...

Melissa:

I understand lack of access and current storm preparations which may control that.

Know, that nothing promised will
be cancelled because you are
cyberly unabled at this time.
My promises are not time tabled.

However, all persons involved, need
your full shipping instructions the soonest...if your need for items has not changed.

If your sailing plans have changed direction, in fairness, please let
me know that,too.

Wrap an extra half-hitch for me.

And take another Red pill. You're
doing exactly the right thing. Your writing is tenaciously interesting, your mentors are proud.

Your Good Friend

Melissa said...

An-Magritt,
Glad to hear you enjoyed the pictures and the words... It's always lovely to hear from you.

Bob,
You have mail!

MJ