An audio and video podcast of my trip hitchhiking around the world by sea.
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Esta Bien

After a fairly depressing day (and blog entry) I want you to know we are doing much better. We were in Salinas, picking our heads up when we heard of the Culebra Regatta. That probably means nothing to you so I’ll explain. Culebra is an island on the Eastern side of Puerto Rico and while still part of PR it is considered one of the Spanish Virgin Islands. It is also notorious for one of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. “Regatta” is a sporting event consisting of a series of boat or yacht races. Ok, all caught up?

Needless to say a weekend of boat racing around one of the finest beaches in Puerto Rico sounded more appealing than moping around feeling sorry for ourselves. We got our things together- which didn’t take long at all since half of it had been stolen- and left at 6:00 pm for Culebra. Our luck was changing because the next 16 hours of sailing were great. With minimal swells and a light breeze luffing off the island, I took first watch. By the light of the stars (and my head lamp), I regurged weeks of thoughts, frustrations and emotions onto the pages of my journal. By 2 am the burdens of life began to lift.

The way things have been going, I feel like my next sentence should begin with “However… “. However, the trip continued as peaceful as it started. We even managed to break the “catch and release” curse that had haunted us up to now, by actually pulling a nice mackerel into the boat! By the time we were arrived Culebra, sailboats were leaving the harbor. Sails rose like white jagged teeth from the ocean’s mouth. Ships of various size joined their class and filed out to the open water.

We set anchor in a calm bay among familiar faces, friends we’d met from as far back as the Bahamas and Dominican Republic. Then after resting briefly we joined those friends for drinks and dance. In small square, on a small island, hundreds of Puerto Ricans and several sailors gathered listening to music, dancing to the Latin beats of local bands. The bands played late into the evening and the people played even later.

My first introduction to the Spanish culture was in Thailand when I met a guy from Bacelona with no shoes. We were both on our way to Thailand’s full moon party, and became instant friends after I gave him my pair of shower flops. We later joined several other Spaniards who referred to me as “the American” and had the night of our lives-doing just that, living.

This night was similar. Strangers danced with strangers. “The American” sang like he knew the songs the Spanish sang. Mullet-topped malattos laughed, loved, lived. “Esta bien” is a common phrase out here. It means “it’s good”. And quite frankly, it is. Life is good.

1 comment

1 Janet { 03.21.08 at 4:30 pm }

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Glad to see you are resilient. Life is full of gains and loses. In fact the loses are what make the gains meaningful and climatic. May you have many more gains in store for you(and fewer loses)! Not sure if you have a back up camera but your words accomplish a lot that a photo cannot
capture. Looking forward to your next entry.

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