March 21st 1982

posted in: Innocents Abroad | 0

First night on board, + rather cramped it was, tho’ pretty comfortable.  And then up in the morning for bacon, eggs, toast, coffee… God we live well.  The job today was again just clearing up, sorting out + clearing out Dave’s locker on board.  Well, not so much a locker, more of a tool-shed.  It was jam-packed with stuff, + Dave really isn’t very keen on throwing anything away, , altho’ he says he is.  That done, + after stowing away our bags up forward, we left to go to Portobello, a coast town about 40 miles south.  Among other things, Dave acts as a sort of private investigator in the world’s trouble spots – well, in Central America, looking for missing people, trying to negotiate the release of prisoners, etc, + one of his jobs at the moment is to find the murderer of a ypoung American guy.  He’d been authorised to delegate a Panamanian girl to go over to a village where a witness was located, to try + find her.  The girl lived in Portobello – that was the purpose of the trip.  On the way, mind, we called around various places, seeing people, buying bits + pieces – including beer, let it be known… Dave is certainly something of a drinker.  Portobello was pretty tho’ – the site of an old Spanish port.  Then Dave concluded his business, + we drove back.

Once we’d fixed a couple of stiff drinks, + been visited by Scott + Nancy, a lively + rather drunk couple of friends of D + M’s, who came round to make sure we were coming round to the post-dinghy race hot dog party.  They then disappeared, but while we were getting ready, Scott re-appeared in a dinghy, + took Val off for a quick sail.  At least, I thought that was the intention.  Over an hour later, when there was no sign of them, + my hot dogs had been eaten, I was rather worried.  Still, Dave was too, it seemed, + had gone out in a motor-boat, + they all limped back together.  They had capsized, it seemed, + had all sorts of trouble getting it back up, + then struggling home.  Still, apart from getting wet, + having to fend off some advances, Val was OK.  The rest of the evening was OK – a wet T-shirt contest, + a flesh contest (at which Val won a large quantity of Johnnie Walker Black.  Some talking, some dancing, some smooching.  I think people were rather shocked.

We do seem to have fallen on our feet, with generous hosts who have taken us under their wing.  Mind you, that does seem to mean buying in to the expat culture, including the usual sort of sexual harrassment.  I would like to say that things have improved on that front in the intervening years, but my suspicion is that they haven’t, much.

No certain about that final “shocked” comment; some were, probably, but a different constituency was instigating and encouraging the whole scene.

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