Next morning, the 3 crew people were off to San Leandro, one of the local old abandoned forts. They invited us along, but really we were too tired. However, they also mentioned a guy they’d met in Balboa who was looking for crew, so I decided (with a very heavy heart) to set out once again. Dave hadn’t given us a very reliable report on Jack + Alma, + tho’ we didn’t accept Dave’s word as gospel, it was as well to explore every opportunity. So, once more the tedious train trip, + the hot walk out to the club. Had a run in with an immigration officer there too, who, when I was making enquiries in the office about boats, tried to tell me I wasn’t allowed to go as crew. I ignored him, + trotted out to the anchorage to contact this guy – his note was still up, so there was still a chance. Not to be however – I hailed the guy, + he rowed out to me, but he’d taken on the guy he required the night before. Annoying, what? Tho’ to be fair, he had only required one person + we were 2. Still, it was a very hot day, and I was grateful for the ride back to the club from a passing car, + then relaxing in the bar with a coke. I talked with a couple of guys, but didn’t receive any enlightenment, so headed back to the station – a long wait, + then that journey again.
Val was pretty depressed to hear my news, especially since she’d had no luck herself, other than a bunch of reports of unreliability about J + A. Ho hum – after some thought, we decided that probably we would pass up on the “Alma” trip. Plan for the evening, as introduced by Dave, was pizza, + then the casino. The crewies came along, but Val cried off. It made for an OK evening, plenty to eat + drink, + the casino, tho’ sloppy by GN standards, was fun. Everybody won, anyway, except Dave, who didn’t gamble, + me, who lost 50c of Monika’s money. Seems just about like my luck lately.
It looks like two possibilities disappearing on the same day, which is disappointing, if not entirely unexpected. And rather wearying, chasing down possibilities without much of a sniff of success.
Still, life goes on, including social occasions. The GN reference is to thw Golden Nugget, a casino in Piccadilly Circus, where I worked before we set off on our travels. And taught me, by the way, that gambling is a mug’s game, all the more so in games of pure chance, where the house has a built-in edge that can never be dulled.