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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Unexpected Phone Messages...

For whatever compelling reason, my somewhat new Sprint phone decided to quit working. I'd only had it but for a month and it had worked just fine until it decided not to retain a charge, so I took it to the Sprint service center for a technician to look at.

Not only would the lousy thing not hold a charge but its signals were all now crossed and I couldn't even make a crummy phone call. After some three hours or so Sprint did the expedient thing and replaced my phone with a new one.

The fact that I had been recharging my phone with an inverter plugged into my 12 volt battery on board the boat and had possibly fried the cell phone battery may have had something to do with the phone going on the blink but I surely wasn't going to share that bit of information with the fine folks at Sprint.

Nevertheless, my new phone had two feeble phone messages awaiting to be heard from a couple days ago. It was feeble Captain Jacobo... saggy skin and all once again calling upon me.

The first message simply stated that he had seen me pulling away from the slip while he was arriving back to the marina and that they had had some "engine problems". I had seen him too and the timing of it all was entirely coincidental. Captain Jacobo had departed but a mere two days before along with a crew of three others which included a sailing novice who happened to own the boat and was down from Chicago for vacation.

I was surprised to see the vessel back so soon and with two less crew members to boot. Their destination was to have been Marathon and their ambitious plan had been to sail down there and back all within two weeks.

No longer aboard the vessel were either the owner nor Captain Jacobo's, "Sweetie-Pie", as he liked to refer to her. "Sweetie-Pie" being a rather attractive woman in an independent and mature sort of way. But none of it was any of my business so I certainly wasn't going to make any inquiries as to their change in plans.

The phone message concluded with a statement for me to call him "if you need any of my help" which did indeed give me a moment of pause and which nowadays can be best described as a "WTF?" moment.

Did he not see me pulling away from the marina? Could he not see that the slip that S/V Blondie-Dog had occupied was now devoid of all dock line and that my blue garden hose was nowhere to be found on that dock?

It could only mean one thing... he wanted another favor and all I could think about was "no sir... I have departed now go away".

Against my better judgment I had once taken him up on his offer of assistance and asked that he hold a screwdriver on the head of a screw while I went on the other side of the bulkhead to tighten the nut with a wrench.

Definite mistake... Captain Jacobo couldn't hold that screwdriver steady for the life of him. Soon thereafter he could be heard exclaiming, "Jesus Christ! let's do this some other time!!", before ambling off to go mix himself another Bloody-Mary.

It hadn't been more than a day after my arrival at the marina when Captain Jacobo, upon seeing me onboard my boat, inquired as to what I was working on when I casually mentioned that I needed a topping lift for my boat.

Captain Jacobo then seized the moment to declare to me,"I've got two things to tell you... one... everything costs money... and two... don't tell anybody your goddam business because if you do, then everybody in this damned marina will know about it", before ambling off down the dock.

"Well", I thought... "well good morning to you too sir" and I found myself wondering "WTF was that all about"?

You can say that I had tired of hearing Captain Jacobo carry on about his "Sweetie-Pie" and of hearing him exclaim, "She's a Sailor!!!" while holding court during happy-hour at the City Tavern and not having ever sailed with his so-called "Sweetie-Pie".

Whether or not she was a capable sailor is another matter. I never met her nor did Captain Jacobo ever introduce us.

I had tired of hearing Captain Jacobo exclaiming that he knew somebody who could repair anything on a boat but that it was going to cost me... because everything cost money.

That somebody he had in mind, was a fellow by the name of, I'll call him Rodrigo... and was anchored off in the middle of the river with his wife and three young kids in a sailing vessel about the same size as mine.

I had tired of hearing about Rodrigo and of his family drama and of he pulling up anchor and relocating elsewhere to avoid having the Department of Child Protection Services catch up with him.

I had tired of hearing Captain Jacobo exclaim to me, "You've Got a Car!!" in one breath and in another breath tell me, "You don't know what you're doing"... while questioning whether I previously sailed before.

I had tired of being hit up for favors and of his demands that I drive him around places and I had tired of Condescending Big Dumb F***, with the crapped-out-boat, claiming that I was somehow indebted to him for some unsolicited bullsh*t google search...

So I nipped that crap in the bud and made it a point to frequent another pub for happy-hour and to keep all interaction with Captain Jacobo to a minimum.

I proceeded to repair my electrical wiring, get my ground tackle squared away, install a compass, splice an anchor rode, install a deck fitting, plug the leak in the anchor locker and what not while being as vague as possible to Captain Jacobo's inquiries as to what I was doing. He'd ask and I'd respond, "General boat maintenance".

The second and last feeble message simply stated. "I want to talk to you. Call me."...

Heck no was I going to call. It's a big ocean out there and it's all I can do to take care of my own vessel and ensure my own safe passage let alone take on the additional responsibility of ensuring the safe passage of someone too feeble to even hold a steady screwdriver.

We had previously talked about sailing to Marathon in tandem... but his plans had changed once his displaced "Sweetie-Pie" had come upon the scene with promises of adventure to Honduras or wherever.

Adios MOFO... I'm not your caretaker.

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