Saturday, March 12, 2011

Little fisher boat in distress

It’s amazing how little people realize that the ocean is a wilderness without any mercy. They set out in rinky-dink vessels to have some fun or adventure, then find machinery failing and them the subject of a slow and torturous death. The crew of Flor Maria is fortunate enough to be able to flag down a merchant. They haven’t even brought a radio and we discover them waving white flags, somewhere on the amorphous expanse of the Pacific Ocean. We slow down and try to drift along side, fully aware that at any time we might get a bazooka trained on us for our trouble.

“Does anyone speak Spanish?”
“I speak,” says Ludin, popping up from the galley. He is a small man but he has a voice strong enough to cut steel.
“Ask them politely what their problem is.”
Ludin leans over the railing and thunders, “What you want? You evil Somali bastards!!”
“That wasn’t Spanish.”
“They understand,” says Ludin with a fatherly nod and heads back to the galley.
The crew of the Flor Maria set out on a fishing trip five days ago, lost their water tank and refrigeration. They haven’t eaten in two days and are still a long way from shore. We pitch a line, tie six-packs of Brazilian mineral water to it, and run them over. Bags with bread and fruit follow. Blessings and curses waft from our torrid decks. Then we disconnect and go our separate ways. 

Soon we are tiny specks on each other’s horizon. The world arches its back between us and spreads its final wilderness like an open hand that lets us go.
Little fisher boat in disress on the Pacific Ocean
Flor Maria in distress
Giving water to a marooned crew

The crew of the Flor Maria looking up for more


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