Thursday, July 23, 2009

a video and photos of motorcycling in saigon

So the days consist of getting up at 3 am because I can't get a sleep rhythm with my ear infection, walking across the boulevard to get nitro coffee and walking over to the local vespa repair shop to spend the morning. I read the rest of the day away or play guitar. The gas tank was on a yamaha or a kawasaki. The big-twin looking bikes usually have a bit of flair. This is a great airbrush of a chick with a machinegun. Represent! Also, here is a photo of a tiger gas cap. I hear it's going to be all the rage next year. I'll get one for me and one for Poon cause he has the eye of the tiger anyways. The longer I hang here the more I realize that all of us in the U.S. are not even close to committed motorcyclists. The Vietnamese start riding on the way home from the hospital! They put their kids, pets, grannies, sheet of glass, groceries, tank of propane and whatever else will tie or strap on and head from point a to point b. The kids usually start riding alone to wherever they need to go from about 10 years old on. And they ride till they are old and die. No car ever in their lives. I saw a guy transporting snakes and a gecko on his scoot yesterday. I saw 10 propane tanks. A drum of gasoline. I knew it was a drum of gas cause it was leaking and I could smell it. I saw a guy with 6' X 3' sheets of glass destroying his lane! He was owning it and smiling all the way! I saw two babies and three adults on one scooter. Super hardcore. No paint, no WM1, no bates, just two wheels gas, air and a spark. Damn. I give these people mad respect. And they never flip each other off when they get cut off. Ever. Tonight I'm going to video the rats.

last night before flight

Here is a video from my drive up to the airport from Pnobscot, Maine. This is one of Maryanne's family homes. Beautiful location with one of two saltwater pools in the state.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

suspension due to boring life

It looks like I'm going to discontinue the blog since I am off the ship till next year. (hopefully I can get back on for another voyage somewhere other than westminster, ca.) It seems that my life is actually pretty boring unless I'm risking my neck. I guess my last post will be this. I'm in Nha Trang, Vietnam looking at a really dirty hospital. The bus ride was 12 hours to get here. I had to walk a mile with all of my shit from the ship to get to the hospital. It was so dirty and unsanitary, I walked in and out cause I didn't want to catch anything and walked back to the bus scheduling place. I bought a seat for the 8pm 12 hour bus back to Saigon. Shit. The hospital in Saigon is the cleanest I have seen but there aren't as many french doctors as there were a few years ago. I'm sure the Vietnamese doctors are good but I ain't taking the chance. Since I don't have insurance, it's cheaper to come here to get my eardrum fixed for a couple grand than take the 20k life ending bill that is sure to come after a surgery of any kind in the states. The damn ear won't heal in this sweltering heat. I'm short on cash and have 8 hours till the bus gets here. Life is an adventure, whatever happens. All I can do is sit on the curb, smile, and shake my head. Thanks for all the nice comments you have left while you watched my sailing plans implode.

I have got to say that this Vietnam place sucks to be stranded in. It's hotter than hell and so humid you end up swimming in your own sweat most of the day. I'd split but recent developments at home have left me with an empty bank account so now I'm too poor to leave and too poor to stay. No matter what, I can always take a step back and laugh at how crazy the situation turns out. I'd bang my head against the wall but I don't have insurance.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

skocich peninsula drive

Tony and I took a nice drive up the peninsula to skocich and a nice view of the open ocean. Here is what I found.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

well this was unexpected

So 7 days ago and two days out of Boston enroute to Bath, Maine I came down with a nasty ear infection. It seems I popped my eardrum again descending into either Seattle or Newark airport and when water got into it up in the rigging, it became infected. I tried to recuperate down in the bunks, which are in the hold of the ship but the hot and damp environment made the infection much worse, causing the infection to spread to my eye. I stayed in my bunk about 20 hours and when we docked in Bath, Maine at the Maine Maritime Museum, a really nice museum volunteer named Peter drove me out to the local hospital where I was admitted to the emergency room. Kick the infection or lose your hearing. Get a graft for the eardrum or the infection will return as soon as I get more water into it. No more ship until I can get the surgery. The doctor tried to keep me there in the sterile room so I could kick the infection in a clean environment but without insurance, that was a no-go. I left the hospital and checked into the Rodeway Inn across the street. 36 hours in bed at the Rodeway Inn and Tony and Maryann from Hidecore make the 3 hour trip from Penobscot, Maine to pick me up and get me out of that 89.00 a night nightmare. Made the drive and pulled into their beautiful compound that you can see at I felt good enough to get out for a walk today and was picked up about a mile from the house by a woman who could tell I was lost. I was looking for a trail to the ocean but the road that I was walking on did not allow crossing over by foot...all private property. She let me jump in and she drove me to her house about two miles up the road. The video shows how beautiful her place is. She just dropped me off in the yard and told me to enjoy myself and that she would pick me up and drive me back if she saw me on the road later. I spent about 3 hours in a hammock overlooking the ocean, thinking about my crappy turn of events. I have come to terms with not crossing the Atlantic now and am trying to figure out the best way to get this eardrum fixed with no insurance. (and limited $) I can always hop aboard next year now that I have my Coast Guard Certification. Until then, I am here with my good friends in a warm and positive environment and I am looking forward to the next chapter of my adventure. We just got back from the grocery and are making a big pot of Maine fish chowder.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

some photos of town and the bel espoit docked beside us

It's the 4th of July and I woke up at 6 a.m to take a leak and decided to get another entry in before we sail. Tonight there will be two fire boats beside us shooting fireworks off. I thought we would be out sailing around but it looks like we are docked for the night. I was hoping to be sailing around the Statue of Liberty but no go. Here's a photo of Lucky at the bar the night before I left, one of me painting in the galley, the crew, a little v-twin engine on the dock, some photos taken while walking from Union Square to Times Square and a photo of The Bounty's deck in the morning and the French ship tied up beside us, the Bel Espoit. Yesterday I walked back to Times Square with Dan, Svetta, Andrew the Brit to see if there was an acoustic/electric there. I found a 199.00 model but it was a round plastic backed guitar. The sound was great but I thought it was a bit expensive. I did get a really small waterproof video camera from one of the little shops along Times Square. I had a good time negotiating with the guy. The people in New York are cool once you corner them. Other than that they seem like they are really stressed or in a hurry. This city is really cramped. I look forward to Boston and Maine.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I arrived on the ship and now it's work nonstop

I arrived on The Bounty the 29th at about 5pm. It's just about at the full complement of crew now, which is 20. My previous berth, which was a top bunk and totally show and large was taken since I was gone so long so I am relegated to a bottom bunk with plastic bags nailed up all over. When the ship is heeled one way or another when we are underway, the bilge water sloshes from side to side and comes up into the bunk thru the cracks. Did I mention that the bunk also leaks from above? I'll fix all of that here in a day or so. I'll have the most kick-ass bottom bunk on the ship. That I promise. I'll start by pulling all of that plastic down and filling all holes and seams with a sealant of some sort. I'll then make a mattress extension since the berth hooks to the left. That will make it so I can lean up against the hull for reading or whatever. I'll also buy some air freshener because the 4 man berth I am in smells like a 4 month old cast dunked in toilet water. Not much air circulation down there, unfortunately. I will say that I am surrounded by great people that are teaching me how to be a competent sailor, which is what I am here to learn. My friend Svetta is here. She and I took the Coast Guard Certification together last month. Adam, Sara, Gabe the younger are here. Caleb and Rebecca, who I first met in San Pedro are here for the night. They are on vacation but will be joining us in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The last few days had the crew sanding and varnishing brightwork, recieving and stowing 6 months worth of food for a crew of 20, and this afternoon in the pouring rain I mastered 'seizing'. That is where you take a length of twine 1 and 1/2 your outstretched arms length and use it to securely tie two lengths of line together. Today we secured the shrouds, which had been tightened up for our voyage. That keeps the masts from moving around. I have a bit of a sore throat but hope to be well enough to go to Time Square in Downtown NYC to visit the Sam Ash Superstore. I want to buy an acoustic-electric guitar. Caleb left his beautiful Takamine on board, which I found out this afternoon when they arrived. They had it stashed in their closed-up cabin. I would like on that is electric, though. Yesterday after our work was completed and dinner was over I walked to a Guitar Center at Union Square, which had no good deals. I then walked to the Sam Ash at Time Square but they had closed. Toys R Us was across the street so I went there looking for the Tony Hawk Helmet Cam but it was discontinued a few months back. The computer in Customer Service noted that there was one on the floor so of course I took an hour and a half looking everywhere for it. No dice. They finally kicked me out and I walked back. I walked almost 6 miles and all I got were some batteries and some cookies. Oh yeah. So I left Pier 66 on this journey and it was humid so I took off my shirt and started walking. I noticed that nobody else here had no shirt on but I didn't really care. I hooked a right at 8th ave and two or three blocks down and I'm in the middle of gay new york city. All the bars on the ave are open to the street and I'm getting fully harassed by dudes hanging out the windows. I put on my shirt and high stepped it out of that zoo. Those guys are nuts! That happened to me in San Francisco about 10 years ago but they gave me walking directions to the bar where I was to meet my friends at and they sent me straight thru the castro district. Bastards. I'm off to plan my bunk renovations.

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