Today was one of the few days where I relished in my decision to wear clothes. Let me take a step back…
First: no, I’m not an exhibitionist, but salt has a way of making any fabric rough. With rowing and moving my entire body all day, chafing can be prevented by not wearing anything. So, I was rowing along and over my shoulder … a boat.
Not a sail-boat or a freighter; I’m not really sure what kind of boat it was, but as long as it’s not a big ship I’m generally safe. As it came nearer, I was struggling to decide whether to grab a gift or a weapon, so I stuck with the camera instead. The initial excitement was replaced slightly by fear when I spotted 10 tanned men hanging over the side of the boat.
After a greeting, I realised there was a language barrier between us, but I could understand “Venezuela” and they “Guyana”. One man asked “Problem?” and I shook my head. A few minutes of awkward stares followed as we realised that was all we could do, so I kept rowing. After 30 or 40 yards, I noticed a couple of dolphins swam by, either curious about our encounter or my own personal oceanic bodyguards.
A few hours passed, and there it was again: the same boat. All sorts of thoughts ran through my head, thinking they were back after thoroughly devising a plan of attack. You never know!
Caught off-guard the first time, I scrambled for any tools, flares and the EPIRB. As they came near I realised it was a different boat, yet still a fishing boat from Venezuela. We had the same “Guyana … Venezuela” exchange and I only understood the repeated “loca, loca, loca”.
Although I hadn’t seen humans in over two months, they seemed much more interested in me than I was in them. One man was either having a heart attack or trying to flirt with me by pounding on his heart.
They think I’m the crazy one?!
[Katie is having difficulty with the connection between her laptop and satellite phone, so I’ve had to transcribe this from a voicemail message. That also explains the photo being an old one. I’m a little concerned she might kill me when she sees which one I’ve used. Ah well, I’m feeling brave!]