the Horizon is a delightfully demented, outrageously funny, often touching,
and continuously shocking tale of a modern sea gypsy.
Capín Fattyís story is too bizarre to be fiction. Sister Carole isnít interested in her millionaire suitor, sheís too busy smooching with the kid in the cesspool truck. Their strange live-aboard boat caravan includes Mort the Mortician, Backwards Bernie, Ruby Red the Conman, Barefoot Benny, Geeper Creeper, Para the Paranoid, Lusty Laura, Xlax, Shark Boy, the Pawtucket Pirate, Bait Broad, Colonel Crispy, Scupper Lips, Bob the Broker, the Pirate Queen, Otto the Owner, the Twin Slaves of Green Slime Ė even a terribly long-winded fellow named (Hurricane) Hugo.
Dive in! 154 pages.
Excerpt from Chasing the Horizon
Where to begin?Where should I start the tale of my life Ė a life devoted to Chasing the Horizon? Iím an individual almost entirely satiated by mere physical movement, if it is upon the sea. How did this happen?
Adventure? Oh, yes. Plenty. Iíve been through eight tropical hurricanes aboard various sailing craft within the last forty years. I survived them all, though twice the boats didnít. Pity. Itís so difficult to dog-paddle around in the water in the midst of a hurricane as your vessel founders Ė and maintain any sort of personal dignity.
Iíve been shot at, arrested, kidnapped, beat up, glorified, and spat upon. Iíve been held up to public ridicule; and Iíve even lectured at the better Universities. Iíve attended a total of about five years of school (too many!), and have been involved in some misguided endeavors which I hope will never see the light of day.
Yes, I believe Iíve led a rather adventurous life. Iíve loved enough women to have forgotten many of their names. Iíve lived with mud-caked Third World friends Iíve had to nonchalantly rub with a damp wash cloth to determine skin color (curiosity, not prejudice). I once overheard a dozen crewmen calmly discussing knocking me overboard in the middle of the night because they suspected Iíd secretly hidden some fish guts in my cabin instead of properly sharing them (we were hungry; Iíd caught a large dolphin, quickly cleaned it, and then stupidly thrown Ďits best partsí overboard).
Maybe I should begin my tale by telling you, dear reader, about the people; the barnacle-encrusted actors which will stroll across my sandy, water-colored stage.
The title of this book could just as easily be "Seadogs, Clowns and Gypsies". Or "Wonderful Waterfront Wackos". Or "Lush Tropical Vegetables".
Certainly, the characters are at the very core of any tale worth telling.
Or perhaps I should begin my tale in the present tense, though there is nothing very tense about my present.
Iím sitting at the nav table of a small black fiberglass sloop anchored by a small hot island off the coast of Venezuela. The boat is named Wild Card and she is a 38í S&S designed, Hughes built racer/cruiser. St. John, USVI is her hailing port.
We are hiding out from hurricane season here at Latitude 11 North, Longitude 64 West. Pampatar, Isla Margarita Ė an ideal place to play Jimmy Buffetís "Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville" song at full volume on the cockpit speakers. I do; often.
Living (and life) is cheap here. Most of the people are friendly. Many of the boat boys, beggars and thieves know me. They know Iím broke; hell, I cage drinks from them when possible. They steal mostly from wealthy Americans wearing too much tasteless jewelry. Yes, even the Boat Boys of Beanerville have certain professional criteria.
A frosty cold beer (Polar) ashore on the beach here is 22 cents, and I feel that I am losing money if Iím not drunk.
I have no shirt on as I write these airless words, and sweat rolls down my nut-brown body. It pools in the folds of my belly. My armpits reek. The sun is fat and boiling and merciless this far south. Not a breath of wind is upon the sea, and a glassy, sickening swell is rolling in from the east.
Oh well. Paradise is no more perfect than anywhere else, and thatís a difficult lesson to learn.
All my life I have been both blessed and bedeviled by a curious sort of internal third eye Ė a perpetual camera within my twitching brain. Click! Any experience which has touched my heart, stirred my dick, or twisted up my guts Ė Iíve captured forever. My mind is filled with a million pulsating images Ė pure slices of juicy life.
After all, memories are compact, waterproof, and easily stowed; the perfect Ďcollectableí for the seafaring man.
I am here now at this miserable nav table scribbling these stiflingly clumsy words because all my life there has been only two things which interest me, two things which motivate me.
Sailing and The Stories.
Iíve spent nearly all my time engaged in both. By this measure, I am a successful man. By any other, Iím an abject failure Ė perhaps to the point of pity.
"Just ícause everybody says that you are wrong doesnít mean that you are right Ė but it usually is a good indication that you are.." my father often advised me.
Copyright by Cap´n Fatty Goodlander. All rights reserved.