of new sea stories from the most outrageous marine journalist in the Caribbean.
Includes accounts of Hurricane Marilyn, profiles of Virgin Island famous
and infamous sailors, and his acclaimed "Sailing Into Middle Age".
Many of these commentaries, selectively culled from hundreds of articles written over the last decade, originally appeared in Caribbean Boating, All at Sea, SAIL, Multihull, Sailing, Yachting World, Caribbean Herald, and the Daily News.
This collection represents the very best writing from one of the most outrageous writers alive in the Caribbean today. Cap’n Fatty is a delightfully demented storyteller who will quickly enthrall you with his rollicking tales of Lush Tropical Vegetables, Wonderful Waterfront Wackos, and Colorful Caribbean Characters. 135 pages.
"Cap’n Fatty Goodlander superbly conveys the emotion and mystery of sea voyaging, and his love for his family that voyages with him." Martin Luray, SAIL magazine
"He’s a classic storyteller in the tradition of P.J. Rourke, Art Buchwald, and Hunter Thompson…" Fritz Seyfarth, Tales of the Caribbean
"Rollicking then sad, wild then saintly, it’s the rhythms of Fatty’s stories that get to you. The way his anecdotes teach you, remind you, encourage you. The way his sentiments push the buttons of our hearts and souls, making us say "Oh, yeah! Oh, God, yeah! That crazy bastard’s got us pegged flat". Carol Borges, author of Disciplining the Devil’s Country
Excerpt from The Collected Fat
A SAILOR SLEEPS ASHOREI am 43 years of age and have lived aboard various sailing craft for over 35 of those years. I have no ambition to live ashore, even under the coziest of circumstances. I am, to put it mildly, a confirmed boater and a die-hard live-aboard.
However, I am also a family man. This requires a certain amount of pragmatic flexibility. Thus when my wife (of 25 years) and my daughter (of 14) recently asked me (longingly) if we could ‘house-sit’ for the summer – I reluctantly agreed.
We ended up in a spacious mansion. It is huge. It has multi-levels, buildings and cisterns. It consumes about as much electricity as Manhattan. It came to us complete with cars, cats, and pool toys. I’ve stayed in national hotels with fewer bathrooms. Just the Jacuzzi is bigger than many marinas I’ve sailed into.
Of course, the people who lent us the place for the summer are perversely insane. Why else would anyone give a huge, pristine mansion to a family of salt-stained sailing slobs – all of whom have never swept a floor, cleaned a pool, or mowed a lawn in their entire lives!
The first night I spent ashore was completely horrible. I was totally out of my natural nautical element. For the first few days I thought that all the toilets in the house had the smallest, dumbest pump handles imaginable!
Eventually, in order to get some sleep, I put on my foul weather jacket and laid in a bathtub while cold water dripped on me – and immediately fell asleep. (It wasn’t exactly like being offshore, but it was close.)
Bugs, bugs, BUGS! They are everywhere ashore. Moths. Ants. Spiders. Worms. Mosquitoes. Flies. Sandfleas. No-see-ums. And to top it all off – giant flying cockroaches as large as small dogs!
How can anyone live ashore? I mean REALLY! It’s filthy. Dirt is everywhere; in fact, people actually construct their houses on dirt, and then spend the rest of their lives attempting to keep it out. Stupid!
If the bugs and the dirt weren’t bad enough, there are the large wild animals which freely roam the countryside. One evening – while my wife and I were, er… snuggling – a wild donkey stuck its head into our open bedroom window and brayed loudly. I was shocked, and for a few (delicious) moments thought that my wife had a primitive, animalistic side which I’d only just discovered.
Wild animals aren’t the only things roaming the countryside. People do it too. They just drop in. Unannounced. Hungry. Thirsty. Talkative. It’s horrible. They just show up, smile – and there goes all your food and booze!
The whole house constantly hums with electrical activity, like a giant factory. Dozens of motors, pumps, and machines turn on and off at will – their will, of course, not mine.
The kitchen is the worst portion of the whole house for me. It contains a multitude of dicing, slicing, and disemboweling machines. Nothing makes it out of this area alive. It took us about a week to locate the low-tech gas stove. It was completely buried under electric blenders, can openers, bread machines, slicers, liquefiers, skillets, toasters, roasters, browners, broilers, grillers, and nukers. (Both these appliances and anything which issues from them tend to make me physically ill. I prefer heating my food, not bombing it!)
If all this wasn’t enough distraction - there is the incessant ubiquitous telephone. This is a relatively modern instrument of torture which wealthy landlubbers rent by the month to punish themselves for having too much money.
The phone rings like a metronome. There are people at the other end of it, and they want answers fast! (Unfortunately, they have far more questions than I’ve got answers, and this was beginning to be a serious problem until I Crazyglued the answering machine to ‘on’ and gleefully tossed all the micro-recording cassettes down the snarling garbage disposal.)
Thus I spend my summer. A lot of my time is spent lying around the Jacuzzi on the sundeck – bemoaning the fact that I have to walk a couple of feet to the ice machine/bar each time I want another pitcher of Pina Coladas.
Life can be tough, especially ashore.
But what I do most of the time is to count the days left before I can move back aboard my beloved Wildcard.
Living aboard, especially here in the Virgins, is a wonderful lifestyle. My boat has no telephone, no cable TV, no VCR, no electronic/nuclear kitchen. There is always plenty of beach ‘parking places’ for my dinghy. Solar cells provide our electrical needs. We do not have, nor want, an inboard engine.
My boat is surrounded by a wide expanse of salt water, and thus is well insulated from dirt, bugs, donkeys, friends, family, salesmen, creeps, teefs, and jerks – and all the other modern vexations of shoreside living.
My boat may not be heaven, but it is often very close.
Some people would be horrified how tiny she is – but we view her to be as ‘huge as the horizon’. Example: our swimming pool is the largest in the world. Each evening our cockpit is filled with a million stars. Each day there is plenty of tropical wind to fill our billowing sails.
There seems to be a certain cosmic sense to the live-aboard lifestyle, a certain ecological balance, a certain rational basis for our fun, freewheeling, salt-stained ways.
And so this September when I return to my modest vessel – it will be with much glee and not a backwards glance towards shore. Sure, I realize that someone has to live in the dirt on land – but I thank my lucky (navigational) stars it isn’t me or my family. Each to his own. It’s the sailing life for us!
Copyright by Cap´n Fatty Goodlander. All rights reserved.