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ONCE I OWNED A FISHING BOAT. (salty sketches)

In our seaside village, all the inhabitants are fishermen. There is a lot of water around and enough fish live in it. The first thing I did moving here is I bought a skiff, a 27-foot fishing boat with a ‘Yamaha’ two-stroke engine, 40 horsepower. It was an ordinary boat, most popular in the local brotherhood.
To the guy who recommended me that boat, I paid a good commission. His name was Mark and the next day he came to me with an offer, saying he could use my boat to serve the tourists for fishing. Mark promised to share with me the tour money, fifty-fifty. He also promised to take care of the boat. Mark knew all the cayes and shallows, and he got the license and permit to guide tourists. So, why not?

A few days later, Mark asked the boat for a test drive and personal fishing. He returned the skiff with a broken seat and apologized for the accident, saying that the seat was broken by his fat friend’s ass, who was with him. I forgave him and the local specialist fixed the broken seat, for my money.
After some time, Mark asked for a boat again, under the pretext of giving a pleasant trip to his fiancee. He brought that girl, and she stood next to him, with a smile. So, I said OK.

In short, he returned the boat with another broken seat. Things finally dawned on me, that he was simply fooling me, taking tourists for fishing, and not sharing money with me.
He refused to pay for the repair of the second broken seat, and it took an effort for me to squeeze half of the amount out of him.

The gasoline is expensive here. After fishing several times I understood that a few fish tales cost me a hundred dollars, spent on fuel. With my retirement budget, I can not afford such spending. While living in LA I used to have a big fishing boat and now I have forgotten the fact, that to maintain a boat, I need an appropriate income. Or, to solve this problem, I should take tourists on a fishing tour as locals do. But for successful fishing, I need to know all the shoals, islets, and fishing spots. Otherwise, I cannot create a fisherman’s reputation.

In short, I docked my boat. Even without fishing trips, she was requiring money for service to buy miscellaneous, do this and that. In the tropics, every two to three months the hull is overgrown and needs to be cleaned. Plus frequent torrential rains and at night, under the sound of another rain, I was sleepless and worried whether the pump in the boat worked, whether the battery kept charging if the motor was still there or maybe already being stolen, this also happens here. In general, I bought myself not a pleasure, but insomnia.
It is way cheaper to rent a fishing or sailing boat once maybe twice a month, enjoy a couple of days in fishing, and forget about all those problems I mentioned above.

One day Mark showed up again with another proposal. He was offering me a couple of days of overnight fishing trip on one of the small islands near the reef, 15 miles away from the coast.
I accepted the adventure, dreaming about good fishing. We quickly packed our stuff sharing the gasoline expenses and left the bay. At sea, Mark was forcing the engine so hard, that I thought the boat would fall apart. There I understood why the boat seats were broken. Mark was simply not familiar with the dynamics of the sea, at all.

A couple of days later we returned home and the next morning I could not start the engine. It turned out that Mark had overheated it. The motor overhaul cost me a couple of thousand bucks, after which my patience came to an end, and I posted an advertisement to sell my boat.

One person immediately showed up. Assuring me that he could sell my boat fast, he asked me to raise the price for it. I understood he wanted to get more commissions, but our village is small, and the rumors here spread faster than news on the Internet.
Everyone here knew how much I paid for the boat and now they will point fingers at me accusing me of profiting from the poor. Well, how can I explain to all of them that my price includes expenses for repairing the boat and the engine…?
In short, I have sent that middleman back to where he came from.


So, I sold the boat with loss, and for the umpteenth time in my life, discouraged myself from being the owner of anything. Before, I’d been losing condos, homes, and cars to insatiable wives. I was bankrupt and lost my business through the fault of a tricky partner. I lost my beautiful yacht, trading her for a house to follow my wife’s request. Now there is no house, no wife, and no business. But I have no regrets about that. Perhaps, the yacht was the biggest loss in my life.

Probably, for a person like me, having private property and remaining naive concerning others means guaranteeing yourself pain not only in the head but also in the lower parts of the body. Probably a snake living in the soul of every property owner, gnaws out everything human in him, leaving envy, greed, and a passion for profit. I sold my jeep here and bought a bike instead for the same reason, the cost of gasoline. The fuel economy is significant and driving pleasure is greater, the summertime is all year round.

But having dashed off in the first 2 years, I put the motorcycle under a canopy, and now I am busy lubricating and cleaning the bike from rust because with 100% humidity corrosion the metal parts and killing electronics go quickly to turn the toy into rusty something. So, I sold it for nothing losing money again.
I calmed down with my bicycle. This unpretentious ‘donkey’ does not require gasoline and carries me everywhere I need to. And in the end, I don’t need to drive far. I have been everywhere and have seen a lot of things. I don’t like to travel far from the sea, because I get depressed once it disappears on the horizon.

Having escaped from the crowded cities, I was happy, hoping in my soul that living among several hundred kind primitive people, inexperienced in urban vices, even if some of them lazy and drinkers, I would find peace and there would be no one to deceive me. I was dreaming about life without swindlers, crooks, or liars.
God, I was so wrong! Life has proved that these sly asses live everywhere. So, why me, the man who is physically enduring and strong in spirit, capable of surviving where others perished… And why I am so helpless in front of the limited in everything, but a vile and cunning crook, for whom shouldn’t take too much time to fool an honest person…?

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