|Me on the right. The guy in the middle was the strongest human being I've ever met. A former outlaw biker, to boot.|
This included weekly visits to St. Maarten, an overnight ride from our usual haunts, to fuel cruise ships during their visits. St. Maarten was not our base of operations, but it is where we would fly in and out.
As I've documented previously when flying in and out, the closest bar to our hotel was also a whorehouse, and I made friends with the mama-san, the manager, who fed me a steady diet of scotch and soup to maintain my strength and mood during my visits. Seriously, I didn't get laid in a whorehouse. Being married and all, but that didn't stop me from looking. My wife trusts me for a reason, but the stories made her laugh. She really is pretty cool. I remember very vividly eating turtle soup with about 30 whores at 6am on my last morning before flying home. No pictures, obviously. Being a mariner has its' privileges, and seriously, who gets to do that?
I had to save all the scraps of paper with the girls' phone numbers on there to show my wife. She's absolutely not the jealous type, and we both had a giggle at the 20-something slips of paper that I pulled out.
Well, while I was there, I was also polishing up a barge captain, relatively new to the company. Didn't take much. This guy, a former Cuban boat person, had worked in the area for several years before coming to my company. He already knew all the terminal staff when we showed up. I called him the Cuban Missile for his amazing ability to cause women to gravitate to him, something I saw whenever we were in public. The Cuban Missile has an amazing gift with women, whores or not. They just orbit the guy. Made my stay in the brothel's bar a lot of fun. The girls just couldn't keep away from the guy, and although he didn't buy in, that didn't stop them from fishing for work.
The Cuban Missile and I, on our last night in the Caribbean, went on an epic pub crawl that I will sort of remember until my dying day. The guy is one of the most entertaining people I have ever met.
... and last night, after not seeing him for a year and a half, a tug drops him off on my deck. We were rafted up against another barge, and he came aboard to cover for a missing man... and so, instead of sleeping, I spent 3 hours catching up with my friend. And today? I'm a little groggy, but it was great to catch up with a friend... and, yes, live vicariously, a little, on his own adventures, which would be a story in itself.