The place was something out of a Tarantino movie. All manner of dirtbags and vagabonds were present. Bikers, surfers, travelers from all over the world were mixed at tables around buckets of beer. Santana came blaring out of one massive monitor in the corner of the place. The Wild West was alive and well in Barra Navidad, Mexico.
The first thing on my agenda after the boat was secure and we completed the formalities of customs and immigration, was to find a pay phone. All of this was taking place in a time before international calling plans and smartphones. We didn’t have Facebook, or twitter, or emojis. I needed to call my mother and let her know that I was alive. In subsequent passages, it would become my rule that the first thing I did on arriving in a port, and the last thing I did before leaving, was to call home. I always fudged the number of days estimated for a passage upwards by about fifty percent, knowing that if something went wrong, I wouldn’t leave my mother thinking the worst had happened.