tessa-carnival-curacao     Another long week of boat work.  We now have a neighbor, Peter from Switzerland, on a Fountaine Pajot catamaran. I was waxing Alegria when he came over and told me they were moving his boat down from long term storage.  He and his wife were sailing the opposite way we were, having come from Colombia.  Peter just came back from an emergency trip to Switzerland because “all the things falling apart.”  I really wasn’t sure what he was talking about until he said “Don’t you know about how bad the stock market is and the economy?” 


Well….. yeah!  But that was kind of old, ongoing news and right now my mind was preoccupied with the complexities of waxing and whether I could find a cheap good quality pair of flip flops (we seem to be burning through our shoes!!). I looked at the news this morning, more of the same but nothing really new.  Lehman

Brothers had been managing Peter’s savings and lost a good chunk.  He was afraid he was going to have to leave retirement and go back to work.  I felt really bad for him.  Suddenly my flip flop dilemma seemed very lame.


The next evening, we were again scraping, waxing and talking to Peter when we noticed the Red Bull truck, the Amstel Bright beer truck, a boat getting ready to be put back into the water, and scantily clad women.  It could only mean one thing.  Party!!  The boat Pegasus, manned by two young men from the Netherlands planned to sail around the world in 2 years and report back on the condition of the ocean.  Or, as us jaded cruisers would say, get paid to drink and party as you sail around the world.  BRILLIANT!!!

They (the sponsors) threw a great party, free beer, free whisky punch, amazing food, and my personal favorite, free CHAMPAGNE in a GLASS!!!!  Such decadence!!  Peter, Dan, I and the kids joined two other boaters, Scott Free and another couple from North Carolina.  We sent Tessa to find our Brazilian friends, Sylvio and Lillian on Matajusi.  Lillian is beautiful and very nice while Sylvio is quite the character.  While he is

on this sabbatical, he writes a column for a Brazilian magazine.  Back in Brazil, he races cars.  What a life!  He had tried to get into NASCAR, but I’m not sure the good old boys from the South are ready for a Brazilian driver.   While waiting for Sylvio and Lillian to show up, Dan introduced me to the other North Carolinians.  He had

mentioned something about meeting them before and the husband’s take on what was happening in the US but I couldn’t remember what it was.  Within 5 minutes of talking I remembered. He asked me if I still had money in the bank (not the stock market) and when I said yes, he told me that was a big mistake.  The banks were going under, there would be rioting in the streets, people would be homeless. I said I didn’t believe that.  He said I was uninformed and even though we just came from the States, (Illinois and North Carolina, and I didn’t see any soccer moms beating their SUV’s into swords,) he was right because he had spent 8 HOURS A DAY reading the internet.  While I agree there is a strong case for print and TV news to be biased, everyone knows or should know, internet sites are ungoverned and should be taken with a HUGE grain of salt.  Back and forth we went, in a spirited, friendly way, but the bottom line was he was convinced this was the end of the world as we knew it.  In fact they bought a house in Colorado, in the middle of nowhere so the homeless couldn’t find

them.  Their kids think they’re crazy but in their words, “We can’t save everyone.”  I tried to tell him that this is probably what most people thought about the depression and see we came out of that alright.  He informed me that (his internet source) said unemployment was higher now than then and I didn’t have all the facts.  He was

probably right as I have been so busy LIVING my life, rather than reading the internet.  He was just so fear based, and when I told him that, he argued and said he absolutely wasn’t.  (Hmm!!) By this time, I was through my glass of champagne and was desperate to end the conversation so basically I said to him that even if what he said was true, there was nothing I could do about it and I wasn’t going to live my life in fear and he shouldn’t either. He had no reply.  Thankfully the conversation ended and I could find more champagne. 

 Tristan, who had been standing next to me the entire time, listening, said “Way to go Mom.”   I told him I wasn’t trying to talk disrespectful, but I just felt bad that this guy was so full of fear.  It was sad actually.  So while he and his wife went to do some more reading I’m sure, we enjoyed the rest of the party.  Talking to Peter later, he

said he’d heard some similar things that there might be rioting in the US over all the big bonus money paid by the banks, and bank failures.  Again I assured him that the Americans I knew were concerned, but I couldn’t see them burning torches and carrying pitchforks.  Really, I am amazed at this kind of rumor.  Maybe I am out of touch. What do you think?

Back to Peter.  I told him that maybe the reason he would have to “leave” retirement was that he still had something to offer.  Maybe there was some gift he still needed to share with the world.  His face brightened and he said he’d been thinking about writing a book.  His friends told him his sailing story should be published.  There you go.  Life isn’t done with you, I said.  It was gratifying to see him go from being down to upbeat.  Sometimes we can get so involved in the illusions of life’s drama, and the fear that comes from all around us, that we forget we are much more than our thoughts.  One person’s fear is another’s opportunity.  It’s all in how you look at it.