Monday, February 10, 2014

Adventures On The High Sea

Update:  Pictures included.

I write this from the library of the Veendam as we cruise off the coast of Mexico, heading toward Puerto Vallarta.  There are photos that go with this post, but the wireless on the ship is way too slow to load pictures.  There are a few clouds in the sky, but the sun is shining.  I am enjoying it even more knowing that Oregon is buried in snow!

We left home last Wednesday at 4:15 am and it was 13 degrees.   By the time it started to snow in Hermiston, we were safely basking in the sun in San Diego.

On Friday my brother, Leigh, had arranged for us to go sailing with his friend Lou, who has a 38-foot sailboat.  It had rained overnight in San Diego, but we left Oceanside Marina in sunshine with a light breeze.  We were ready for a day of whale watching.  We saw lots of pelicans and a seal or two, but no whales.  About a mile offshore the spouse spotted something floating on the water.  What was it?  After determining that it wasn’t a bird or a seal, and definitely not a whale, we cruised past it and saw it was a black plastic package wrapped in twine. 

“Marijuana,” Leigh said,  “I bet it’s pot.” 

Lou turned the boat around and we circled the package.  Someone said, “Let’s go get it.”  We were all excited to find out what was in the package.  Then I remembered that Dexter disposed of all his victims in the ocean.  “I hope it’s not body parts,” I said. 

Lou maneuvered the boat alongside the package and the spouse and Leigh used a grappling hook to pull the bundle alongside the boat.   It was too heavy for them to pull out of the water, but in the process of hooking the package they had torn a small hole and they could see and smell the bricks of marijuana.  They used the winch to pull the bundle out of the water.

My brother, Leigh, got on the phone and called the Harbor Patrol to report our find, and then we noticed a white boat speeding toward us.  The Harbor Patrol was answered by a machine.  We notice that the white boat was still headed toward us.  Leigh called 911 and they asked if we could retrieve the package.  Leigh said we could and then the 911 operator asked if we would bring it in to port.  Leigh told them that it wasn’t really convenient for us to do that since we were on our way out for the day and asked for them to send a boat out to pick it up.

The white boat was making us nervous.  We’ve all watched too much TV.  What if it was the drug runners coming to retrieve their contraband? They would be equipped with AK47’s and could mow us down.  “We’ve got a boat headed right toward us,” Leigh tells the 911 operator, “Would you send that boat right out?”

We take pictures of the white boat.  In the back of my mind I think that when the Coast Guard recovers my bloodied corpse, they will also find the pictures, clues to start tracking down my killers…Yeah, way too much TV!

The white boat speeds right by us headed out to sea.  We are alone with a hundred pound bundle of high-grade marijuana hanging from the stern.

“How much do you think it’s worth?” someone asks.  None of us is knowledgeable of the current street value of marijuana and our estimate of $35,000. to $40,000., we find out later, is way under value.

A rescue boat from the harbor patrol reaches us and, after some maneuvering, hauls our bundle onto his boat.

With that excitement over, we begin searching for whales…but can’t help but look for more pot.  We don’t find either, but every once in a while someone would say something like, “If we had decided to keep it, how would we have gotten it off the boat?”  “How would we have gotten rid of 100 pounds of marijuana?  It’s not like we could turn our kids into pot vendors.”  …although a few of them would have been willing.

Returning to harbor we see a police vehicle driving along the beach and then we sail by the Oceanside Police Station as we enter the harbor.  We all agree that if we were trying to smuggle in the pot, we would be crazy with paranoia at the sight of so many police.  But, by this time, we had come up with a good plan for removing a large bundle off the boat unnoticed!

Later that evening we recounted our adventures to younger family members who all said the same thing, “Why did you call the police?  Why didn’t you bring at least some of it home?”  Our conversations continued to explore “What if…,” especially after we discovered that our bundle was worth somewhere between $400,000. and $500,000.  But really, to whom would I sell it? I don’t picture myself as the world’s oldest pot dealer.  I’m destined to live out my golden years living on my pension.

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