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Monday, February 23, 2009

Journal - 2/23/09

Gamble before ramble…

The one casino in Port Lucaya, Isle of Capri, held it’s first ever poker tournament this past Saturday. The buy in was $100 and the game was none other than the ever popular no limit Texas Hold ‘em. After another week of fun in the sun the time was right to put in some work. The tournament was shootout style with only two rounds of play: win your table and move on to the final table. First place was $5,000.

I played in the morning session and eventually caught a bad beat for all my chips when the table was three handed. However, there was an afternoon re-buy opportunity.

This tournament was a complete joke. The field consisted of older tourists, most of whom had little to no idea how to play the game; people were folding their big blinds; one guy at my table just talked the entire time and never played a hand—not once. "I got bit by a shark. But I got its tooth! True story!" He got blinded out. Even the dealers would take a minute per showdown just to figure out which hand was best. The only thing serious about the tournament was the fact that real money was on the line.

Anyway, after getting knocked out on some bad luck, I dusted off my shoulders and bought back into the afternoon session. For the next couple of hours I played some mean poker and stressed out the entire table of happy-go-lucky tourists. They had no idea what was happening but after the dust had settled I had accumulated all of the chips; and to my amazement I ended up winning my table showing down a seven high. (Almost the worst hand possible.)

One of the tournament directors tells me to be back by 5:00 for the final table although the game wouldn’t start until 5:30. I’m taking my sweet time back by the boat when I hear Andrew’s voice in the distance, “They’ve already started!”

We both run back into the casino to find the final table underway with the first round of blinds halfway over. While trying to catch my breath, I take my seat still managing to talk some trash to the unsuspecting guy next to me who had won the morning table: “Thought you got rid of me, huh?” To my delight this table was just as clueless as the previous one—let the magic show begin.

A couple hours later we were back on the boat celebrating with some box wine—and an extra $5,000. Seven days docked in Port Lucaya: $290 total.
We just bought a harpoon gun for the Berry Islands and we plan to use it.

Will post again from Nassau... more pictures... more stories...

Ian Graham, February 23, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Journal - 2/20/09

A true open bar... Shelter from the storm...

So we ended up staying four nights at Old Bahama Bay Yacht Club to the tune of $200 total. Not bad considering we absolutely crushed the Friday night open bar from 4-5pm.

A true open bar is hard to find these days. Most open bars restrict patrons to a couple drinks and the service is generally slow. Getting more than a few free drinks becomes an operation. This wasn’t the case at Old Bahama Bay—multiple hot plates of o’dourves, platters of cold beer, any drink on the menu—and speedy service: a deadly combination. Did I mention this was all completely free?!

Needless to say, we really got after it for an hour. Our bill would have easily been in the hundreds of dollars, not to mention the backpack full of beers.

Did we feel guilty? Shit, no. The staff was actively encouraging us to take as much as we could—so we did. I almost felt we would be letting them down by not maintaining the aggressive pace with which we began. Towards the end of the hour I wasn’t even enjoying my drinks…

We topped off the night by stumbling around the property amidst games of bocce ball… bickering over whose ball was closest… finding twigs to measure the inches.

Rest and relaxation was just what we needed after a couple rough nights. By day five at Old Bahama Bay we were ready to set sail once again. Onward to Port Lucaya… in good spirits.

Ian Graham, February 20, 2009

"Today we sail unto the sea, raise a drink for ‘ole Whisky!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Journal - 2/19/08

A rough night... Eats for a day…

After clearing customs at West End we sailed to the nearest excuse for a cove and dropped anchor. “This will do” we speculated. Initially the waves were calm enough to lull us to sleep, but as the sun went down the boat began to rock.

The boat rocked hard, ninety degrees from left to right the entire night. People were falling out of beds, pots and pans were rattling around the cabin. Throughout the night I would yell out in disgust: “I hate this anchorage!” But there was nothing we could do; we were too tired to move and it was night. The waves would stop for a couple minutes here and there—just long enough to keep us comatose.

The next day…

A couple local fishermen took pity on us when they saw Andrew and Van struggling to prepare a ten-inch fish. We ended up grilling fresh Mahi steaks—best meal we’ve had on the trip…

At the moment we are safely docked in Port Lucaya. Our tasks the last few days have been few: read, sit by da beach, be on time for happy hour specials, and cook. The plan is to continue our stay in Port Lucaya until Sunday when we will sail into the wild of the Berry Islands.

Just wanted to throw a post up. I’ll write about our stay in Lucaya before we head south to get grizzled in the Berry’s.

-Ian Graham, February 19, 2009

“Whiskey Deck, somewhere between a dream and a wreck.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Journal - 2/10/09

We made it to the Bahamas: feelings of jubilation mixed with post traumatic stress.

I can imagine a casual 30 min plane ride from West Palm Beach to Freeport. We chose to sail-- 60+ miles ocean...

At no point did I fear for my life; the crossing was more like a 16hr bull ride with somebody occasionally hosing you in the face with salt water. When we arrived at West End I hadn't slept for about 24hrs and had flecks of salt caked to my skin and clothes... Upon stepping onto land I couldn't help but bust out a jig/crip walk with my remaining energy.

Probably the scariest moment of the trip was when we were floating 25 miles off shore and lost both power and the engine for about ten minutes... That and the first time we lost sight of land in all directions... and it being night time... Or the huge waves in general.

The best part of the trip besides stepping onto land again, was when we saw land for the first time. I've always wanted to yell, "Land Ho!" under it's intended definition and really mean it (almost tears of joy).

There were also a few moments when we took a breath to enjoy the surroundings: the night sky, the sunrise, or being the only people in sight.

When we asked about the current conditions most experienced sailors said, "I wouldn't do it." We were also told it would be a good idea to go with other boats as a safety precaution.... But after a chat with one brazen sailor who had crossed from the UK, we felt inspired. "Let's do this!" (He said he might cross if he were younger.)

All in all, the crossing was one crazy trip, but we survived. Now time to cruise the shores of the Bahamas...

Oh, and probably the craziest piss I've ever had to take... probably.

-Ian Graham, February 10, 2009

"Whisky Deck, hasn't sunk yet."