There is this guy Bode living here. I don’t know his last name, and its possible he doesn’t have one. In fact, no one has a last name here. It’s a sunny place for shady people if you know what I mean. Bode is friends with a guy named Buddy (see what I am saying). Bode is probably 55, 200 pounds with 25 lbs of that his beard. The only skin on his face that you see is when he puckers up for a rum drink. Buddy is typically covered in oil from working on engines. They are full-on pirates, with uncanny stereotypically jolly pirate behavior. That doesn’t mean I would call them seaworthy though. I like a captain who can… well …. Stand. And neither had a boat. But what every pirate needs is a boat, and Bode found just the one. For as long as I had lived here, there was this old powerboat on the beach in Cruz Bay. It couldn’t possibly float. It was painted in a graffiti style, had no engine and may have served as a home for someone who just couldn’t make it home some nights. On the side was painted her name in bright yellow with blue squiggly outlines, that had all now faded to some other color; “Yeowza.” It’s fun to say. We have all heard the expression, but how is it spelled? Some derivative of yikes and… I don’t even know. I got to say it again “Yeowza.”
But back to them in a minute.
So Angie and I had gathered our energies for a short vacation. Everyone always wants to know where we would vacation, being that we live in St John, a dream destination for just about anyone. This time we were going to Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands. Short trip, but totally rehabilitating for us. There was going to be a party over there and a number of our friends were also going for the weekend. Which meant of course, that half the Island knew there was a party being that the coconut telegraph never sleeps. It took us a few hours to gather all of our necessities, and get to the boat to start sailing over. It is about a 7-mile sail, on a reach (an easy point of sail) typically, so we can make it from St John in about 2 hours with the right breeze. The seas were really rough that day though so it took a little longer. We settled in for the weekend party and found ourselves relieved to be Limin on the beach and happy to be with our friends. Some other friends had come by smaller boat and had a rougher time, but we all had made it. As evening fell we stargazed from the soft cool evening sand and laughed about the characters on St John.
Around midnight, out of the darkness we heard a commanding laughter and the weak sound of a 2-stroke engine running on one cylinder. Suddenly Voice recognition sets in, “I swear I hear Bode” I say to my friend Dave. “Not possible, he had his first rum this morning at about 9 (Dave is bartender), plus who would bring him on their boat?” As the laughter grew louder, the image appeared. He was epic in posture. One foot up on the bow, bottle of rum held out to the gods and that deep, deep gravel of a laugh. He looked like Washington crossing the Delaware, but it was Bode and Buddy in “Yeowza” at midnight through impossible seas with a boat that should be a planter and of course a bottle of rum. Without turning off the engine, they rammed ashore, Bode’s infectious laughter quickly sending us all rolling. And we all realized right there that you’ve got to believe in pirates and the power of rum.