5 июня 2004, 05:58:07
The drinking age in New York used to be 18, which meant that you could start drinking publicly when you were 16 if you picked the right bars. One of the places I could get served without hastle was the Bavarian Inn on 86th street in the heart of what used to be called "German Town" (I think) but is more properly "Yorkville" (I think). Anyway, the Bavarian Inn was a bar that, during its height, was half preppy underage drinkers and half retired merchant marine sailors (If you own a bar, that mix is like hitting the lottery) and during the time that I was earning my barfly wings I listened to the old guys tell lots of tales that "could have happened and might be true." Since I turned "of age" I haven't had a good source for original sailor stories, which are the best kind of stories there are, until I joined LiveJournal and discovered saltdog's journal. What recommends saltdog is that in addition to being the real deal (a drunken sailor who can write well) he is psychologically astute and intellectually curious... so you can bet that if he is taking a bunch of birders, "or whatever you call bird watching fanatics", up the Orinioco river that he will end up trading soap with Indians not for the love of native swag but for the interaction. Add to those qualities the fact that he is well read and culturally aware and the net effect is a deceptively complex journal.
He has a fair share of "friends-only" posts, I think because he writes many things that could get him fired, so you should try to get him to friend you. He has some cranky opinions... those who prefer seals to sealers should be forewarned... but his bark is worst than his bite and despite frequent profanity his journal is never (as far as I can remember) obscene. He is funny and lately has started posting pictures and making phone posts. When he is at sea he often can't update his journal but as soon as he is on land the entries come in bunches.
You should friend him. Why read Edgar Rowe Snow and Patrick O'Brian books when you can get first hand accounts of using a skinny stick to search for stowaways before leaving Mogadishu?