Thursday, May 15, 2008


I've observed that anger is an excellent instigator and motivator for me, inspiring me to get back to the notebook, and to complete many other jobs and tasks with uber-efficiency.

For the second time on my journey, I've been robbed. This time more blatant than the Cuban incident where it took more than 48hrs for me to realize I'd been robbed. Stupid is what stupid does, and leaving a purse on a table of a house porch was against my better judgement, if it was only for a moment to run and grab a ginger ale. When I returned there was a man on the porch, 'admiring the wood siding' and wondering what kind of wood it was. He had just put his hand in his pocket and I KNEW he had just taken something from my purse, but WHY I was not prepared to accuse, I really don't know and it's still eating at me three days later. He casually toddled off the deck and started up the street and I called out for my friend and his father Bill. Bill and I took off in bare feet, chasing him up the street as my friend jumped in the truck and gunned it, wrong way up the one way lane. Obviously an experienced grab-and-dasher, he lost us in no time.

All he managed to grab was my zip-up wallet, a little blue wallet with a white cat stitched on the side. It was part of my Christmas gift from Justine when we were anchored in St. Augustine. My credit and debit cards, and what turned out after some careful thought, a very small amount of cash, was all I lost. The numerous police officers who appeared a few minutes after Josh calling 911 were calm and friendly and did all they could be expected to in a hopeless situation as this one. Key West is a small place though, and I spend a fair amount of time cruising the island on my friend's bike, and I'm envisioning a bike-pedestrian accident someday soon.

Two hours after the incident, there was a very strange twist of events. Since arriving back in Key West about 2 months ago, I've been working periodically for a bike repair man, aka Tom the Bikeman. I cycle around town in a tricycle containing all the parts and gizmo's needed for fixing bicycles. Bikeman owns about 500 bikes at various Inns, B&Bs and Hotels, etc. All these locations rent them out to their guests, and he (or I, at the moment) pick a handful of them everyday to bike to and tidy-up, or fix-up, whatever the bikes need.

As I took my case # and phone number from Officer Fernandez, my phone rang and it was one of the Hotels. They had a missing bike, possibly stolen, but at that point there may have just been a mix-up with another guest's bike. This guest was about to leave for her flight, and was pretty upset that she was about to be charged for the replacement value of the bike she was responsible for. Which is why I was receiving a phone call; the Hotel manager felt bad for the woman who swore the bike was there a minute ago, and she turned around and it was gone. No time for someone to steal it, they didn't think, considering the backyard location and general unlikelihood of a thief being back there. Not being far from the hotel, I hopped on my bike and headed over to talk to both of them.

The woman was visibly upset on how it appeared her vacation was about to end. Perhaps in an attempt to make her feel not so alone in her situation, or at least to lighten it, I laughed and suggested, "Maybe the same guy who stole my wallet an hour ago stole your bike". The hotel manager turned to me and asked, "Does your wallet happen to have a cat on it?". She had found it a few minutes earlier on the veranda of one of her guest houses (containing everything but the cash) moments after seeing a man by the same description on the property 'just admiring the trees and landscaping'. It's funny that my wallet would end up in the hands of one of the hotels I was to attend to the next day, and my wallet thief chose their yard to duck into, and (likely) their bike to steal to make his getaway. I'm tempted to think there's some sort of sign in this whole event, the coincidences being what they are, but I don't see it just yet.

I haven't forgotten I've left you all hanging about the circumstances surrounding my arrival in Mexico. Some memories are harder to re-live than others, and despite all that had happened from Nova Scotia until the reef-crossing in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, there was no comparison in terms of the heartache involved when your boat feels the abuse of a shoreline, but SO much more importantly, the love and appreciation I felt for those who were there to help. They all knew knew how heart wrenching such situations can be, and came to my assistance ready to do anything, until they were sure my little ship was resting safely upon her anchor with at least a couple of feet of water beneath the keel.

I've had extraordinary experiences so far on this adventure, and I've had some horrendous ones as well. I've never believed in luck, good or bad. If I believed in bad 'luck' I am convinced that I would only be giving credibility to the hoards of negative thoughts that can sometimes do laps inside my head, and that inadvertently I'd continue to bring even more bad 'luck' into my life. But I do believe that most coincidences, or patterns of events, are actually signs that are offering us some kind of insight to where our personal paths are about to go. These signs are occurring with increased frequency lately, or perhaps I'm just becoming more aware of them. It's an interesting pass-time figuring out what meaning they hold, and more often than not they just point out the obvious, or are only showing me what I want to see, or telling me what I want to hear.

Either way, I'm going to begin to pay more attention to signs, even if they're as small and as seemingly obscure as a cherished bracelet falling off my wrist upon landfall in Key West.