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Current Location: Bay Islands College of Diving (BICD) Dive Center, Utila, Bay Islands, Honduras

09.03.10

Price of beer in a bar: US$1.32 to US$1.85, depending on the time and bar.
Song currently stuck in my head: This Is Cracker Soul (Cracker)

Here are two mistakes that I’ve realized so far with regard to my packing:

1) I don’t have a good swimsuit. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that I can’t figure out what is and isn’t a men’s swimsuit any more. It used to be that any pair of shorts with a liner was a swimsuit; why else would you have a liner in your shorts? Seriously? Now I own pants with a liner. They’re zip off travel pants, so maybe I’m supposed to use them as swim trunks as well. They even have that little interior pocket that I associate with men’s swim wear. But then I have a pair of Columbia shorts with me that have a liner, an interior drawstring and little drainage holes in some pockets and a mesh liner in others. I thought these were swim trunks until I got them wet, but now I’m not so sure.

So someone, please, explain to me… what the fuck are “board shorts”? Aren’t these just swim trunks without liners? Or are they for me to wear near water but not in it? I have a pair with me, but they’re pretty lightweight and, when wet, irresponsibly showy. I bought a pair of swim trunks that had a full liner that actually lined the full shorts (instead of being a pair of stitched in elastic briefs, which is usually the case). They were awesome. They were also too big. I had them altered, but they never looked right so I gave them to my father. I’m sure they fit (and therefore look) better on him.

It’s getting to where I’ll pay the US$40 or US$60 or US$300 or whatever name brand swim wear costs just so that I know I’m buying swim wear.

So I’m stuck with two pairs of shorts that I wear in the water; one is versatile enough to go unnoticed as regular shorts (and may, indeed, be regular shorts), which is cool, and one pair that nothing else even remotely matches. I’ll toss the second one when I pick up real swim wear.

2) When I’m backpacking I’m a casual “ounce shaver”. These are people who do everything possible to reduce the weight of their load, up to and including sawing off the handle from their toothbrush. I don’t recall ever sawing anything off, though I have removed some extraneous aspects of gear through other means, but one thing I always do is pack the most concentrated (and therefore the smallest lightest) bottle of DEET I can find. This time we have a 99% mix. But we’re not really backpacking and, in truth, it’s not the best formulation for our purpose. I use it in bursts on clothing, mostly, when heading somewhere with heavy mosquito populations like a forest. Here we need it day-to-day when we’re usually wearing shorts and short sleeves and we need protection against sand flies, which requires a bit more uniform of a coating.

In the same vein, I pack the highest SPF I can find and then cut it with a cheap bottle of local lotion. This works great; it keeps the weight in your pack down, allows you to bring far more protection than you otherwise would and an SPF 70 is usually about the same price as SPF30 and goes more than twice as far.

We’re trying to poach internet access from the cafe/hotel that we neighbor, but for some reason even my +12 db alfa external wireless adapter won’t make it happen. I can see the network and even have a couple of bars, but it won’t accept the WPA password. It works fine in the cafe (most of the time, as nothing is entirely dependable here). I’ve experienced similar issues in the past and don’t fully understand what causes them. I came up installing wired networks and can configure and manage a wireless environment, but when you get into the actual radio wave behavior and how it related to the power of the equipment I’m over my head. The intersection of a powerful adapter and a mediocre router seems to be detectability but no communication. Or maybe it’s something small that I’m missing. Troubleshooting novel connectivity issues is often annoying because you can’t consult the internet and experience the problem at the same time.

The girlfriend and I are both starting to theorize about adverse side effects from our chloroquine use. Anxiety is the most obvious; for about a month now a cup of good coffee has given me a day’s worth of adderall like speed float, hinting at some underlying amphetamine-esque substance at work. Both of us are uncharacteristically short tempered, which we initially attributed to the stresses of travel (and earlier to the stresses of packing). But it feels very foreign; not like “me under stress”, which I know well. Even the fat burners and the then-OTC pro-hormones that I took years ago while lifting never had exactly this effect. I’m looking forward to moving back to doxycycline soon.

These effects make me doubly sorry that “Island Fitness”, a small local gym with first rate equipment and plenty of free weights, is closed. I could have worked out some serious tension in their AC.

In the meantime I’ve put myself on a therapeutic regime of books, music, beach, hammock, pool, and repeated ocular doses of bikini clad Euro Tourist Eye Candy.

I think it’s paying off.

Have a good weekend, folks.

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