"The Man, the Myth and the Madness"

By Capt. Fatty Goodlander

John SmithBut - although Smith may have no money - he is not poor. He has his beloved boat, the limitless horizon as perpetual destination, and an ocean teeming with seafood. It is also almost impossible for John to walk into any sailor's bar from Nova Scotia to Brazil without having at least one person offering to buy him a drink.

But mostly what Captain John Smith is — is irrepressible. He's simply impossible to dislike. He loves life so much — lives it so fully — has such a passion for each and every day, that just being enveloped in his aura of activity is fun. You can always get a 'contact high' from John. His mind is moving at a speed of a million nautical miles an hour and it touches down like lightning strikes of illumination.

Of course, John has a few loose screws — clearly. Once, he contacted this reporter to journalistically "cover" him as he discovered the Fountain of Youth which was guarded by a beautiful Brazilian Princess who possesses the Three Sacred Keys to the Three Sacred Gates...

He's the sort of guy who will solemnly advise you to save your empty toothpaste tubes. And, of course, you carefully follow his sage advice — but he'll forget to tell you why, and you might be a tad too embarrassed to ask. (Author's note to himself: Remember to ask John why to save those stupid toothpaste tubes which are rapidly filling up me medicine cabinet...)

Just how John Smith came to be John Smith is harder to explain. He's originally from Connecticut. That's not much help. In the 60's he was involved with the training of dolphins in Key West. It dawned on him that his students had it far more together than their teachers. He arrived in the islands in the late 1960's. He soon purchased a 25-foot 'Seabird yawl', and began exploring. He's still at it. Sort of.

There were a couple of trimarans and a few odd monohulls between the Seabird yawl and his purchasing "Mermaid of Carriacou". The tri was struck by a freighter and John nearly drowned. Instead - shipwrecked - he lived for awhile amid the tombstones in the Swedish Cemetery on St Barts.

The past is kinda fuzzy. Parts to it are (gratefully) lost forever.

He headquartered out of St Barts for awhile — back when that lovely island was a magic place filled with people of rare adventure. Everyone was so young, and free. Everyone would live forever. Tomorrow wouldn't/couldn't come. The wine and rum and champagne would never stop. Life was an endless, orgasmic party...

Of course, it did come to an end — reality reared its ugly head — but John had scented the freedom of the sea for too long to ever consider returning to normalcy. Normal people seem to strike John as really really really weird. What motivates 'em? Why do they run so hard just to stay in place?

So John hung out with Jimmy Buffet, Foxy and Tess, Les Anderson, Bob Dylan, LouLou Magras, Neil Young, Mad Murphy, The Lov'n Spoonfuls, and other living legends who just happened to be Living the Life in Paradise.

He hauled vegetables, fished, and carried general cargo. A million and one money-making scheme were hatched — each was a "Wild and Crazy" adventure where — in the end — all concerned ended up with empty stomachs, pockets, and bank accounts.

Oh, well, it was fun — a "Real Gas". It might have worked... but now there is a plan for carrying palm trees northward, and exchanging them for...

On and on it went — and still goes.

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