We sat on a broken bench with all our belongings, near the boat dock, and watched the sunset; then slowly, hesitatingly, we went over to the boat where the captain’s men were loading refrigerators and boxes and boxes of other things, we waited to the side in the background until they finished loading. Finally, it was getting dark, and that night there was no moon, so that a smuggler’s perfect night’ so the boat would be very hard to see. There was contraband on board for sure, but even if they were transporting drugs nobody would be able to see us…
Captain Juan made a sign to us with his big hand – “Come on…” , so we got onto his boat while the crew made ready to cast off out, untying the ropes. We put our belongings in a little corner space and just watch the show.
The sailors were just like Captain Jack Sparrow’s pirate crew; one of them had a scar all over his face, another had one arm, and they all looked very terrifying. We were as careful as could be not to leave our things out, and even so, we were soon missing some money from Tad’s bag. But I had nothing of importance, so I was just watching Tads stuff.
We were too excited to go to sleep, so we asked for some sodas and paid for it. About 4 am we stopped in a shallow of a small river, and the captain, machete in hand, came to us (almost scared us to death!) and said, now my friends you are to go with him, pointing to this ugly deformed man down there in the water on a small dinghy, loaded with couple of boxes from our boat. “He will take you ashore to the Colombian shore!” So it was gracias adios! I didn’t know if Tad knew about this arrangement, couldn’t tell.
When and how some money disappeared from one of his bags remains a mystery to me because I did not leave his things, maybe when I went for a minute to the boat galley for some aguardiente or rum when Tad was an sleep?
Now we step down carefully on this small boat, that I looked and the water was almost up to the gunnels. I knew enough about boats that this was no good, plus this was a river of water poisoning snakes and big crocodilos– Our new Captain Raul is telling us with a knife on has sinch and a machete next to him, explaining that was why he was very well armed meaning that the has a pistol , slowly I whisper too my partner your know? he can just kill us and we would never be found in these crocodile infested waters. Lets keep looking at him and be very alert , we had no “Plan “A” or” B” what to do on that case?
We had no weapons, not even a decent knife, I begin to Pray and forget about my bottle of rum that I got from the cook. We said nothing, and sat on the end opposite to (our new captain) jajajaj his name he said is repeatedly Raul , si we said,. I am sure none of this names were real! He held a knife on has cinch and a machete next to him, we whisper to each other as he started the little motor and we departed from captain Juan with a big smile, which boat seems safer now?, this one is scarier? what should we do if he attacks us, takes our things and throw our bodies in the water?
Now we were really afraid. Will, we said to each other, let’s set a little further away, separately from each other, so we can defend ourselves better, just in case he attack us. “OK?” I said to Tad. Yes was the answer, but we also did not want to be apart too far from each other in case the boat sinks. We were going almost with water to the gunnels of this little boat I started a conversation with captain Raul, to distract him from looking at our luggage as much as possible and at me, Tad was telling where we from and that I was his aunt, etc, etc. Raul said it should soon be getting morning, we said to ourselves we hope. Dear God help us.
Tad was asking him how to get to Medellin from where he was going to let us off. Captain Raul said, its too far from the Pacific shores beach , your walk straight, It was still dark– we still can be killed by him or others that are waiting for him at the shore. At this time the stars became fewer they seemed to have disappeared, a sign that very soon the sun will soon be coming up,few hrs . ago, it was a full sky of stars, not that there were more starts, they just that they were much brighter, I must say it was hard not to notice that fantastic sky in the middle of the dark waters and we were navigating in a very dark night, one of the darkest I ever remember seeing.
The. light is coming slowly, slower than what we wanted! Tad can you see land? Yes, we’re on the Pacific side, Colombia here we go! Hush, we are not completely safe yet, a long ways from Medellin remember? Finally, after a little while we stop, gave a tip to the captain and said our goodbyes and thanks gracias adios. . With the outboard motor the boat couldn’t go any further, so we had to walk in the water to the shore. Captain Raul said adios, again we said goodbye, after helping us out, he had a big smile on his face, with all the front tooth broken, was a even scarier face in the morning letting to let us off,? Those last dark minutes , we knew this last minutes we can still be killed by him or maybe others that area waiting for him and has cargo at the shore. At this time the stars became fewer. It seems that they slowly are disappearing, a sign that very soon the sun will be coming up. I sad too Tad there were many more stars the sad they were breiter earlier in the night, that is why they were much brighter, I must say, even with all this fear, it was not hard to notice that fantastic sky in the middle of the dark night on this river waters when we were navigating in a very dark night, one of the darkest I ever ben, that I remember saying.
Our bravery only can be described as naive, or a case of muchas bolas!