Yet another medevac today; yet another loser of a machete fight. Same as a couple of weeks ago. When will these guys learn? The machete is a bad weapon. People worry about guns? Feh- I don't. What I really worry about is a guy coming on the island in the middle of the night with a machete. I keep my doors and windows locked. The locals tell me it didn't use to be this way. But we've already had two nighttime intruders: one just before I got here; the other shortly after. So I keep a .40 caliber Glock pistol close by on the nightstand - just in case.
The guy today had a huge gash in his head. The local "doctor" couldn't tell how deep it was, so he stopped the bleeding, bandaged the wound and sent the guy to a hospital on the mainland. I was just about to sit down to breakfast when a boat pulled up fast to our dock. Don, one of the workers said, "I wonder what they want?" But I knew. When unfamiliar people come to the island so early on a weekend morning, it can only mean one thing: they want the helicopter. And these guys did. Bad.
So I flew Mr. Machete-Fight Loser down to La Ceiba. He was walking (if not talking), so I guess he wasn't in too-bad shape. But don't depend on Dr. Bob for your diagnosis. I just fly 'em.
After I got back, Roger the head of the local power company came by. We joked that there ought to be a law that says: "If you get drunk and get into a machete fight, you DON'T get a helicopter ride to the mainland." Not that that would change anything.
It occurs to me that I haven't posted a whole lot of pictures of my new life in paradise. Having said that, here are a few. One other Sunday not long ago, I took the previous machete-fight loser (the one who got his left hand lopped clean off - and lost it) down to La Ceiba. Kenny, one of our workers flew along with me. When we got back to Guanaja, I decided to do a little exploring/sightseeing.
Here is a shot of our airport. They don't call it "Guanaja International" for nothing. In fact, they don't call it that at all, as you probably already guessed. I'm not sure how long the runway is other than "not very," but the pilots of the twin-turboprop commuter planes sometimes use up every inch of it. Our hangar is that white building just visible at the top left of the pic. There is no terminal to speak of. You buy your ticket at one of three airline offices over on the Cay, then boat over to the airport. At the far end of the runway there is a little path that leads down to a boat dock. Very third-world.
The north side of Guanaja is quite beautiful. Mostly uninhabited, there are miles and miles of unspoiled, deserted, inviting beaches, such as this one above. We were tempted to land and go for a swim, but decided to leave it for another time. There was someone I wanted to drop-in on.
While out playing around that day, I decided to visit with a woman who lives up on the north side. Her name is Sue Hendrickson, an archeologist of some renown. She discovered one of the oldest dinosaurs ever, and they named it after her. Unfortunately, because of this she will forever be known as "Dinosaur Sue." She's a wonderful, eccentric woman, endlessly fascinating and generous to a fault.
I had to actually hover in under a palm tree to get on the beach. It was tricky. Kenny, who was riding with me, said, "You are the BEST helicopter pilot!" I was inclined to agree, but modesty made me correct him. "Just *one* of the best, Kenny," I said. "Just one of them."
I probably should have landed on her boat dock, which was roomier and more solid. But the helicopter on the beach just makes such a pretty picture, doesn't it? Plus, I had never done it before.
Life in paradise has it's advantages, let me tell you.