We Have Added a New Amazon River Boat, The Dawncita
We always want to make our cruises look easy but things happen. This next expedition is complicated by flood waters, and my having had the flu and staying in bed for three out of the four days before we cast off.
On the morning of the fourth day the door bell rang. Marina yelled up to the crow’s nest, “It’s Mr. Jimmy.” I crawled out of bed feeling weak.
My friend and fellow jungle guide, Jimmy Two Bears, came up the stairs two at a time. His knees and ankles don’t hurt, and he does not have the flu. “I came by yesterday. Your girls said you were sick. You alright?”
“Yeah I’m alright. Let’s sit out here on the balcony and watch the river rise.”
“You don’t look alright. Hear you have a fishing trip. You able to go?”
“Of course I’m able to go, I have to.”
“Water’s up! Fishing’ll be hard. Won’t be good!” Jimmy knows fishing.
“That’s why I decided yesterday we’re going up the Napo River.”
“What’s the water like there?”
“Don’t know, can’t be worse than here.”
“Could be…” Jimmy stared off across the river looking like he remembered when it was worse.
I laughed for the first time in three days. We sat quiet for a while, watching and listening to the Blue-gray tanagers singing and flitting around in the palm trees. Beyond the palms, two fishermen worked their net from a dugout canoe.
After a while Jimmy got to the point, “Bill, remember a couple of years ago you told me if I ever want to sell my boat you would like first shot.”
“You want to sell the Bushmaster?” Jimmy knows boats like he knows fishing. He customized the Bushmaster with long fuel tanks that run most of the length of the twenty five foot boat on both sides, for balance, and ballast, and made comfortable padded seats. It is a reinforced, double-hulled, aluminum river boat, fixed up nice. “Is it registered? Paper work in order? How much you want?”
“Sure. Make me an offer.”
“You got receipts? How about half of what you have in it?”
“That sounds fair.”
My two motoristas went to check over the boat and make sure it was still in good shape. They gave it the thumbs up, “Buen bote.” Then I sent them to the company that manufactured it to get a bid for how much a new boat customized just like it would cost to build. The price for a new boat was substantially more than the half price for Jimmy’s and I determined it was a good price.
I proudly told Marmelita that Dawn on the Amazon Tours and Cruises had another Amazon riverboat. I made her and my crew laugh by naming the boat Dawncita. She asked, “Are you crazy, don’t we have enough boats?” I rationalized the purchase to her, and to me, that Pacaya Samiria National Reserve has a new maximum limit of 40hp motors that can enter the reserve.
The Dawncita will be perfect for that, powered with a quiet 40 hp 4 stroke. We will tow it behind Dawn on the Amazon III, and use her for groups to make excursions into the reserve. Dawn III will be like a floating lodge tied up to shore as far into the reserve as the rangers will allow. We will have very nice accommodations for fishing, bird watching, dolphin spotting, and cruising.
No time to celebrate, or for buyer’s remorse to set in. Our guests arrive on the early flight the next morning. We have a lot of preparation left to do. I feel a lot better. We want this to look easy.