Bare-faced cheek in Culebra

An Encounter in Culebra – John Schofield

Mid-morning, anchored in a secluded cove off Bahia Honda, Culebra. We were lounging naked in the cockpit, enjoying our tea and toast, when the drone of an outboard motor caught my attention. A small boat with a striped Bimini top was heading towards us.

“We’d best get some clothes on, love, looks like we’re having company” I said.

The boat was nearer now and I could see it was steered by a man in a suit and tie. His passenger, a large lady in a flowery dress, was kneeling on the bow-seat struggling to maintain her balance as she held aloft a tabloid newspaper in both hands.

They puttered closer and now I could see the newspaper was the Watchtower; this couple were water-borne Jehovah’s Witnesses. The way he was handling the boat, I could tell the guy at the helm was going to ding my hull and when he did, I’d yell something he’d probably consider very unchristian. Better deal with it now. I stepped onto the side deck and waved them off. They did an immediate about-turn and roared off into the distance.

The blonde emerged from the cabin, having donned tee shirt and shorts.

“That’s got rid of them” I said.

“Yes, I see that. I think it had less to do with your imperious arm waving than with your failure to take your own advice and put some clothes on.”


This little tale was published in Yachting Monthly Magazine some years ago and by way of payment I was given an original Mike Peyton cartoon (pictured) of the incident. It hangs on my office wall.