This was a story that Les wrote to my wife and I several years ago. Somehow I missed putting this story in the book. I remembered the details, and I remembered the timeframe, I remembered it all except to add it to the book. So here is the raw and unedited lost story of the Ibiza Run.

Ibiza Run

Judy and I had just done about 30 months sailing around the Caribbean at the end of 1983 and had to go back to the keys to work on the bottom of the boat and buy stuff. When we got back Judy called home to check in. The news was not good. The FBI had been to her parent’s house, and her folks had been seriously interrogated. They asked her to return, so we put her on a plane home. I was broke by then, and the boat yard wanted their money for the repairs.

One night I was sitting in a bar on the other side of the canal where the boat yard was and down to my last $20. I was hoping Judy would get her butt back so I could settle up and move on. There was this tourist sitting at the bar beside me, and we started to talk. I ended up pointing to my boat sitting on the hard across the canal, and he asked me where a boat like that could go. I told him, “Anywhere that there is 7’ of water.” He told me that he had always wanted to go to Spain; some island named Ibiza. I had never heard of it, but I told him that for $200/day I would take him there! I needed some dollars, and I didn’t give a shit where Ibiza was.

This guy was now buying the beers, and after the bar closed we ended up on my boat for another round and both got really loaded. That night he gave me $3,000, and we were going to Spain in the morning! In the morning, before he woke up, I paid my bill, borrowed a car and headed for the store. When I got back the boat was in the water, and he hadn’t even woken up. I loaded all the groceries and 37 cases of beer aboard, moved over to the fuel dock and was filling up, and he woke up. He came up to the cockpit wondering what was happening. I told him we were going to Spain! He shook his head and said, “All right. Let me go check out of the motel and turn in my car.” Come to find out he owned a bunch of putt-putt golf courses in Tennessee, and his wife had caught him with his secretary and threw him out! He had bucks though. I didn’t know if this guy would make it past the breakwater, but the yard bill was paid. If he didn’t pan out Judy could catch up the next time we were at a phone and airport.

By 2:30pm we had left the coast of Florida behind, and the next morning we entered the Bahamas. The next day we were in Nassau. This guy took to the water like a duck. 38 days later we passed Gibraltar and hooked north 400 miles to the Spanish Riviera, and it turned out Ibiza was a little island paradise. It was a huge tourist spot for the jet set rich. Our troubles started when I tried to check in with immigration, and this guy didn’t have a passport! The guy in charge finally came out of his office to help. Neither of us could speak Spanish, and this head guy was pissed. He told us, “You Goddamn Americans think you can just do anything you want. You have to have a passport to enter Spain. You got to leave, now.” Well, after a little while he cooled down after I explained it was my fault. I had never asked him if he had a passport, and I told him we couldn’t leave right now cause we had motor problems (it is an international rule you can enter a country if you are disabled and need repairs). Plus we were out of beer! He finally smiled and said in Spain we drink wine, that way it makes the ladies more fun and they don’t get fat. He said he was going on a long weekend, and when he returned on Tuesday morning he didn’t want to see our boat in his harbor. He told us to fix our motor, drink some wine and enjoy the bikinis. Cool, this was Friday, so nothing wrong with the motor we went down to get a steak and a beer. We were literally out, all 37 cases!

In Spain they sell their local wine everywhere and cheap. A decent bottle was like a dollar or something like that. We ate and walked around buying some wine here and there, and when we couldn’t carry anymore the next shop said that they delivered – end of that problem. So we wandered in and out of bars and looked all around. All the time this guy named Bill was buying wine. He’d say, “Shit! A whole case for $10, have to have it!” By the time we got back to the boat at the marina (we got a hotel room for the night with long, hot showers and television) the whole damn dock beside our boat was loaded with cases of wine and beer. I mean a lot of cases! There was no way it would all fit in the boat, and the people around us kept asking what we were stocking up for? Bill would say, “Oh, we’re going out to party for the weekend!” This was Saturday afternoon, so we went up to the bar to talk. We made a deal with the bar tender – a party, we would supply the wine if he’d let us use the bar on Sunday. He could sell all the other stuff to make money, and we would have a grand party. It worked well. Word got around that there was a free party going on, and people just kept coming. By Monday afternoon we were wiped out and the party was still going. We loaded up what beer we had and headed to town for some food and to buy more beer (beer was hard to find). Monday night turned into Tuesday afternoon, and Tuesday night we were still there. About 10-11pm the immigration official came, but we were too drunk to go anywhere. He laughed when I explained we bought too much wine to take and had to have a party to drink it up, so he got into the party mood and joined us for the rest of the night. At about 6:30 the next morning someone knocked on the boat. I went up to find the blazing sun light, and it was this head guy from customs in a small boat. He was there to escort us out of the harbor!

36 days, 21 without ever doing anymore than adjusting the sails, we sighted Cuba, and after a couple more we pulled into Key West. The whole trip was close to 90 days. This guy turned out to be a natural sailor, and when we got all settled in he paid me $100 a day to go with him to find a sail boat. He was going to call his kids and just get them to go with him where ever. He did find a boat, and I saw him for a week or so, and his kids came down and they took off. I never saw him again. I went back to trying to get Judy back. I netted about $9,000 after it was all done. That was a good job!

The money didn’t last me long, and again my boat needed some repairs so back up on the hard it went while I was waiting for Judy. I had a botched pot heist that left me broker than broke (you can read about this one in the book page 123 of Wanted) during this stay in Miami, and Judy called saying she had been visited and was being watched by the FBI. They were all over her, and things were very tense. I knew I had to move on, but I needed some quick cash and focused my attention on robbing my next bank!

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