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The tropics are hot!

Sep 17, 2006

I was sitting in a circus tent last night, which felt like a steam bath. Hundreds of sweaty bodies were jammed in, along with the tigers, monkeys, elephants, clowns, and cotton-candy vendors. It was a Mexican circus here in Cartagena, Colombia. I know, I know, you're probably stuck in some office located in a cold and rainy city, looking out on dreary streets that seem to absorb any weak sun that manages to penetrate the gray clouds. I used to do the same. Now I swelter in the cockpit under 90-degree sun, with 90-percent humidity, dreaming of cold, rainy days.

Hard to believe, isn't it? Some people seem to love the heat--we don't. Pretty obvious, but the tropics are hot. You've got to learn to love it, or at least endure it. Don't depend on air conditioning--it will just make it worse for you when you have to head out into that hot water bottle air. We know some folks with air conditioned trawlers and they seem to suffer the most.

At least we have adapted enough to cope, but it is a real concern. Be sure you really, really love the heat before planning on spending a lot of time in the tropics. I'm not talking about vacation amounts of heat, but day-in- and night-out-relentless heat.