Baron Samedi’s big black arse shines bright like obsidian on the deck of the Bay Marie.
I can see a lot from up here at the top of the masthead, drunk and bleary eyed, enjoying the breeze and the scent of the smoke rolling in from the city. Ha Long Bay. Two thousand lime stone islands jutting out from the water like a crocodile’s tail and the night sky is perfectly empty of cloud, more stars than I’ve ever seen back home.
People are yelling at me from the deck. They’re telling me either to jump or to climb back down. A six-foot pale Irishman is making it clear he wants to climb up next, he’s got a beer in his hand and he’s beating his chest like Popeye. I don’t think this rope ladder will support him.
Down below, the Baron’s oiled up rear end twinkles in the moonlight, a beacon in the darkness, then he lifts himself up and dives head first into the water. He’s followed by a Midas-touched teen in a red swimsuit; bleached blonde cornrows cascading down her back. For a man so large he’s oddly graceful.