The Strange Voyage of Doc Farto
Several days ago, I came across a few old logbooks of Doc's and thumbed threw one of them. What follows is a reconstruction of certain events contained within, including my interpretations of these events...
During the summer of 1992, Doc was cruising around the Gulf of Mexico in search of solace after his fourth wife left him for his barber. Sailing around for a couple of months on his 32’ Bristol, he eventually ended up in Lake Pontchartrain, north of New Orleans. This was by no means simply a geographical location, for as you will see from his logbook entries he was wandering in more ways than one.
Recreations of events described in a logbook can be tricky, but I think I’ve managed to faithfully reconstruct the events that took place during that fateful summer. Most entries are pretty standard fare, but as he neared the summer solstice his writings became… shall we say, strange.
Log Entry: 6.15.1992
Prevailing winds from East. Ate legumes.
Doc was making good progress towards the Lake and nothing appears to be out of the ordinary. He always had a special connection with New Orleans and beans.
Log Entry: 6.16.1992
Shifty winds. Through Rigolets.
Bought shrimp from a shrimp boat.
They spoke a strange dialect. Like extra tongues in mouth.
Lizard tongues. Where am I?
First signs of confusion have begun to show. Though it may be little known outside of South Louisiana that most shrimpers down there are Cajuns, of all people, Doc would've known this. His second wife was a Louisiana Cajun and he had met her down in Lafayette during Mardi Gras, when she was in charge of tossing the chickens for one of the parades. That’s pretty damn Cajun and therefore he should have recognized that accent, if he were thinking properly. Cajuns, it should be stated, have normal tongues.
Log Entry: 6.17.1992
Wind deceased. Need a haircut.
Apparent sailboat race near west end.
Fools, no wind.
In the above passage, we can see the relentless gnawing that his wife leaving him for his barber is having on him. “Need a haircut.” Doc is rarely concerned about grooming, especially when offshore. We do know that his madness hasn’t fully taken hold at this point. Doc is still of a mind to criticize other racers. If anything, it’s a little light, apparently in keeping with his concise entries. More than likely at this point Doc was standing on the bow of his boat screaming and mooning the competitors.
Log Entry: 6.18.1992
Drifting. Cut off all hair. Scissors, razor overboard.
Turned mirrors upside down – no effect,
no change, threw overboard.
Water glassy. Hot. Sunburn on backside, becoming scaly.
The heat of a Louisiana summer could be beginning to get to him here. The long days and tropical sun were taking their toll. As long as I’ve known Doc, he has never shaved his head except for the first time he sailed across the equator. This fact too must point to the treachery of the barber. Why he felt a need to turn the mirrors upside down is curious. Could it be that he felt this would somehow ‘right’ his world? It is also interesting to note the comment regarding the nature of the water. Could he have felt that he was unable to escape the currents and realities of his life no matter where he looked? As far as the sunburn, Doc is known to singlehand in the nude and never uses lotions, as he feels that lotions of all kinds are for women. "Scaly", you would think has a direct correlation to some strange Cuban excema condition, but as you will see, it is part of a new reality settling in for him… a sort of forced birth, which will be aided by his hairlessness, apparent extreme sunburn and lack of mirrors.
Log Entry: 6.19.1992
Time is for suckers. Even Daffy understands.
Inevitable progress to new static position.
Growing weird things in the head.
This posting is interesting. Doc had now spent nearly two months alone on the boat. From reading of the entire logbook through this time, we now know that Doc only went onto the hard three times, and then they were only brief resupply missions. He must have been losing track of time in the expanse of the open waters of the Gulf and this was carrying over. Daffy is a reference to the broken Daffy the Duck watch that he has worn since he lost a son in a freak water fountain accident. Regarding the statement “Inevitable progress to new static position.” This must mean that his sunburn issues were becoming more pronounced. Knowing this boat of his and without the use of the mirrors in the head, the only thing onboard that could give him a view of himself would be the chromed winches and these reflections would have been extremely distorted. Probably disconcerting to anyone in that state of mind. The last entry on this date is probably of no consequence if it is referring to the bathroom. Doc is not a very clean man. However, if he is speaking of his mind, that is a whole different ballgame.
Log Entry: 6.20.1992
Hairy bird on bow. Could be some sort of rodent.
Captured with sailbag. Tasty.
Wind from all directions. Impossible.
Yet… may be to fill void. Always 13:30 hours. I feel I am changing.
It is important to note that at this time, Doc’s handwriting changes. The semi-meticulous handwriting and spacing from most previous entries (other than when he was clearly intoxicated) suddenly becomes much more erratic and varied. His entry regarding a hairy bird is confusing, though Doc very well could be completely in the throws of massive hallucinations. He is also known to be a strong forager, and therefore it is not out of the realm of possibility that Doc was indeed eating errant sea birds. We also know that the winds on Lake Pontchartrain are notoriously enigmatic and shifty, but even in a waterspout winds do not come in from all directions. This is confusing and only reinforces the massive hallucination theory. Regarding the mention of 13:30 hours, this is an obvious observation. It is the exact time his Daffy the Duck watch is permanently stuck to, having been the time at which his child’s water fountain incident took place. He is very definitely undergoing changes, but they are all in his mind, no matter how advanced his sunburn.
Log Entry: 6.21.1992
Heat unbearable. Volcanic. My eyes are growing larger.
We are now nearing the last entries in his log. Doc is definitely nearing acute mental breakdown. We can only imagine what a bloated mess he must be at this point. It is quite possible that he is leaving consciousness at this time, perhaps trapped in an odd meditative state rocking back and forth while staring at his reflection in the winches. We are about to now understand what he feels he is becoming.
Log Entry: 6.22.1992
I have become my true self. Sleestack.
I am Enik. I am a Sleestack.
Obviously mad. It is during this time that he sails his Bristol into the seawall where it is unfortunately sunk. There are no further entries in his log. It is also known that Doc lived in the streets of the French Quarter for a period of time that summer working as a street performer. He never speaks of it, but we can now assume that he was lost, in a type of Land of the Lost.