Around the time of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua, the U.S.-flagged merchant ship S.S. Del Oro departs Tacoma, Washington, bound for ports in Central and South America. Some unmarked crates in one of the holds are to be delivered to the Del Oro’s first stop after the U.S.: Nicaragua.
The narrator, Oiler on the 8-12 watch in the engine room, had promised to smuggle a parrot from South America back to his girlfriend in Seattle, risking prison to impress a beautiful woman.
Against a backdrop of the collapsing dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua, read how a merchant seaman combs through ports on the west coast of Latin America in search of a parrot, usually in the company of his rum-soaked shipmates.
This true story, set in 1979, shows the ambivalence of the Jimmy Carter administration toward Somoza and the Sandinista rebels, before Somoza’s flight to luxurious exile in Florida and the Reagan Administration’s later backing of the Contras. The story also shows to what lengths a man will go to keep the promise made to a woman he is courting.
As the S.S. Del Oro rolls on gentle swells, steaming down the west coast of the Americas at 18 knots, you will be introduced to life in the engine room on a steamship. Read what happens when the author finds a parrot for his girlfriend and tries to smuggle it to the U.S.