The Hunt for White October

  1. There’s a popular saying in the port city of Buenaventura : “Those who talk are carried away by the tide.”

    So it’s understandable that Diego Morales doesn’t want to reveal too many details about why he agreed to undertake such a perilous mission. All he will say is that his sister owed money to the wrong people. And owing money to the wrong people in Colombia’s new cocaine capital is a good way to end up dead.

    “I needed a lot of pesos fast,” says Morales, 52, a sullen-looking fireplug of a man with a scar over his right eye.

    So imagine the relief when the offer came: 30,000 American dollars, half now, the other half when the work was completed, a mind-boggling amount of money for someone used to living on the equivalent of $5 a day. And all he had to do, he was told, was go on a fishing trip.

    It was August 2007 when Morales was picked up in a truck and taken to a damp estuary on the outskirts of Buenaventura, a vast, tangled network of rivers and inlets bordered by dense ju...

The complete text of “The Hunt for White October” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on

Originally published in Maxim, April 2009

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