Nice boat Cuajota, and I share the feelings that you have written in your blog. Is there anyone here that hasn't lost
a friend or family member
to cancer? I watched my step mom wither away and die in pain. Cancer sucks!
Several years ago, John and I made a connection, for that lack of a better word, through posts here at CF. He became a mentor to me through his posts, and many pm's. I guess he was trying to keep me from hurting myself!
Some of the long time members here will recall
that John used to throw the "Spring Fling" and "Fall Ball", at his marina in Green Cove Springs, Fl. for members of several sailing forums
. He would do the the grilling, and what a fine grill-meister he is! I had just lost
my job, thanks to the economy, and he suggested that my wife and I should drive from Texas
for his Fall Ball. We did just that, and he put us up in the guest berth on Imagine for a week. Little did I know, later I would spend a month aboard, sailing to South America
. I left there, after getting homesick/missing my wife....but the plan was to sail from Florida
, thru the Canal, to Hawaii
, to San Francisco
. Can you say -Experience of a Lifetime!?
All I can say is that he is exactly the MAN, that you get from reading his posts. A great teacher, a great friend, and yes..... one hell of a sailor!
He is also quite the writer, as most know. I will share this message I got from him a couple of years ago-
I was told if you can sail S.F. Bay. That you can sail anywhere. I honed my skills several times a week in all weather
on the bay for 18 months. The last year was single-handing Frolic most of the time.
I sailed out the Golden Gate on the ebb tide, and light wind
. I was nervous, and as I went under the gate I asked myself if I was sure this is what I wanted. I looked over my shoulder at the city, S.F., and silently said to myself YES.
6 hours later it was blowing stink, and I was sick enough I thought I was dying. I couldn't go below, because I was even sicker there. I would force myself below every 2 hours to get my fix.
I slept on the cockpit
floor, or tried to sleep. It was in the 40's tempature wise. The cold kept me from sleeping. Through sheer determination I forced the sickness out of my mind, and pushed forward.
The second day was Thanksgiving, and I couldn't eat. I forced half a sandwich down, and an apple later. There were doubts in my mind, but everytime I asked myself what I was doing I pushed on. All the time thinking of friends, and family
around a large comfortable table with more before them than they could eat.
I had problem after problem after problem, and finally I reached Mexico
, Ensenada. I had a bad vibration, and thumping sound out of my prop. I limped into the yard, and I callled my wife. I told her maybe I am not cut out to be a sailor.
I had already been through a torn sail at sea, and hand stitched. I had rounded point conception in 50+ wind
, and 20+ft. seas. I had gone nearly 400 miles miles not knowing the difference between magnetic, and true compass
reading. I was always 14 degrees off on all my navigating, and now this.
I have to have a belly laugh right now, because this was her reply. "WTF ru going to do come back after all these miles? I already bought my ticket for Cabo!"
I agreed with her in my mind. I had already gone far alone in a busy shipping
lane, seen, and weathered Mother Nature. In a split second I replied "see you in Cabo." I hung up the phone
I walked back to the yard, and Frolic was in the slings. There wrapped around the shaft was a huge ball of kelp....****ING KELP! I couldn't believe it. She was splashed, and I sailed farther south into even more interesting sailing.......we can share that over a 6pack, and a sunset while the grill
is going, and the girls are waiting to be fed
and one more.....
You just go slow, and make sure your lovely bride is happy. A step at a time, a day at a time, and you will get to where you need to be. It's not mandatory to go below the 5 capes. It's not mandatory to leave a known shore for the unknown shore. The only thing mandatory in sailing is maintanance, or the boat will wither.
I was down, and out financially. I was having problems with Frolic in Cabo trying to get back to S.F. I put her in the hard, yes in
the hard for storage
. I could not afford a cradle
to set her in, so they dug her a hole. I swear it was like burying a dead person as they lowered her in.
The yard workers left, and I was so ashamed. I looked around the yard, and boats had been sitting for years abandoned. I walked up to Frolic, and layed my hand on her bow. Her bow was lower than my eyes. I looked down at her, and promised her I wouldn't leave her here to die. I promised I would be back as soon as I could.
If she could just get me home I would give her everything she needed. I asked for her understanding, and forgiveness. I left weeping, and mad at myself.
Several months later I returned. I got the feeling like a puppy who is glad to see you come home from work. They picked her up, and lowered her in her element. I cleaned her for days inside, and out. The desert's dust finds every crevice there is.
Needless to say we got home, but I harbored the fear that she would die in that hole forgotten, and unloved.
WELL, it's time to go home, and I do mean the house. I am going to sit by the pool, and reflect on Frolic tonight. Drink some beer
, and maybe do a wee bit of weeping. I wish I could bond with a woman like I did that boat!......DADDYo
I'm not giving up on him, but things have to be dire. He would never have left Imagine in Panama