Thank you John,
I will be targeting either a Fountain or a Catana
, not loaded down with extras, 4 cabins, 2 heads and 2 crew bunks. We will make what speed we can make. And if the charter’s transit time is an issue we will use whatever gets us there faster even if we have to motor
down wind. All part of the fun…..Ya!
Since 2003 I was running an old fixer upper steel
, fumes, cockroaches, tremendous work load keeping up with the rust and the closest haul-out 1,000 miles north and big dollars. Mix in the only jet plane service
sometimes stopping for months on end, and the government
communication being at best unreliable. In 2006 they stopped for 3 full months, no phone
, no calls, no internet
. (in Maarten Troost’s Book, ‘Sex Lives of Cannibals’ he described the government
as having no word for maintenance
, hmmm). In 2006/7 I did a full refit
to cater for fly fisherman and then once again in 2008 the air service
abruptly stopped when the runway was in danger
of getting sucked into the jets engines on takeoff….oh, oh.
Though we struggled at times with airplanes and logistics, we lived on one of the world’s nicest roadstead anchorages
, private and quiet, eating quivering fresh sashimi every day, surfing, living the life. With a small 15 seat plane that took 6 hours to get there from Honolulu we got just enough work to stay afloat. (It did not however, have room for surfboards and diver’s extra luggage..ha!)
Then a change came on Fanning when I dislocated my ankle surfing, a full 90* twisted out. No doctor, no meds and the village nurse saying she could not help. Luckily, with help from a few cruisers two on my shoulders and one pulling we popped it back with a mighty big scream. For 8 days I laid still, and then with the help of friends I sailed to Christmas
for a charter
. There was a village doctor on Christmas, but no xray machine and with the swelling he could not tell if any bones were broken. “Wait for the swelling to go down and then we will see” he said….. 7 weeks later it was still swollen and sort of bent wrong, I was trying to stretch it and even tried surfing but it was too sore. Then I had another surf charter
with an E.R. Intern from LA and he said, ”dude your leg is broken”.
With the plane service and not knowing how long I would be gone it was too risky to leave my boat on Christmas in the roadstead so my partner and friend arranged to take time off their jobs to come and help me sail to Hawaii
the closest place. There is not room for the details here, but this was the only option to safely care for my boat.
Beautiful sail up, made a roaring passage
across the Alinuihaha channel in 30+ knot
of winds, 50 knots off Maui and tucked in to Lahina. From there with the boat in safe hands I flew to Reno where my 85 year old parents lived and limped into the hospital. No wonder it was so sore, my ankle was shattered broken in half with two pieces floating free as well as the fibula broken and not attached. Then came the hard news, to give a slight chance at fixing the ankle as opposed to fusing the ankle into one place was going take 3 reconstructive surgeries over 4 months and another 6 month for rehabilitation. We were going to be forced to sell my boat and in the turbulent market and I ended up at the zero point.
The old boat adage of the two happiest days..… was not for me. The happiest time of my life was on a boat with cruisers, guests and friends sharing wine and watching a sunsets; there is nothing better. Timothy Leary described the highest destiny of man on earth, as a form of existence in the universe, as evolving towards a purely aesthetic state…that was the goal…”the highest possible goal that man could obtain as a species.” Sailing, surfing, living the life is right up there with as good as life gets.
I was in a paradox trying to figuring how to restart, and be in a position to visit and help my parents and there is one only practical way to get back, and that is inviting partners. One of my daughters is moving here to help take care of my parents, and I have formed a team so that in the event I ever had to leave in an emergency
again, or visit my parents the boat’s operation will continue safely. Plus, the normal perks and benefit of being a shareholder and the added opportunity of swapping time and running charters.
So now for crunch time, thinking outside the box, put together a solid presentation, to get another charter boat. Since Air Pacific stopped because of a dangerous airstrip, our Kiribati government, Air Pacific, New Zealand
Aid, and others have provided the $20 million for a brand new runway and terminal. All have made a strong commitment to provide a lasting reliable air service. Air Pacific with a 737-700 now flies to Christmas in 3 ½ hours from Honolulu and Fiji
once a week. The government has better communications
and now allows private satellite
My backyard is a whole string of atolls between Hawaii
, and another group called the Phoenix Island Protected Area the World’s Largest, with 200,000 square miles and no commercial fishing
allowed. These two groups form a sovereign area the size of the Caribbean
and I was the only yacht charter. Christmas Island’s anchorage, nestled in the hook of the NW and SW Points, offer over 15 miles of flat calm anchorages
with no rolling and consistent winds for fun sailing, Fanning as many cruiser knows has one of most beautiful lagoons in the world with no hurricanes. Guest can compare by making a 2 week charter to Tahiti
visiting 5 uninhabited atolls along the way.
Thanks for your comments