@John, KA4waj Re: teachable moments,
I fully agree with your comments.
I put forth a little bit of the back story, not so much in my defense but rather to explain why I found myself in these circumstances:
After approximately 200,000 ocean cruising miles including a circumnavigation
and many years as owner / operator of the S/V Unicorn, a 135' sail training vessel, I thought my long-distance sailing voyages were behind me, that is until an old friend called me up and gave me his 43' ketch
which had been sitting on the hard
on Nanny Cay for nearly four years.
WARNING A free boat is the most expensive kind.
A month of long days, toiling in this steaming, mosquito infested shipyard with not one but two bouts of Dengue Fever had me so ready to shove off for anywhere that many things were overlooked or were considered repairable along the way. Next stop Panama
. My wife of 33-years came down with Dengue en route
. Thought for certain I was going to lose her, totally comatose, diverted to Cartagena
, she improved, we carried on to the Colon of Panama
. She flew home for medical
help, I battled the bureaucrats and got across the canal and stopped only long enough in Panama City to take on fuel and "mount" the vane (6-hours.) I was less than familiar with the vessel and on a mission to get as far away from Central America
as my abilities would allow.
A better prepared person should not have been confronted with the myriad of mishaps I encountered. The flip-side of this are the countless people who prepare until death and never leave the dock
I dealt with every situation as it arose, when it arose. There was never any particularly life threatening situations. I had food
enough to carry on another two months, just not my favorite foods. Some provisions that I exhausted like coffee, tobacco, sugar, butter, rum
, to name a few, were things worth taking a break from... well maybe not the rum
If I had a point here it would be this: know how to fix everything on your boat or know how to get along without it.
I have made all the mistakes
several times already and through Divine intervention I am still here. To my way of thinking, long-distance voyaging is very similar to long-distance hiking or mountaineering (my 2nd love) in that there will always be the best of times and the worst of times, they are self-imposed, and being self-reliant is a must. The rewards are equal to the time, distance and effort expended.
And that really is all I have to say about that.