Originally Posted by lestersails
Would be interested in thoughts on this recent story in the New York Times. Two men apparently lost at sea after a very strange trip.
Apologies if you have trouble accessing - I do think it is behind a paywall.
First thing that struck me is that there was no mention of Coast Guard regulations that prohibit taking paying passengers unless licensed to do so. (They departed from Hawaii).
It has now been 17 years since the woman who was once my wife followed a largely identical path, but without the boats. Moderate schizophrenia. Rejection of family
and institutions. Misuse of basic teachings of Judaism and Christianity to form a syncretic religion with the self as a prophet. Use of outward symbols (hers were distinctive religious garments rather than a forehead tattoo) to set herself apart from society. Connecting with others of like mind through the internet
. Travel in furtherance of beliefs, in her case to Israel
. Plans to abandon society, in her case by moving to New Zealand
, with two of our three children
(though she was never able to follow through on this due to passport and visa problems).
That combination of self-reinforcing beliefs and practices is not unusual.
With her it was a deliberate car crash rather than jumping off a boat
. She survived and was admitted to an inpatient psychiatric facility for several weeks.
The courts ordered joint custody because in their eyes she wasn't bad enough to be a hazard to the kids
, even after the car crash. Somewhere in there, there was another suicide attempt. There was blood. But because the children
were not physically present (she called them to say goodbye), the courts didn't consider it relevant to the custody case.
My children are now all adults. They've been through hell. The one that was closest to her at the height of her mental illness hasn't spoken to me in years. I hear she's an aerospace engineer
at Boeing now and doesn't speak to her mom much, either. The other two stay in touch with both parents. All three of my children cope OK but the scars are going to be there for a long time.
As for my ex, I hear she's better now. I believe she's on medication but have no way of knowing for sure. Once the alimony and child support ran out she got a job as a nursing assistant, working nights. She works nursing home and assisted living gigs and changes jobs frequently. In a few years she'll be able to collect social security
based on my earnings history
and will make more on that than she does as a nursing assistant.
Back to the article, well, the boat
captains were a little broke and a little crazy, and taking a bunch of money
off four people that were maybe a little crazier probably seemed like a good idea at the time. I believe that the narrative from the survivors is likely to be pretty accurate.