At the age of 55, my father began his lifelong dream of circumnavigation. I have known lots of people who've had the same dream, and a few who've started. He (and my stepmother) are the only ones I have known with the guts, persistence, and downright stubbornness to complete one.
Of us four children, two are relatively uninterested in sailing. I am a cruiser/daysailor and my brother likes to race (he's WAY to serious for me).
I am grateful to my father and mother for having the guts to start out sailing and bringing us kids along for the ride.
So, here's a mildly inaccurate article about their adventure.
English Communications, Inc.
Realizing that the article lacked key information for us Sailnetters, I'll start attaching more information below:
1976? Downeaster 38 with a Farymann V-twin diesel.
The Farymann was later replaced with a Perkins (a 104?)
Purchased with the proceeds from his (our?) house in Michigan
Rescued from a collapsed shed in Traverse City Michigan
A bit gun-shy after a near-miss form hurricane Hugo in Puerto Rico, my father decided to spend the next hurricane season in Bonaire, which is in the Dutch Antilles (along with Curacao and Abacos, north of Venezuela). Bonaire is very popular with scuba divers, because the shorelines drop off very steeply. The cruisers tie to a tree forward, and drop stern anchors, which are mostly ineffective. This works out pretty well, because they anchor on the east shore, and the winds always come from the west.
Except when they don't.
So, a strong easterly caught him, along with 1/3 of the fleet, unawares, and he drug ashore, and spent hours in the middle of the night, knee deep in water in the cabin, pounding against the shore.
The next morning, the crane from the salt ponds lifted the grounded vessels ashore. Throughout the next year, my father, with the help of "the best fiberglass guy in Venezuela" patched her hull, and repaired the interior damage.
During this time, a kindly shopkeeper allowed him to sleep on a cot in the back room of her store.