An Excerpt from "Sailing to Jessica"
Chapter 19: Misadventures of Howie and the Engine
We were anchored off Waiheke Island on one such trip when Howie peed on our salon settee, prompting us to take our diabetic cat to the vet. I chucked a protesting Howie into his cat carrier and climbed into the dinghy while Paul started the outboard. It was dusk and we had to surf the dinghy over the beach’s breaking waves in order to land. Howie meowed frantically as we whizzed down the back of one wave.
In the brief lull between crashing waves, Paul lifted the outboard out of the water to clear the beach while I jumped in the four-inch deep ebb to hastily pull the heavy dinghy to shore. I wasn’t fast enough...
A Special Tribute to Bruce
If Bruce were alive today, I bet he would urge everyone to live life to the fullest...as he did. He was hiking up a mountain with his brothers when he had a heart-attack and died; he was only 50 years old.
When he and Claire had flown out to New Zealand to sail with us on Rosie, the boat wasn't ready. Rosie was still in the paint shed. I felt horrible. They took advantage of the time by renting a camper van and touring New Zealand. When they returned from their camping trip, the boat still wasn't in the water so they flew to Fiji for a romantic beach holiday. After their trip to Fiji, they returned to New Zealand with hopes of sailing on Cherokee Rose. But the engine refused to work! I suggested that they charter a sailboat at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and while it was an expensive "excursion" on top of an already expensive trip, they decided to do it and had a wonderful time.
At Bruce's funeral, Claire told me that they never regretted the trip; that it had been their second honeymoon. And she has such fond memories of it and Bruce.
Bruce, thank you for having the guts to sail with us on our Maiden Voyage. Thank you for the laughs and the help and for being such a friend. We miss you tons.