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Ch 1 - A Rough Start

"It was clear skies last night!  What the (kerpleek) happened?"

Along with a dozen other boats from West Palm Beach, we'd moved Ruff Life to a staging area (the equivalent of a swimmer's starting block) the afternoon prior to our planned departure from Florida to the Bahamas.  Fair skies and calm seas were predicted throughout the night plus we'd have plenty of company out there, so 'Cap' felt relatively relaxed with our maiden voyage. Just a few more hours to go.

Unfortunately, all we managed to do during that time was mangle the boat without leaving the channel, and in less than 20 feet of water!   One calamity followed another throughout the night until Ruff Life, missing her front end and dragging an engine-less dinghy, limped back to the marina, prompting humiliating shouts from different docks.

Ruff Life wasn't the only wreck.  My courage had disintegrated and I began dwelling on the absurdity of our venture.  What were we THINKING in Oregon?

Dazed for days, I sat useless and helpless while Cap, with help from neighboring boaters, traipsed through my clean, newly organized home hauling tools and lumber, but I was in no position to complain.

I secretly hoped we wouldn't try again.  After all, if we couldn't even get out of Florida, how were we going to make it to Venezuela?  This wasn't turning out to be anything at all like we'd expected, sitting in our West Coast offices a mere six months earlier...

Up next:  The Captain

Author's note, March 2021:  In an attempt to improve the story's continuity, I've umped over Chapter 2. This backstory describes how this New Yorker came to be in Oregon in the first place; and the circumstances which forevermore altered the course of my life. It will remain part of the chapter list,  From the Beginning, to the right of the post.

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