Thursday, July 24, 2014

Coming Out the Closet...

BETTER DAYS!
I know, I know...  I have received all of your emails.  Where are you?  Are you alive? Is everything ok? What are your plans? Plenty has happened over the past few months. Actually to be honest with everyone way to much has happened in my life over the past few months.

Let's start here...

Last you heard I was cruising in Roatan, Honduras.  While there I had to ask one of my crew members to leave the boat.  It was very hard to do and put me in a really bad place.  I have never had to ask anyone to leave my boat in the past.  It was time though and I felt in the best interest of my own personal safety and the safety of the boat it was time.  So as all of that drama went down I made plans to continue on sailing to Utila, the Rio, and forward from there.

Our arrival in Utila was great.  We spent about 6 days having the times of our lives.  Exploring, hiking, diving, and hanging with plenty of new and incredible friends.  I was on a new high and once again loving the cruising life.  There was no drama on the boat and things were back to smooth as butter.  Once again stress free and it felt great.  The boat was getting back in shape and I was finally mellowing back out once again.

When hell breaks loose on your ass...

I am having lunch one day in a restaurant while my first mate and a friend of ours were out on the dinghy.  Soon there after I saw my life flash before my eyes.  The worst thing that could ever happen to a person fell upon my lap as I ate my buffalo chicken wings.  I don't want to get into details here because I am still pretty traumatized by the incident and its been about two months now.  Anyways my friends end up going to jail in Utila.  A couple days later my first mate is transferred to the prison on Roatan.  I am now stuck on the boat alone trying to wrap my head around everything and help everyone involved in the situation.  After about 4 days I head down to talk with the local judge, US Amabassador to the Embassy, and port captain.  I am told to immediately leave the country.

So there you have it the short version of the story.  I end up leaving immediately and heading out to sea.  Oh yeah, Keep in mind I have no idea how long I will be at sea and I have 10 gallons of water in jerry jugs on deck.  The tanks are empty at this point.  I head to sea having not slept or eaten a single gram of food in 4 days at this point.  I am currently living off water and six packs of cigs a day or somewhere there about.  A few hours later I find myself in international waters, disillusional, and having no idea who I am, where I am, or where I am headed.  The seas are rough and the sun is setting.  I decide to make way for the USA.  I figure in my sane mind at the time that I can easily handle the 900 miles at sea over the course of the next 10 days with no water on board.  I spent the night on the satellite phone with numerous people trying to guide me in the right direction and find out where I need to head next.  I am ADRIFT.  My luck gets better though because as I wake up every 20 minutes on watch throughout the night I find out all my electronics on the boat have gone out.  I was in a storm and figure I was hit by lightening.  Who knows, I am completely disillusional at this point in time.  Throughout the evening I am getting updates on weather and where to head via the satellite phone.  The decision was finally made that in my current state of mind it was best I not try to continue on to the USA and head for Belize.

I arrived at the reef in Belize right before sunrise and made the decision to shoot it with just my Ipad and the little visual navigation I had available to me.  My mom was kind enough to work around the clock finding me a marina and lining things up for me.  She kept in constant contact through the sat phone and about 8 hours later just as the sun went down I was safely tied up in a marina outside Belize City.  After two days at sea and numerous others with no sleep it felt good to be in a good safe place.  I walked into the bar at the marina; ate a massive cheeseburger and drank as many Belikin beers as my body could handle at the time.  Soon there after I found myself back on the boat, AC cranking, and passed out unconscious.  

In short the past few months have been some of the most stressful in my life.  I want to thank everyone that was involved with getting me safely out of the country and headed in the right direction.  Especially my brother who took charge of all the logistics and headed up the entire plan.  Everyone that gave me advice and helped along the way it was greatly appreciated, more than words can describe. I would also like to apologize to everyone who has sent me numerous emails, facebook messages, and comments to the blog over the past couple months. 

As of right now I am back in the USA planning my next adventure in life and trying to regroup and refit the boat.  I will write another update soon about the trip back to the USA from Belize and whats going on currently in my life.  

Ciao,
Matt

Saturday, May 24, 2014

NORMALCY

Life is back to normal around here.  You can ask just about any sailor and they will tell you cruising is filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.  My last post obviosuly expressed those feelings.  After having been in a rut for some time I'm beginning to climb back up to the high stages of cruising once again.  Looking forward to cruising on through the Rio and Belize over the next month.  Possibly get some spearfishing in and easy sailing between small islands in the barrier reef.

I'm pretty confident in saying I have found the most chill island in the Western Caribbean.  We arrived in Utila a couple days ago and this place is incredible.  The people are all super laid back and the vibe around here is beyond mellow.  I could see myself sitting here for a very long time, but there is no surf or spearfishing.  Both of those are very important aspects of my life so it looks like one day soon I will begin sailing on.  

In the meantime I'm enjoying the hammock life for a change.  I've taken a few nice long walks around the island and enjoyed the afternoons laying under a palm.  I'm usually a little more active than this but it really feels good to slow the pace and just relax for a bit.




Wednesday, May 21, 2014

FUCK MY LIFE

Everyone that meets me or sends me emails thinks I have the best life in the world.  Let me set some things straight for the record.  This was my life the past 24 hours.  This is what I sail for all the time.  This is what doesn't make it into the blog on a daily basis. The reason all of this made it into the blog is because this is what I did from the moment I woke up until I blacked out at 9 PM dead tired.

I woke up this morning to the toilet overflowing.  I asked the girls if either of them had put anything in the toilet.  They both responded absolutely not.  After about 1.5 hours of standing in shit and urine up to my ankles and it spewing out of pipes all over me I found a tampon in one of the pipes clogging it completely.  Someone obviously lied to me!

I got cleaned up a little and took care of some things on the boat so we could go diving.  I sent the girls into find out what the story was and when we were leaving to dive.  This usually should take about 15 minutes to figure this out. About 2 hours later they show back up to the boat to say we were not going diving.  Instead everyone was going to the Iguana Farm which I had asked from 9-10:30 that morning if everyone wanted to go and the answer was No, everyone wants to go diving.  For non cruisers; Leaving people stuck on a boat for hours waiting to go diving while you go into shore is unacceptable.  Let them no it will take hours so they can go do their own thing.

I end up going offshore and diving by myself for about an hour.  I come back and everyone is back on the boat and ready to go diving now.  They take the dinghy and head out.  Before they leave I made a point to say DO NOT lose a spear tip.  They show up an hour later missing a spear tip.  No one on the boat has any idea of how it happened? Someone is obviously lieing once again.

It is beginning to get late now and I am overall worn out from acting as Captain to a fucking crew that can't listen.  I sit down in the cockpit and have my first cold beer of the day.  I am drained and the sun is already down.  The wind begins to pick up and I notice a boat dragging in the back of the anchorage.  They get it under control and move forward directly in front of us.  Drop anchor and drift to within about 15 feet of my bow.  I jump up with the spotlight and yell at the captain notifying him he might be a little to fucking close to my boat in 25 knot winds.  He doesn't have the boat under control what so ever and is continuing to drag.  I am on the bow ready to fend this beast off while Christian hops in the dinghy to come around front and push the guy from his transom.  Christian can't get the dinghy started and ends up pulling out the pull start completely.  We are now engine less on the dinghy.  The boat anchored of my bow pulls away finally and looks for a new spot.  Drops anchor off my port bow and drags past me at over 4knots. Puts boat in reverse and drags his anchor while in reverse all the way around my boat for a complete circle.  I ask what the hell he is doing and if he needs me to come over and help him anchor.  I don't end up going and fall back onto the cockpit cushion.

Not even 15 minutes passes by and a boat with no one aboard drifts past at a "high rate" of speed directly off my starboard side and is headed into the reef. I call on the VHF for anyone in the harbor to assist and try to get a name of the boat for them.  Remember my dinghy engine is dead.  All the sudden my spotlight decides to die as well.  The anchor surprisingly catches right before the boat takes out a new 40 foot Lagoon.  Lagoon people are obviously on the radio flipping out and the lady is going nuts!  

I give up.  Its blowing very heavy at this point in time.  I am about 100 feet off the bow of a 52 foot center cockpit.  I decide my anchor is holding and try to call it a night.  At this point in time after all I have been through in the past month putting up with shit I decide to fall asleep.  Only thought going through my head now is if I drag and my boat sinks its a fucking blessing in disguise and I can be done with this sailing crap.

Still want to go cruising?  Want to sail to exotic locations? Deserted islands?  Well rethink that because what the magazine articles show and the gear manufacturers advertise is truly only about 5% of what sailing out here is really like.

Sorry for all the ranting but every once in a while the truth must be told.  It isn't easy out here, but once this is all said and done I am ready to get the boat geared up and head for Utila.

Ciao,
Matt