Thursday, October 16, 2014

Wrong Turn

Bayou Life in Nola
I'm not really quite sure where it happened, but I do realize that I fell off the radar for a bit.  I arrived back in New Orleans and fell back in love with the city and its people.  I came here to relax for a "short" period of time so I could do some maintenance on the boat and get my life put back together after the past few months.  This is actually the first time I have used my actual computer and camera in over a couple months.  Mostly because I got a dreaded phone when I got back on land.  I think I am more motivated to get rid of my phone more than anything else at this point in time.

So I arrived and fell back into the routine for a couple of months of drinking and dancing the night away in the city.  I had a blast partying with both new and old friends.  Then one day I woke up and was laying in bed going through some things on my Ipad when I noticed my banking account had been drained and my small list of items had grown into about 8 pages worth of boat work.  I woke up, cracked a beer, sat back down and decided not today.  I went through this routine for almost a week on and off before I had to make a judgement call.  Get the boat finished and get the hell out of here or get stuck on the dock.  

Below is a picture of my neighbor Tom.  A truelly interesting guy that has had many "periods" in his life as he describes himself.  He has lived on a boat in this marina since 1985.  If this isn't motivation enough to move on I don't know what will be.  I have been here for a couple of months and Tom looks exactly like this everyday.  Beer in hand and red cheerleader shorts on.  Quite the character to say the least.  You won't get this type of entertainment living in a gated community!
TOM
I finally decided to buckle down, stay home, and get to work.  Now over the past couple weeks I have gotten 100's of small projects done on the boat and begun on some of the items on the Major Projects list.  Things are progressing rapidly and most of the small list items are done and I'm getting close to finishing up the major items.  
Da Shack


Nephew and I out Crabbing



Redfish Dinner

I've got high hopes of getting out of here in the near future and explaining the "new" plan hopefully in the next couple weeks to everyone that has been asking.  Thanks for all the concern about my well being.  Sorry I fell off the edge of the earth for a bit there.  I'm back in full gear and looking forward to getting back out to sea here in the near future.

 

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.