During the “treasures of the bilge” segment of the cruisers’ radio net in Bocos del Toro, Panama, someone named Felix offered a metal sextant for sale. Two minutes later I was racing out to his handsome ketch Boisterous.
One of the best things about being retired is that it allows me to spend some quality time doing what I really like. One such escape—wife willing—is a month-long stay on my sailboat on San Francisco Bay.
I hate this time of year. Some of my friends wax rhapsodic about crisp fall air, the changing of the leaves and the coming holidays. But all I can see at the end of October is the end of the sailing season and the long winter stretching out before me.
On arriving at Alligator River Marina after a 15-mile passage across Albemarle Sound, we got a bit of a surprise. The place was practically empty, which was weird considering it was October, the height of snowbird season.
“Jim! What’s wrong?” I shouted as I sprinted half-awake toward the companionway with Glen, our 11-year old son, close on my heels. The roar of our diesel engine thundering into reverse had yanked me from my sleep.