Even before the shaking stopped, I recognized it. "Earthquake," I answered my speechless wife Erica's wide-eyed, open-mouthed, but unasked question about what the hell was happening. It was the evening of December 27th, 2010 and a 5.4 magnitude shaker had just hit central Puerto Rico, about fifteen miles away, giving us a short sharp series of significant house-rattling jolts. Once things settled down all I worried about was whether the shaker would spawn a tsunami that could swamp our tiny, low-lying mangrove island home just off Puerto Rico's south coast.
One of my family's treasured memories and one of my proudest achievements is sailing Voyager around the world. That's why I bought the old ketch in 1995; to fulfill that ultimate dream of anyone who has ever sailed beyond the breakwater into the open sea.
We departed Marion, the charming Massachusetts seafaring town on Buzzard's Bay in the summer of 1997; crossing the Atlantic, and through the Straits of Gibraltar. By the time we crossed the long Mediterranean and passed through the legendary Suez Canal, it was 1998. The first high drama came a week after the canal in the Gulf of Aqaba when we were run down by an Egyptian gunboat after making an unauthorized stop at one of their islands off the Sinai Peninsula near the Egyptian/Israeli border.