Awakening Waves
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Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
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Chapter TWENTY




I returned to Holland by myself to move Magellan to Copenhagen, while Barbara stayed in Los Angeles. We did not want to spend any more time in the Netherlands and we couldn't sail or motor anywhere until springtime. It seemed silly for both of us to fly back and forth for the short trip to Denmark, where Magellan was to be re-fitted. I didn't mind doing this alone, as I usually ran her by myself anyway.

When I arrived at the Marina, I found that our crew member had disappeared along with some of our stuff. He had taken my cookbooks and a knitted afghan which Barbara had worked on for hundreds of hours. The electronics and valuable stuff was untouched.

I got organized and ready to leave as efficiently as I could. I wanted to move Magellan quickly and then return to Barbara. My plan was to leave at daybreak and motor the four hours it took to get through the canals, past Amsterdam, and into the North Sea. It would take two days, or maybe three, to get to Copenhagen. I would be motoring all the way as all of the spars were still lashed to the deck and I couldn't sail with nowhere to attach the sails. I did a minimal provisioning with items which didn't need refrigeration. I wanted to be well out to sea before dark. Checking out of Holland went smoothly.

I had my charts out on the nav station, and knew the plotted course well. I cleared the buoys of the large entrance to the main channel, and set the autopilot to my proper course. I had the VHF radio on 16 and listened for traffic. The radar was not working as it had to be high up on the mast, and the mast was not up. It was my intent to stay awake as much as possible. I took pillows and blankets and put them in the cockpit and made myself comfortable. I would catch sleep at short intervals and keep my eyes open most of the time.

It was sunny and clear. There were no waves to speak of, just some long smooth swells. I couldn't have asked for better conditions to motor. I made myself some lunch and kept watch. There were a few fishing boats close into shore, but once I was four or five miles out to sea, the traffic disappeared. I saw a few oil platforms which were so well lit that I could see them from a long way off. In this part of the ocean every boat is properly lighted and marked. The governments in this part of the world demand it, and so do the oil companies, for insurance reasons.

I was making a good six knots, maybe a little more, in the smooth seas, and there were no waves to slow me down. I was taking a bite of my sandwich, when there was a huge jolt. Magellan stopped almost dead in the water. I was thrown to the floor of the cockpit with a thud. It hurt, and I was stunned. I reached up and put the engine into neutral, as I did not know what had happened. I got up as quickly as I could to see what I had hit. I ran forward on deck and saw that we had collided with a submerged shipping container. It was about a foot under the surface of the water. Even if the radar had been on, it wouldn't have picked up this submerged object. Someone would have had to have been standing on the bow on lookout to see it. And even then I probably would have hit it, being unable to turn quickly enough to avoid it.

I had hit it hard, and I knew there had to be damage. I ran down below into the cabin to check the extent of the damage. To my horror, I saw that there was already a foot of water covering the floor of the cabin. This water had come in within the few minutes since hitting the container. I was in very serious trouble. I tried to call for help on the VHF radio, but it was already dead. The batteries had gone under the water, or the water had caused a short circuit somewhere. I tried the electric breakers, and they were off and wouldn't reset. This meant I had no power for anything. The water was continuing to rise in the cabin. I was now almost knee deep in water.

I ran to get the emergency bag and threw it into the cockpit. It had an Epirb in it, which is an emergency signaling transmitter that puts out a VHF radio signal for rescue boats to use as a locator beacon. The bag contained an assortment of survival gear, a flashlight, fishing gear, knife, seasick pills, a flare gun with flares, and a Baileysuit. The Baileysuit is a survival suit, made of very heavy rubber. It is designed to keep you warm, and alive, even if you are in very cold water.

My next urgent task was to launch the life raft. It took a minute to get it unhooked, and over to the rail of the ship. It was heavy, and very hard to move in its fiberglass container. You simply push it over the side and into the water, and it opens and inflates automatically. It worked fine and was inflated quickly. A life raft has almost no supplies in them which is the reason you also need the emergency bag, which I threw into the raft.

I then ran back into the cabin to see if there was anything else I could grab and take along with me into the raft. The water was coming up fast in the cabin. I took a chart off of the navigation station. I decided I didn't have time to get anything else. I would have been up to my waist in the cold water, which I didn't want to do for the very questionable value of whatever else I could snatch.

There was no way to tell how long it would take for Magellan to sink, but it was going to be minutes and not hours. I didn't even have time to see the hole in the hull which had been caused by the shipping container. It was up forward in the bow, and hidden behind the woodwork of the V-berth. I wasn't going forward just to satisfy my curiosity. The hole was there, and we were sinking, that is all I needed to know. As I went up the stairs to the cockpit I reached back and grabbed the logbook off of the navigation station. I was dressed fairly warmly, and didn't think about grabbing more clothes. I did think to take a few bottles of coke, which were in the sink.

If you are in a boat when it goes under, the suction from the boat going down takes you down with it. I was afraid that could happen to me, and I wanted to get out of the cabin as fast as I could. I took one fast look around and my heart sank. It hadn't really hit me until that moment that Magellan was gone forever. I hesitated and thought what else could I do, or should I do, and I came up with a total blank. I had to get out quickly. I was filled with sadness and remorse abandoning my ship, and for its loss. I thought for a moment about going back into the cabin and trying to plug the hole and save the boat, but I knew that was a dream and not a real option, and moved with regret towards the rail. I was not in a panic. In fact I was surprisingly under control. There was no fear, just an urgency to get into the life raft quickly.

I needed to get into the life raft, which was going to be more difficult than I thought. Under normal circumstances to get into a dinghy, we would put out a boarding ladder that hangs over the side of the boat. It was stowed in the lazzerette, and I had no time to get the ladder. Also the bow was now going down, and the stern was higher up in the air. I had tied the painter, the line from the raft, towards the rear of the boat, near the cockpit. I now had a six to seven foot drop to get into the raft. I climbed over the lifelines, untied the painter holding it my hand, and sat on the edge of the rail.

I took one last glance at Magellan, and then I jumped into the life raft. It was far less stable than our Avon inflatable dinghy as it didn't have floorboards. I had not taken that into account. When I landed on the edge of the raft it folded, and allowed the seawater to rush into the raft. The raft was full of ice-cold water. I was now lying in the bottom of the raft full of water. It was very cold North Sea water; it had to be almost freezing. I was soaking wet and freezing cold.

I pulled myself up into a sitting position with my back against the side of the raft. I was sitting in ice-cold water. I started to shiver from the cold almost at once. I reached for my emergency bag and pulled out the Baileysuit. I couldn't get the zippers open to put it on. My fingers were already freezing cold and almost totally without feeling. I worked hard non-stop on opening the zippers for a good fifteen minutes, without any success. So here I was, sitting in ice water, with an excellent survival suit, which I couldn't put on because I couldn't unzip the zippers. This was truly ridiculous but there was nothing I could do about it. I tried to move the zippers with my teeth without any luck. I tugged, and I yanked, and I swore. Nothing did any good, they just wouldn't budge. I was angry with the zippers, but angrier with myself for my stupidity.

This failure to put on the Baileysuit before I got into the life raft seemed to me to be the error that was going to cost me my life. I was terrified. I was very scared and petrified, more so than I had ever been before. I had no operative radio. I was five or six miles from shore. There were no boats in sight, and there hadn't been any for a while. I was past the range of most of the fishing boats. The current was taking me due north to the Arctic and even colder water. I did the only thing left for me to do, I turned on the Epirb. Its little red light flashed on, indicating that the battery was good. I could only hope that the Epirb was transmitting its signal, and that someone was listening. I couldn't know either of these things from my present circumstance.

I was thirsty, but I couldn't drink the coke I had with me, as I was too cold. My arms and legs were starting to go numb. I had no feeling in my feet or my hands. I don't know if I could even open up the bottle of coke.

I estimated that I had been in the raft for half an hour, or more I had lost track of time working on the zippers of the survival suit. I was so focused on the Baileysuit and getting it on that I didn't notice how far I had drifted. When I did think to look around, there was nothing in sight. Magellan was gone. I hadn't even seen her go down under the waves. In many ways maybe that was for the best. I was now totally alone on the North Sea.

I was sitting in ice-cold water, which was up to the middle of my chest. I had nothing to bail out the water with. I tried to use the Baileysuit as a scoop to bail out the water. It was useless, and I made no progress. I only succeeded in tiring myself out with the effort.

I was amazingly calm at this point. I wasn't in a state of panic at all. I was rather actually controlled. I knew that my body core temperature had to be dropping quickly. I knew that I didn't have too many more hours of consciousness. I would drop off into sleep, and then I would freeze to death. There wouldn't be any pain. I already couldn't feel my body, or anything.

I sat there and thought of Barbara, and how very much I missed her. I wasn't fixated on my physical condition, and I don't know why. The sea and the sky were both a similar color of grayish blue. More gray than blue and nondescript. There was a cloud cover, which was almost the same color. And as it got darker, the colors seemed to blend together even more. There was simply nothing to look at. It was very quiet as there was little or no wind, no waves, no nothing. This was one of the least impressive views I had ever had while on the ocean. If I was sitting on Magellan and not in danger of losing my life, I would have described it as boring and depressing. At that moment I viewed it as neutral. As if the world almost didn't exist. The scene was so lacking in color and activity that it seemed like nothing. This coupled with my inability to feel my body intensified that feeling of nothingness. It was almost like the message to me was to be introspective as there is nothing to look at. The sun was no longer visible and there would be no sunset. It would just continue to get darker until it was nighttime and black.

I was flashing back on the good times of my life, and feeling grateful for such a full and complete life, a fabulous wife, and my wonderful children. I did kick myself figuratively, as I couldn't move my legs to kick anything, for not having put on the Baileysuit before I jumped into the life raft, when I still could have. But I didn't put it on, and that was that. So I stopped being angry with myself for my stupidity.

I kept an eye on the water, looking for a boat to rescue me. I had a flare gun, which I hoped would work since it was also wet. Then I started to pray to God to save me. Barbara and I had come through several dangerous situations, and we had survived even apparently hopeless life-threatening situations. There had been the dangerous trip to Odessa. There had been the avalanche in Vail. There had been the huge waves off of California; I still don't know how we survived that episode. There are been the deep gash on my leg following the sea lions episode. There was the hurricane in the Marquesas, where I was sure we would die. There had been the injury and coral poisoning on the beach in Hiva Oa, where the natives came to my rescue. I thought about those things, and I knew that God had saved us from those perils. There was no doubt; there really had never been any doubt. Perhaps God would save me from this one as well. So I prayed hard to God.

I had now been in the raft for many hours. I didn't know how many hours. I had lost all track of time and it just wasn't important. I did have my watch on, but never thought to look at it. My mind was somewhere else, and it really didn't matter how much time had elapsed anyway. I knew I was drifting north, but didn't know where I was. I was totally lost, but what difference did that make. My problem was the cold water, not where I was. If someone heard the Epirb signal they would come and find me following the radio beacon. I didn't need to know where I was, only the rescuers needed to know. It was starting to get very late in the day. The sunlight was fading quickly. Once the dark came I was lost forever, as I would be frozen by the light of the morning.

I continued to think about Barbara and to pray. My mind was surprisingly focused on her and on God. I just wasn't thinking about my body and I can't tell you why. I was very cold, but I was no longer shivering. It didn't seem to matter if my hands were in the water or out of the water as it all felt the same to me, which was no feeling at all.

A couple of waves splashed more water into the raft. The water level inside the raft was now just a little higher. The raft would float even if it were full of water, so I wasn't concerned with it sinking. I was starting to drift off to sleep, and I think I was starting to hallucinate, but I am not even sure of that. I was trying to concentrate on praying to God. I would wake up and pray. I tried not to go to sleep, but I know I was sleeping on and off. I tried to focus my mind on praying to God and staying awake as long as I could. I was very sad knowing that I would never see Barbara again. That would awaken me and cause me to pray even harder to God. God please save me. Please save me God. I tried to say the same thing as much as I could in as many ways as I could. It was the only thing I could do, and I knew it was the only thing that was going to save me. I was again in the hands of God. Nature was going to kill me. Only God could save me. Please God, please save me. Please let me see my wife again. Please.

My thoughts were alternating between thinking of Barbara and praying to God. I was praying more to see Barbara again than anything else. So most of my attention was focused on her. I was in a clearly strange state, both physically and mentally. I think I was as rational as I could be considering that I knew I was dying from the exposure to the cold. My recollection of the event is that I was thinking clearly and concentrating on Barbara and praying. It is quite possible that I was in a semi-conscious dream state or in a hallucination.

And then I heard a loud claxon horn. At first I couldn't locate the direction from which it was coming. I wasn't even sure there really was a horn. I looked around as best I could. My motion was now severely limited by my position sitting in the raft and my stiff body. I couldn't see behind me at all, and only sort of to the sides. I strained to look all around me to find where the boat's horn was coming from.

There it was, a large gray steel color fishing boat coming at me very quickly. It was hard to see, as it was the same color as the water, sea and sky. This monochromatic aberration added to the weirdness of the moment. I wasn't sure if it was real, or a ghost ship coming at me. Was this the grim reaper coming to get me? The boat threw up a large bow wake in the same color of gray water and spray. It was going very fast, and coming directly at me very fast. At just the exactly correct moment it did a ninety-degree turn, reversed its screws, slowed to a stop, and pulled along side of the raft. A large blond man leaned over the side, looked down at me and laughed loudly. He looked at me and said, "Would you like to come aboard and live, or stay there and die?" I looked up at him and said in a weak and strained voice, I would like to live, thank you.

OK he replied in a clear booming voice. He threw a rope ladder over the side of his boat. It almost hit me on the head, and was just inches from my shoulder. I tried to grab the ropes, and was unable to grab a hold on the rope. My fingers wouldn't work. He saw that I was unable to catch the rope ladder, let alone climb it. Quickly they swung a heavy steel boom over the side of the boat. It was the arm of a large winch to load and unload the ship. There was a large webbed loop at the end of the fat woven steel cable. The winch lowered the webbed loop right down right on top of me. He instructed me to put the loop over my head, and under both of my armpits.

With great effort I finally got the loop around my chest. My arms also were not working well and felt like dead weights over which I had very little control. I couldn't use my hands at all. I couldn't believe how difficult this simple task was for me, and how long it took me to do. I was breathing hard from the effort and felt like a spastic. My lack of coordination was surprising to me. The moment I had the loop secured around me, the powerful winch started to pull me up out of the raft. Within seconds I was up and above the level of the rail. They then swung the boom with me attached to it over the rail and over the deck. They lowered me down slowly onto the metal deck. I simply rolled over like a rag doll.

There was no way I could stand up. Two large men picked me up and sat me on a metal shelf next to the side of the boat. I just fell over, and rolled back onto the deck. I had virtually no muscle control and couldn't sit up by myself. They laughed, as I must have looked very silly. One sailor came with a rope, and sat me up, and tied me to the steel bulkhead. I now saw how very little control I had over my muscles. I was limp.

If I would have been in the water in this condition, I would have just sunk like a rock. I was way past being able to swim or keep myself afloat. I was certainly not fully coherent. I sort of babbled when they talked to me, as if I was very drunk and unable to talk.

They asked me what I wanted to do with the life raft. I told them it was theirs, and to do with it as they saw fit. They hauled it up out of the water and on to the deck. I wasn't paying very good attention to what was going on. I was in a fog and semi-conscious. I only understood bits and little pieces of what was happening. One of the men brought me a cup of hot coffee. I couldn't hold the cup even using both hands and it dropped to the deck. Seeing this he returned with a woolen blanket, which he wrapped around me. He then covered that with a heavy tarp to keep in the warmth.

We talked about the raft and then it was on deck. I didn't see it happen, it was just suddenly there on deck. I don't know if I was asleep, or just zoning out and not paying attention, or unable to pay attention. I asked where we were and they told me nine miles from the Netherlands. I was surprised we were that far out to sea. I don't know if I misjudged where I was when Magellan went down, or if I had drifted that far. I still didn't think to look at my watch or ask what time it was. It was getting darker.

The captain told me they were going to take me directly in to the Dutch Coast Guard. If I needed medical assistance they would give it to me. They didn't want to do anything that could cause me any more trouble than I was in. They assured me that I was going to be just fine. At the same time he told me that I had been drifting in a strong current going north towards the Arctic Circle. They, for some strange reason unknown to them, had decided to take a route they never take. For some reason they changed their normal route this particular day. The captain said he just felt like coming this way today for no specific reason. It was obvious to me that God had orchestrated my salvation once again.

He made it clear to me that I had been drifting north to the Arctic, and that I would have continued to float to the Arctic in that current. There were no islands or oil rigs in my path, and I would have been a cube of ice by the morning. As it was, when they found me I wouldn't have lasted more than another hour or two. It was now starting to get dark. At this high latitude it gets dark very slowly, and late. If they had come by an hour later they wouldn't have seen me in the water. I don't know if the flare gun would have worked, or if I could have fired it even if it did work. God had saved me. It had nothing to do with a flare gun. He had sent that boat to save me. He had answered my prayers. I am certain of it.

After a few minutes covered with the blanket, I was able to talk and think clearly again. I was coming out of my dreamlike-fogged state. I was now alert and grateful for having been saved. I wanted to reward my saviors.

I gave my rescuers my emergency bag, the Epirb, and all of the contents of the bag. I also gave them the Baileysuit along with the life raft. They were appreciative mainly of the survival suit, and asked why I wasn't wearing it. I explained the problem with the zippers. They thanked me for the story and the piece of survival information. They would now think about the zippers, and put on the suit before they got into the water.

They were motoring at a very high speed towards the coast. This boat was aluminum and titanium. It had to have a very large engine, or engines, to travel at this speed, which was about forty knots. This was clearly not a fishing boat. There was no fishing gear to be seen on deck, and the decks were clean. This was a drug runner. Fishing boats don't have these kinds of powerful engines, or go forty knots. And, they aren't made of titanium and aluminum. They are made of steel and do fifteen knots if they are fast. This boat also had a planning hull for speed, which I could tell from the way it cut through the swells, also not the design of fishing boats.

This boat could outrun most vessels on the ocean. I doubt that a destroyer could keep up with it. We were into shore within fifteen minutes, or at least it seemed that way to me. I still didn't think of looking at my watch during the short trip back to Holland. I thought that I must have been in the water for about four hours or so. This was purely a guess. It wasn't much less than four hours, but it could have been eight hours.

I have thought about this entire episode many times since it took place. I cannot figure out why I never looked at my watch. It simply didn't occur to me at the time. The time was just not relevant or important. My conclusion is that I was too focused on Barbara, praying, and God to think about the time. The one question people constantly ask me about being in the life raft is, "How long were you in the life raft sitting in the ice water?" I don't know.

My main thoughts had been that I was not going to see Barbara again. I was angry with myself for a short time early in my hours in the life raft for failing to put on the survival suit, but I was never in fear of dying. I knew I very well might die, but I was not in a state of fear about it. I concentrated on praying, which seemed to be the only way I could get out of the dire predicament I was in. I have been told that my reaction and state of mind is not unusual for the situation I was in.

Survival experts have told me that I would not have lasted more than another couple of hours in that very cold water. I also learned that the water was below thirty-two degrees. Ocean water, due to the mineral content, movement, and salt content, does not freeze solid at 32 degrees. My blood would freeze in those conditions. It was just a matter of time, which I was running out of very quickly. I was saved in the nick of time.

The boat that saved me didn't have a name. The men who saved me only gave me their first names. I offered to reward them, to do something for them, and they refused. I begged them, and finally the youngest of the group said he wanted Air Nike running shoes from America. They were very tough to buy in Europe at that time. I took down all of their sizes. My first task when I returned to LA was to buy those shoes and mail them off to Holland. They had me mail them to a shipping agent in Rotterdam.

They docked and carried me into the Coast Guard office. My arms and legs were tingling and starting to get some feeling back. I felt much better being in a warm room sitting next to a wall heater. In twenty minutes I could hold a cup of coffee. I was now shaking and shivering while I was slowly sipping away at the warm coffee. They told me I couldn't yet take hot coffee, as it would be too great a shock to my cold system. I did as they told me.

Once I was able to communicate, the Coast Guard took down all my personal information and the story of what happened. Then another officer came in and handed me documents from Magellan, all of which were wet.

A ship had seen Magellan go down, and had called the Dutch Coast Guard. They sent out a cutter that found the debris floating in the water where Magellan had sunk. But they couldn't find me. I had drifted that far and that fast. Later I wondered about the obvious shortcomings of their search for me. I think that the US Coast Guard in a similar situation would have searched longer and harder, and would have found me. In any event, they knew who I was from the recovered documents. They had the report of the sinking of Magellan, and they knew what had happened. They lost interest in me very quickly. What else was there to say or do? They gave me the documents they had recovered and left me alone.

After a short time, someone came in to me and said that when I felt good enough I could leave. There was no doctor to examine me. They were totally unimpressed that a shipping container had sunk Magellan. They shrugged their shoulders.

I tried to stand up a couple of times and was unable to do so. I must have sat in their offices for over two hours getting back my feeling. I drank many cups of coffee and water. I was totally exhausted and wiped out. My hands, arms, legs, and feet hurt from the freezing cold and the warming up. I fell asleep in the chair. I awoke with a start, not knowing where I was, or remembering what had happened to me.

I was finally able to stand up and walk around a bit. Every step I took was painful. I had to sit down again quickly. I asked the Coast Guard to call me a taxi, which they did, and I went to Grand Hotel Krasnopolsky in Amsterdam, and checked in.

The first thing I did was to call Barbara and tell her what had happened. She was hysterical before I even told her the details of what had happened. She knew something terrible had taken place. She said she had gone into a panic some hours earlier, knowing something was wrong. She was crazy with worry and was crying hysterically. She told me that once she felt something was very wrong, she started to pray to God. She continued to pray for God to help me, even though she didn't know what was wrong. She knew I was in serious, bad trouble. She prayed non-stop for many hours without any pause. She was crying and praying. She didn't eat or sleep, she prayed. It was amazing to me that we were in spiritual contact like this. How could she have known of my peril?

It was an hour before I could bring myself to tell her Magellan was gone. She wasn't nearly as upset as I thought she would be. Her overwhelming and strong feeling was gratitude that I was safe - that God had listened to her prayers, and answered yes. She kept saying over and over again, "I knew you were in big trouble, and I knew I had to pray to God to help you." We agreed that her prayers must have been heard as I was saved.

We were on the telephone for hours that night talking about our feelings and what God had done for us. The adrenaline kept us both awake and talking. We didn't want to get off the phone. It was as if we had rediscovered each other. I had prayed so very hard that I would see Barbara again and not die. Barbara had prayed so fiercely for my life. We just couldn't get off of the phone. We finally agreed to go to sleep with the open telephone line. When we awoke we started talking again. I was very sore, still tired, and thoroughly spent mentally and physically.

We finally got off of the phone, as I had to arrange for money, my plane ticket back to LA and some food. I hadn't had anything to eat since the few bites of my sandwich just before Magellan was sunk. I wanted to get out of Amsterdam and back to Los Angeles as quickly as was humanly possible. I flew back first class, as that was the only available seat on the next plane. I refused to be away from Barbara for even one more night. I slept through the entire flight. The flight was non-stop and we were soon together again.

I will forever be grateful to American Express who arranged for a replacement credit card in one telephone call, and guaranteed my hotel room. They also helped me with cash and changing my airline ticket replacement. Within hours I was operating again in the world even though I had lost everything on Magellan. I did have my passport, as it was in the waterproof case with the ships log that I grabbed before I abandoned ship.

Barbara and I were very, very sad that Magellan was gone. We mourned this loss, so our reunion was a grateful and joyful one, but a little bittersweet.

Barbara and I have remembered and re-lived, many times, the exceptional experiences we had while sailing on Magellan - the fear that we were going to die during the hurricane off of the Marquesas Islands; the rapture and beauty of the spinning tuna and the "performances" of the dolphins and whales; the people we met and lived among - and it all left unforgettable and deep impressions on us. We have been extremely fortunate to have had such opportunities and adventures.

There was much more than these memories and experiences, however. Our view of the world was changed by those travels. We are much different people than we were when we moved aboard Magellan. The vastness of the ocean and our adventures on it had shown us the unimportance of material possessions. The most important change in us was that we now believe there is a God who is in charge of everything, and that there are no coincidences in the world.

It took the waves and our travels upon them to allow us to see that. We now realize that God gave us the push to change our previous lives and explore the world, our minds, and our place in the world. The fact that we gave up the houses, cars, clothes and accouterments of that previous life to move on to the ocean is still a wonder to us.

Our hearts and souls were awakened to a new reality. We wouldn't have listened or paid attention had anyone tried to convince us that there is a God. We had to find God by ourselves through the experiences which He gave to us on the ocean.

We found something far different on the sea than what we thought we would find. The freedom we discovered was beyond our comprehension before we began to sail. Our focus has changed radically - it is now an attempt to live good lives, to do the "right thing" in every situation, and especially to help those less fortunate than we are.

Barbara and I have now found real paradise. It is not a white sand beach, rimmed by palm trees, sitting on the edge of a clear blue lagoon, but we had to go through the experiences of getting to that beach, and we had to stay there for a while, in order to be able to find true happiness and contentment.

We couldn't have changed our views so completely and dramatically had we not gone sailing on the ocean. We loved the ocean and the experiences we had while living aboard Magellan.

The ocean, our contact with nature, and our harrowing experiences on it awakened our hearts, minds, and souls. But for the waves we wouldn't have had this enlightenment. We needed the expanses and majesty of the sea to free ourselves from our previous lives and thinking.

The waves awakened us.

Awakening Waves. . . . The End

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