Man-O-War Cay, 12 Apr 2009
So I retired (some would say for the 2nd time) from IBM in October, 2007.
I had hired in with them right out of college in 1977. I got to work on
some interesting stuff over the years - mainframes when they were hot, TCP/IP,
webservers, voice, life sciences. I was in IBM Research for several
years (just developing code) and had an office in the
in Yorktown Heights and that was a blast. I had a really good manager
(Anne) for the final 7 years at IBM and really appreciate that.
I took 3 years off in the mid-90's to go sailing on Breakaway. During that time I visited Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. I had heard Guatemala's Rio Dulce referred to as "The Gringo Eater" years before I went. It seemed that gringos would go up the river and [cue spooky music] never return [end spooky music]. That's because they liked it so much and simply didn't want to leave. Well, that's what happened to me. I went there planning to stay 3 months (the length of your initial "boat visa"). But when it came time to leave, I decided it suited me fine and I ended up staying a year. I wish I had never left. But the money was running out and I had to go back and work for a little while longer. My year there was the best time of my life.
Here is an article that tends to capture the feeling of the Rio Dulce. When I was there in '94-'95 there was almost no boat-crime.
I live aboard Breakaway which is currently in the Bahamas.
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Lake Placid, FL, 6 Jun 2022
I lost Breakaway to Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over Man-O-War with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, tied for strongest landfall in the Atlantic basin. Reportedly, the tornadoes it spawned created winds of over 200 mph and caused much of the damage. Fortunately, there was no loss of live on Man-O-War but almost every boat in MOW Harbour was either sunk or washed ashore. Breakaway was blown down and to the other side of the harbour. Her mast was down, bimini and lifelines destroyed, and her coambing torn up a bit. She wasn't looking too bad until I went below - she had come down hard on something, possibly a piling - and there was an 18" hole in her bottom. She had filled up inside to nearly her cabin top. I would probably have had to replace all her electrical and electronics systems. That, along with the other damage made repairing her untenable.
I've done a fair amount of travelling in
Latin America and around the Mediterranean since retiring.
This map is a little out of date, but here are places that I've spent at least one night in Latin America (the red baloons):