The wit, the wisdom, and the wanderings of a cruiser. Written by Jim
Phillips Sr. Edited and narrated by Jim Phillips Jr. An e-book version is available from smashwords.com, for the Kindle at amazon.com, and for the Nook at barnesandnoble.com.
The sound came late at night. The boat swayed as it accepted a large weight on the port side. I was huddled near the radio trying to hear above the static, was there anyone else alive in this god-forsaken place ... Download
God, it was cold getting up this morning. The weather must be down around freezing. Took a while to get out from underneath the covers. A sheet, blanket, heavy comforter. Now I know what the cavemen must have felt like crawling out from underneath all the hides. The dock was so cold it had iced up, almost fell down going up the ramp...
My dad was born on September, 1946 in Centerville, Iowa as the oldest of what would eventually be five siblings. After a difficult childhood bouncing between Iowa and Southern California he ran away from home the summer before his senior year. He would finish high school, and then spent four years in the Navy. Although he was in the Navy during the Vietnam War, he was stationed in the Atlantic and in his words the most action he saw during Vietnam was “throwing rocks at Cubans”.
After his four-year tour, dad attended college and completed an undergraduate degree in Industrial Technology at California Polytechnic State University. He met and married his first wife, had what would be his only child, and went on to live his life. With a divorce, a second marriage, a second divorce, a graduate degree from the University of San Francisco, and a series of middle- and upper-management positions with various companies.
Dad would eventually settle in San Diego, California, in 1997. He choose San Diego because he wanted to finally be able in indulge in what had been a life-long dream for him – sailing. After much preparation, he retired in 2000 at the age of 54 to start cruising.
Although the start of his cruising life was a bit … rocky (see “Remembering Lazarus”) he left San Diego for Mexico and spent a year cruising in the Gulf of California. But his real target was the Caribbean. He had thought to sail down the coast and through the Panama Canal, but eventually decided to just put his boat – Vantage Point, a 38-foot Catalina – on a truck to Florida.
And it was while staying in Florida, waiting for his then-current girl-friend to pack up and be ready to leave for the Caribbean with him, than he started writing.