Captain's Epilogue (a dream interrupted)
Many great literary works have an epilogue, or afterword, and so does a great chapter in
one's life. Unfortunately, it is not quite the way I had hoped. The quick fix (angioplasty in
Switzerland) did not happen. Instead, after another angiogram, the Doctors recommended
open heart surgery, the sooner the better, we were told. Apparently, the clogging of certain
arteries was worse than what we had been told in Thailand. Bottom line, I had quadruple
bypass surgery on April 3, 2008, at a private clinic in Berne. All went according to plan and I
was discharged 10 days later. We moved to an apartment in the Swiss alps for the lengthy
recovery process. I couldn't imagine a healthier environment to get well again. Under the
best of circumstances though, recuperating from heart surgery is no walk in the park. This I
had read but was about to find out first hand. It was one of the most challenging times of my
life, but it too passed. In early July, we flew to Tel Aviv, Israel, to get back on UHURU with
the plan to take her to Turkey for a temporary layup. Unfortunately, we had to return to
Switzerland in late August, as Matthew was starting his new school curriculum, without
getting a decent weather window to sail (she was later moved by our good friend Oz and
his buddies from Wales). We chose Turkey because of tax issues we would have been up
against in the EU countries ( such as VAT).We have now settled into our apartment in
beautiful Faulensee on Lake Thun in the Bernese Oberland, which we had purchased in
2004 and we finally caught up with our belongings from Grand Cayman which were
salvaged after flooding during hurricane Ivan and had been stored in a container in Florida
since 2004. We did not know what to expect. Bottom line, it all looked pretty sad but we
were successful in having everything restored by a team of local craftsmen and home looks
like home once more. I have come to appreciate the beauty of my home country again after
a 45 year absence. Matthew is in Grade 11 and will graduate from the International School
of Berne in 2011. Wendy is taking German classes and we are both working out several
times a week at a place in Interlaken. Screecher is enjoying the cooler climate and is still
frisky for an old man. Sailing around the world with my family has without a doubt been the
most rewarding experience in my life (which has not been without excitement) and I would
not trade it for anything. I am forever grateful to have had this opportunity. Who knows,
maybe we will pick up again someday from where we left off.
One road leads to London,
One road leads to Wales,
My road leads me seawards
To the white dipping sails

.Leads me, lures me, calls me
To salt green tossing sea;
A road without earth's road-dust
Is the right road for me.

A wet road heaving, shining,
And wild with seagull's cries,
A mad salt sea-wind blowing
The salt spray in my eyes.

My road calls me, lures me
West, east, south, and north;
Most roads lead men homewards,
My road leads me forth.

To add more miles to the tally
Of blue miles left behind,
In quest of that one beauty
God put me here to find

(by John Masefield)
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