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World Tour


If I had to make one complaint about Exit Only, it would be the size of the engine compartments.  I have size five engine compartments and a size ten body.  It's extremely hard to work on my engines because I have to shoehorn my six foot one inch frame into the engine room to do maintenance and make repairs.

I shouldn't complain.  After all, it's possible they built the engine compartments for midgets.  If that's true, they should have told me before I purchased the yacht.  But now it's too late.  On the positive side, they say that as you grow older, your spine compresses, and you shrink in size.  Somewhere on the far horizon, I may end up five feet nine inches tall, and I will fit into the engine compartments quite nicely.  I suspect that by the time that happens I will be around 110 years old.  I hope I still like sailing when I'm that old.

When I was half way though my circumnavigation, I broke both my legs in a car accident.  For six months I couldn't bend my right knee more than ninety degrees.  That made engine work an even greater challenge.  But where there's a will, there's a way.  I continued doing physical therapy until I could get down into the engine room, and when that happened, I knew it was time to resume the sailing trip around the world.

In Thailand, we did some touring in long tail boats at Phi Phi Island.  When I saw the engines mounted on the back of those long tails, I immediately fell in love with those boats.  Finally I found a boat engine that was easy to work on.  Their engine room was a big as the great outdoors, and when they worked on their engine, spectacular vistas surrounded them in every direction.  Now that's what I call a good engine room.

When I look at the major challenges in my life, I always try to think big, except when I think about working on my engines.  Then, I think small.  I coil my tall body into its smallest survivable position in the engine compartment, and I start working.  It's probably a character building experience going through all that pain without saying any four letter words.

Fortunately, I have extremely reliable Yanmar engines that require infrequent maintenance, and my torture trips into the engine compartments are few and far between.    When I add up the pluses of sailing on the ocean of my dreams to the minuses of working in  nightmarish engine compartments, the dreams win by a ratio of a million to one.

Life is good.

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