A Mile Down: The True Story of a Disastrous Career at Sea
from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, and I think the crew felt the same way. In the future, though, I wanted to have the luxury of visiting every port. We had passed so close to Tunis, an African port, but the schedule hadn’t allowed a stop. We had passed Sicily, also, without stopping. We had sailed close enough to see these places, the outline of their mountains, had studied them through the binoculars, knowing we were missing everything. I missed Turkey already like a second home,
but then my bow would take three feet of solid water over the top and the boat would slew to the side from the impact. The wind would catch us as we came up high over the next twenty-foot wave and blow us into a spin. In the spin, another twenty-footer would catch us broadside and roll us more than fifty degrees, which meant looking down across 21.5 feet of deck more or less straight into the water. Fifty knots of wind has tremendous force. The engines were strong, and I was using all the power
against any kind of edge. When I finally got our bow up to their stern, the freighter crew threw their lines and one of them wrapped high around our headstay. I watched it wrap around and then the monkey fist dangling there, about ten feet off the deck, just out of reach. And my crew hadn’t noticed. They were trying to catch another line. The headstay is the heavy stainless steel wire leading from the end of the bowsprit to the top of the main mast. It’s the main wire holding the mast up. If we
venture capitalists. In hindsight, this was silly, but it was what people in the dot-com world, including me, believed. Our dot-com was more traditional than most, since our industry—boating—was conservative. We had older managers and dressed at least business-casual, and we didn’t have a foosball table or any other games or wild parties. We just worked eighty-hour weeks and then hundred-hour weeks for five months straight to launch the site. And I found my way to advance within the company.
the boat, Stephen dropped us off on the beach with the dinghy and we walked into the Four Seasons. We joined the other honeymooners in the pools and hot tubs and took in the gorgeous sunset. It was one of our favorite things to do, crashing resorts, and this was a coup. The next day we cruised the western shores of Dominica and Guadeloupe (lovely as long as we didn’t look too closely), and then it was on to Martinique and St. Lucia. Stephen left us to fly home to Trinidad, as planned, and we