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February 15, 2022
John lives out of a van at the beach
and Dave suggested I meet him b/c
he's traveling with a 19-year-old
orange tabby named King Tut
. Cat?
Say no more. So I went over with morning coffee and in response to introducing myself he launched into an end-of-humanity diatribe laced with George Carlin quotes and I knew I'd found a member of
my tribe. Once we got the
coming apocalypse out
of the way, he invited
me out on his Laser.
A former airline
pilot, he takes
safety ser-
and we
up with
helmets, life
vests, and VHFs.
Once he threaded us past the shallows, he gave me the helm and
 we sailed into the whale playground a couple miles out. After a
few tacks, he wanted to show me how to right a tipped boat
because that happens, so over we went in a controlled roll
until...SNAP! Something broke for real and instead of lying
on its side, we completely capsized. He told me earlier how yesterday he'd been pursued by a tiger shark, and about the
 kayaker almost overturned by a great white last week, but my
 first thought was for my phone--did the waterproof case
work? Calm, we straddled the hull, got our bearings,
then righted it and clambered aboard. The mast
receptacle had snapped the fiberglass deck but it
was still possible to hold it partly upright in the
. Luckily, conditions were favorable and we
limped downwind back to shore, a chance en-
counter with two humpbacks for consolation
prize, close enough to get rocked by their
. I felt bad about the mishap but
John counted himself lucky--better to
have it break where it did than in
that storm. For all the drama of
the morning, the most exciting
  part was still meeting that cat!