I’ve been a nurse for the past 22 years in Florida. I did everything from geriatrics, cardiology, internal med, post op, ER, Home health, oncology, Hospice, research, psych, and some disaster work. In the summer of 2014, I let my license and certs default and now I’m sailing into another chapter of my life. It was a most rewarding career.
Before that I worked as a deckhand, then a merchant marine officer on the Baltic. I did some black marketing: smuggled green, Turkish coffee beans into Austria when the prices there quadrupled; a few East Germans into Austria (pro bono, they came with the beans); cigarettes into Denmark; Levi’s into what was then Leningrad; coffee and ham into Poland and cheap but very good vodka from Poland into Sweden and Finland.
I’ve been a paramedic in Sweden, a carpenter, a waiter, a cabbie, a courier and a cook.
My military service resume consists of spending a very brief time in a Swedish Merchant Marine attachment to the Swedish Coast Guard spotting Russian subs. But under the arbitrary rule of a totalitarian, xenophobic Chief with an inferiority complex, I tended to channel Don Knotts.
I was on a DMAT team for 4 months in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake through Partners in Health. I worked with a Red Cross DMAT during Hurricane Andrew, but was regretfully MIA for Katrina.
Today I live on a 42 foot sloop on the west coast of Florida where my adulthood journey began. Sometimes I long for Bodega Bay and Sebastopol just north of San Francisco where I lived and went to high school in the early seventies. But I’m broke and happy and have good friends here. I try to cruise as far south as I can afford to go every winter. Last year I made it to the beautiful island republic of Dominica. I like honest people with a sense of humour. I don’t like angry or sarcastic people. After my experiences in the East Bloc and Haiti, I really don’t see anything to be angry about here; disappointed maybe, but not angry.
I like the company of dogs and horses and ride as much as possible. My first mate has been Buddy the Cat for the past ten years. He’s useless as a first mate, but he’s good company, a good ratter, keeps the ospreys and gulls away while we’re fishing, knows when to go below during rough seas and has an interesting lifestyle when we’re on dry land.
Pics (Scroll Down)