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 just north of San Francisco where I went to high school. 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.
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