An excerpt from “Soloman” when he has miraculously escaped from the shipwreck:
All is Lost
It is 4 o’clock in the morning. The moon is full, but a heavy cloud cover from the dying storm and the lingering rain limits my visibility. My headlamp light is quickly swallowed up in the darkness. The steady beam of light from the nearby lighthouse sweeps over a cataclysmic sight. I am sitting on the flat part of a steep rock slope, about eighty feet above the storm-tossed sea. The flash from the lighthouse, at thirteen and three seconds intervals, reveals that I am on an island, seemingly uninhabited. I’ll have to wait for daylight to find a better spot to protect myself from the stiff wind and drizzle. I was lucky to get my sea boots on, but there was no time to grab my foul weather gear. My feet are braced against a few low pine shrubs. I must stay awake to avoid sliding back down the steep slope.
The smell of sagebrush is mingled with the pungent odor of flints striking one another as massive waves slam Fleetwood’s iron keel against the jagged rocks below. Her hull, made of African mahogany plywood, sounds like a large hollow drum against the onslaught. Fleetwood’s bow has been turned to face the sea, her transom wedged in the end of the narrow cove. The mast is banging into the steep walls of the cove. The tricolor navigation light on top of the wildly swinging mast is still lit.
I can just make out her white painted cabin roof and deck wallowing in the swells.
Ten minutes ago, while still asleep in my sleeping bag, I was slammed onto the cabin floor. Through the companion way, I saw only a sheer rock wall. Waves were breaking over the cockpit and the boat’s hull was pitching and grinding on the rocky bottom. Instinctively, I grabbed my small backpack which contained my passport and wallet. I stuffed the laptop and my camera inside and somehow managed to get my boots on. Sparks were flying from the cockpit engine control panel, as I quickly climbed onto the windvane frame where it attached to the transom. Miraculously, I was able to step onto the rocks as the boat slammed onto the rocks with each incoming wave. My feet did not even get wet. Just in time. I climbed on hands and knees to this spot.
With each breaking wave, my boat, my home for the last eight years along with my dreams is being ground to pieces. My store of earthly possessions is slowly disappearing in the dark water below me. All that remains are a few shoeboxes containing memorabilia stored with my daughters at home and my small savings in the bank. That’s all of it. It is slowly starting to sink in that this chapter of my life is coming to a violent end.
Strangely, despite being exhausted and disoriented, I’m overcome with a sense of relief…and excitement. I no longer have anything to prove to myself or to anyone else by crossing the Atlantic a third time. The feeling comes as a surprise. I wonder what God has planned for me this time.