Support The Single Handed Sailor
Every cruising sailor has an interesting story on what got them started. I was in a head on collision with a drunk driver resulting in the loss of 2 limbs, was sued into bankruptcy by my own insurance company. Starting over on the same path seemed horrible to me. The only logical option was to sell everything I had left after the bankruptcy, buy a budget cruising sailboat, and set sail with the dream of becoming the 1st double amputee (above elbow, below knee) to solo circumnavigate the world.
My journey began October 18th 2008 though i didn't know it at the time. In the early hours of the morning I was in a head on collision with a drunk driver which cost me my left arm, left leg, and nearly my life. I celebrate this day every year. On this day I was left for dead on the side of the road with my arm ripped from my body. Doctors told my parents, my friends, and me I would likely die. On this day I heard my mother and fathers voices tremble and shake over the phone from thousands of miles away as they tried to be strong for me. I was on a hospital bed with a punctured spleen, punctured lung, aspirated, traumatically amputated arm, broken scapula, and foot broken beyond repair. On this day I chose to live, and I celebrate it every year.
June 18th 2014 I sailed from Hawaii alone on a 45 year old sailboat with one month of sailing experience, 20 dollars in my bank account, and a dream of becoming the 1st double amputee to sail around the world.
So far I’ve sailed around 20,000 miles and visited 11 countries. The biggest hurdle in my path so far hasn't been sailing without an arm and leg but an engine and transmission that never seem to work. I've had the engine out twice and transmission countless times. Most of my modest disability income has gone to try to keep the engine and transmission going while other areas of my boat have been neglected. Twice I left Bali for Malaysia just to get towed back in after only getting a few miles out of the harbor My last few trips were probably ill-advised and borderline dangerous with the condition my boat was in.
I now have a more appropriate boat for the remainder of my trip. I am blessed to be able to continue my journey on a nicer and safer boat. I still have a long list of repairs to do before crossing the Indian ocean. Any little bit will help and be greatly appreciated.
I am writing a book about my journey and hope to raise awareness for people with disabilities. Like all cruising sailors, I just want to keep going.
I really wanted to do a personal update on this. These last few months have just been a blur of boatwork and work on my prosthetic leg. I really want to thank everyone again that has recently donated. Up until a few months ago 95% of the money donated was either someone I knew or less than 2 degrees of separation. Recently I have been a few donations a day and am unsure how people are finding my site.
I want to give a list of where this money is going and include pictures. I an not sure why but it is not letting me post pics. I will add this to my website www.thesinglehandedsailor.com I was able to buy all the plumbing bits I needed to install my water desalaneter. A large percentage has gone to custom fabrication on my leg and boat. Some of the more difficult things on this boat was getting the dinghy on board, and me on board. I had a ladder attached by 2 ropes (not easy to stabilize with one hand). The dinghy is about 25 kilos and outboard 26 (also not easy to bring on board with 1 hand). I had some custom davits and a swim ladder made. Also had less corrodible parts made for my prosthetic. There were a few parts I couldn’t fabricate here but thanks to LIM innovations and Hawaiian Orthotics and Prosthetics I’ll be walking on quality prosthetics for the foreseeable future.
It looks like Tiama and I will be in good shape to start crossing the Indian Ocean. Of course there is always more work that could and should be done.
It was quite difficult to get my Indian visa here in Thailand though was able to join a rally that helps with the process. I’m hoping to leave Thailand early February. Spend one month in the Andaman islands, one month in Sri Lanka, then either Maldives or Chagos.
I have a hard time updating this simply because it feels like I’m always asking everyone for money. It has been auto posting lately which I’ll put a stop to. Thank you everyone again. I’m really excited to get my new lady Tiama out to sea and see what we can do
After 3 months away, Tiama was pretty moldy and somehow has a damaged cutlass bearing which will require a haulout to fix. Other than that she seems to be in good shape and will hopefully be ready to start crossing the Indian Ocean in January.
My last three months were an amazing experience. I was able to spend time with loved ones in places I used to call home. Three really good prosthetics made their way to me. I have a new prosthetic from Lim Innovations and hope to continue working with them. I was lucky to be part of an amazing delivery crew sailing a boat from Oahu to Newport Beach California. During this trip I talked with Ronnie Simpson about his 1st ocean crossing. Ronnie said, “If feels like we shouldn’t be allowed to do this”. It is true. I felt the same way. With no formal training, license, and only about a month of sailing experience, I set sail for Palmyra from Hawaii. My experience has grown to the point now that I feel that I belong out there now crossing oceans.
I traveled back to the states with the intention of getting a new leg and to find an attorney to deal with my disability insurance. The leg mission was far more successful than the latter. I also started a new website/Facebook/Instagram. All of them can be found at http://thesinglehandedsailor.com . It is my goal to create a platform to better share my travels similar to S/V Delos in structure, but my content would be completely unique. Since I have never blogged, vlogged, or edited videos this will be an interesting learning curve. Please add my Instagram, facebook, and website. I am going to at least try to post updates weekly and should be able to continue doing so from sea. The next four months I will use to get the boat ready for the trip and work on my video editing. Please like/share this. Any visibility for my trip will really help.
Merry Christmas! Love to you!
Aloha, I read about your experience in today's Hawaii-Tribune Herald. Being in bed for 4 days with a physical/mental flu, the story was chicken noodle soup for my soul. I appreciate you sharing, I look forward to reading your book. God Bless, debbie
Awesome write up in today's WHT newspaper. I wish the best for you in your travels and if you ever need a fellow disabled person to help carry your luggage on one of your trips, ring me up. LOL. Sail in Aloha.