To tell or not to tell

Our story is more than just the one injustice of an indefensible claim denial. There is regular life that happens while this is going on. So we are going to include those aspects.

Juggling lifeThere were multiple reasons why Jill didn’t go on the trip and one that we didn’t expect. We had the following things going on:

  • a rental property that had a fire and needed to be rebuilt.
  • a long-term commercial property eviction which had to be handled in superior court, not small claims, involving lawyers.
  • committed to babysit the California kids while their parents went to Chile.
  • Jill’s failing 90-year-old mother didn’t like her to be far for very long.
  • Jill’s mother had also decided to disperse some of her assets to her kids. Since Jill was the one who had helped her with the investments, Jill was naturally the one to assist her thru this process.


The unexpected


So while Al was sailing, Jill was handling these things. We were pretty sure who got the better “job” at least until May 1. While Jill was in California, she noticed a lump in her breast and scheduled an appointment with the doctor when she returned from California.

April 28th Jill saw the doctor who was immediately concerned. She was actually more concerned about the other breast. Jill immediately went to see the PA of a breast surgeon. An ultrasound and mammogram were done and the results were not good news. Jill had suspicious areas in both breasts. The biopsies were scheduled for May 2, 2016.

shhh Don't TellJill had decided not to tell Al much about all the going’s on at home while he was sailing, unless things were final and/or good news. There was nothing he could do about them anyway. This certainly fell into that category. There was no reason to worry him when I didn’t know if there was something to worry about. He needed to stay focused on the trip.


Sailing Dragonfly Fiji to California

Dragonfly Interior Layout

Dragonfly had been in Fiji for two years (2014-15) sailing doctors, nurses and dentists to the remote islands providing them with free health care as part of the Sea Mercy Organization. As a 65′ catamaran with 4 queen size berths, we had plenty of room to comfortably transport volunteers with their supplies. It was a rewarding and unique experience that we will treasure. However, it was time to return to the states where our family was.


Passage Preparation

Sailing Crew to HawaiiJacque.jpgAl flew to Fiji in March, 2016 and prepared Dragonfly for the trip. Jill was not able to participate in the trip but our nephew Emerson, who had been on board several times decided to make the trip as did our good friend Jacque who had sailed from Panama to Tahiti in early 2014. Carolyn and Stephan a couple from South Africa responded to our ad in Crew Finders. They didn’t have any sailing experience, but had plenty of ocean experience on large yacht and had been part of the Sea Rescue team in South Africa. Both were young, energetic and looking for the open water miles to qualify for a Master Seaman’s license.

It was a good crew. They all got along and were good company.

The route

They left April 1, 2016 from Fiji on their 6-8 week, 5500 mile trip to San Francisco. This was a delivery trip, not a cruising trip. They planned to make brief stops in American Samoa, Suwarrow, Kirabati and Hawaii.

April 20, they stopped  briefly in American Samoa, then an overnight in Suwarrow a beautiful atoll that they had all to themselves. On April 28th they left Kirabati for Hawaii, which looked like it would be a great sail with good conditions.