"Every sailor's cruising life begins somewhere. Mine began in Coconut Grove one bright morning in 1974, with a breeze just fair enough for a single, sweeping tack down Biscayne Bay. I was long-haired, bearded, 20-something, practically penniless and perfectly content as I set off on my first single-handed voyage aboard my first liveaboard sailboat. She was no ordinary sailboat, either. "Thumper" was a converted lifeboat, salvaged from an old Liberty ship being scrapped in the Chesapeake. Built in another era and for another purpose, she sported a stout wooden mast held aloft by cables, deadeyes and lanyards, with a gaff-rigged main and a sadly worn working jib. "
(Submitted by Noel Tue Jun 29, 2004 )
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