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Discussion: Condolences

in: Charlie; Charlie > 2020-07-19

Jul 19, 2020 9:34 PM # 
I very much enjoyed the many stories you told me about Dr. Pr., and also appreciated the fact that I had the chance to meet him once, even though he was a bit of a rascal in the stories. But many of us are. Sorry to hear about his unfortunate decline.
Jul 19, 2020 10:37 PM # 
He was perhaps more of a rascal than most of us, but a lovable one at that. He was also the sender of the famous letter, I think sent from South Africa, addressed to “Charlie DeWeese, Martha’s Vineyard, USA”, delivered without incident.
Jul 20, 2020 3:37 AM # 
Delivered to Connecticut in fact, yes?
Jul 20, 2020 8:52 AM # 
No. Not that strange. It was while we were living in West Tisbury.
Jul 20, 2020 10:58 AM # 
OK. I will amend my enhanced version of the story. I thought you had already moved and the post office guys on the Vineyard had forwarded it.
Jul 20, 2020 10:59 AM # 
OK. I will amend my enhanced version of the story. I thought you had already moved and the post office guys on the Vineyard had forwarded it. But it's likely that you told me the story before you moved to Ratlum Mountain.
Jul 20, 2020 5:47 PM # 
Hold on to the happy memories.
Jul 20, 2020 5:54 PM # 
Sorry to hear that, Charlie.
Jul 20, 2020 6:00 PM # 
How lucky you were to have such a dynamic person in your life story. What great memories he gave you.
Jul 21, 2020 11:48 AM # 
No kidding kissy! Bareboating in the tropics, with constant trade winds, uncharted reefs, dragging anchors, and few small-boat handling skills between you, is sure to provide an abundance of great memories!
Jul 21, 2020 6:05 PM # 
We had some unscheduled adventures during those trips. There were three of us who were the primary adventurers, Michael, me and his med school roommate Arch. On one trip in about 1983 each of us brought a family member, Mike's father, the Colonel, Arch's brother James and my son Charles, who would have been about 15 at the time. We sailed on a 44' ketch from St Vincent and went south through the Grenadines, maybe as far as Petit St Vincent, as Grenada was under Communist control at the time and not a place you could go. There was a place with a pretty spectacular reef off-shore of an island, and we anchored inside the reef. The three adventurers, loaded up the scuba gear and took the dinghy out through a slot in the waves to anchor on top of the reef, and we dove for as long as a tank of air lasted. Spectacular fish. When we were done we hopped back in the dinghy, but took the corner of the waves a little tight and suddenly found ourselves surfing Fun while it lasted, but we capsized, the dinghy was upside down and all our gear had dropped to the bottom. Pretty awful, but nobody was hurt and we held onto the upturned dinghy and paddled back toward the boat, Not so bad. Michael's father was distressed to see what was going back and insisted that they needed to go rescue "those poor boys" with the big boat. James knew better, but couldn't overcome the parental hysteria, pulled anchor, and came out to get us under power. Now this was scary! We tried to wave them off, and succeeded only in getting James to cut the motor, so now they were headed right for us, and no longer under power. As they bore down on us, the last thing I saw before I dove under was the direct hit on the dinghy and the dinghy squirting out like a pumpkin seed and flying through the air. Miraculous that it didn't hit anybody and nobody got killed. When everything settled down we got back in the boat. Couldn't get the dinghy motor to run again, fouled with seawater. We rowed out on the reef the next morning and snorkeled for our gear, found everything, including a can of beer.
Jul 21, 2020 6:48 PM # 
Charlie, you tell a great story! I think you might have been inside Horseshoe Reef; a very scary place, with coral reef in all directions. Love the phrase "parental hysteria." Just about says it all, when you're basically single-handing a 44' ketch, looking out at this, and half your crew is overboard, clinging to an overturned dink.
Jul 21, 2020 8:18 PM # 
The tale I remember best involved a boat in a lagoon with the wind blowing the wrong way and maybe some problem with the motor, and other complications. Hawaii?

I wonder if anybody has notified his friend George.
Jul 21, 2020 9:33 PM # 
I’m sure it was Horseshoe Reef. We had been to Palm Island.
Jul 22, 2020 11:26 AM # 
Drawing a blank on "his friend George."

The story J-J is thinking of was from another sailing trip, this time in the Hawaiian islands. We left at night from Honolulu, crossed the Molokai channel and arrived at Manele Bay on Lanai in the morning. The crossing was rough, compounded by partying, eating and drinking right up until sailing time that last evening. We also went to Maui and Molokai on that trip, and from Lahaina made a day trip to Molokini for snorkeling. Molokini is the tip of an extinct volcano, open to the sea on one side, full of interesting tropical fish, and shallow enough to snorkel. There was also a commercial dive boat, and we dropped anchor and snorkeled. I remember some really impressive rays, looking like 1959 Buick Electras. Anyway, heading back to the boat I saw clouds in the water. Huh? The anchors were dragging. Turns out the wind had shifted and was blowing straight in the opening. By the time we got back in the boat, the hull was tapping on the rocks. For whatever reason, we couldn't get the motor started (definitely not my department). I swam a rope over to the dive boat, where they were disinclined to help because they wanted to leave pronto. I protested that it was the law of the sea that they had to give aid, so they tied on my rope and started to drag us out of there. Then the anchors caught. Yikes! And an anchor rope wrapped around Arch's ankle. Cut the rope!!! So we cut the ropes, got pulled out, put out the sail, and tried to figure out how we would get back to Lahaina and what we would do when we got there (after dark and with no motor). Sailing along with James below deck and he jumped the solenoid and got the motor running. Dropped the sails, back into the lagoon and we dove for the anchors with the motor running. Retrieved them with a fancy bowline trick to secure them and haul them up, and trundled back to Lahaina. Basically no worse for the wear, but an exciting time. Only injury was a cut foot for our friend Laurette, who had jumped onto the rocks thinking she could push the boat off them, which of course she couldn't. Good she didn't get crushed between the boat and the rocks.
Jul 22, 2020 1:05 PM # 
I think you said Michael was friends with a classmate (George) who hosted your reunion a few years back.
Jul 22, 2020 1:42 PM # 
Maybe so. I think not at all close. Not sure if he knew him any better than I did,
Jul 22, 2020 2:34 PM # 
Ah, OK. Anyway, here's to Michael for putting up with your bad influences and neverending parade of floozies. ;-)

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