Going back under the knife
I’ve gone a bit off the radar since returning home. Mostly I have been working on my writing and public speaking. Stand up comedy has really helped with this. I have also stated mentoring other sailors including the person who bought Tiama. Last of all is getting my body back in shape. I gained 20lbs over the last few years of my trip which covid lockdowns didn’t help. I’ve also suffered chronic phantom limb pain since my accident almost 15 years ago which I rarely talk about to anyone that isn’t close to me.
Ten years ago I got a surgery to remove the neuroma that causes a majority of my pain. I did have some relief from this but the pain has gradually come back and is now worse than ever. The pain I experience every minute of every day is about the same level as the 1st lines of a tattoo. Just before I left Hawaii I got insurance approval for another surgery on this which took a year of referrals and imaging from several doctors. By the time I was approved it was nearing my departure date. Not wanting to have any complications from the surgery while at sea I decided to wait until my trip was over. 18 months of referrals and imaging later it looks like Ill finally get another surgery in hopes to relieve my phantom limb pain.
I was never in terrible shape and I’m still strong but my cardio has drastically faded. Until about 3 years ago when Preferred prosthetics and College park sponsored me a new leg I was always unsure how long it would take to get a new one. A salt water environment is rough on prosthetics as is my lifestyle and it is a tough process getting insurance to pay for them. Because of this I’ve been going easy on my prosthetics and not getting enough exercise. There was even a 6 month stretch in Indonesia where I walked on my peg leg while waiting to get a warranty replacement. It didn’t help Indo customs held it another month after it arrived while negotiating how much Tax I had to pay. For the last three years It has been a drastic life improvement to have timely access to new prosthetics and for the 1st time since my accident I have a new prosthetic and a good spare.
I have been vocal about my stage freight which is difficult to overcome without stage time. This is not an easy thing to find ways to practice for an aspiring motivational speaker. After seeing a friends comedy show I saw a solution. I took a comedy class and have been doing stand up comedy at least once a week. It has helped more than I could ever imagine and has introduced me to a new style of writing. I’m not ready to post one of my shows yet but will start posting clips and work towards improving this skill.
For the 1st time in my life I’ve become a mentor. I have been sailing for 10 years now but for most of that I’ve felt like the newbie in the world cruising community. After 40,000+ miles at sea, doing international deliveries on 7 different vessels, checking in to 36 countries, sailing to Antarctica, receiving awards, and a world record I am starting to feel like I have enough experience to teach others. I had an amazing trip to Palmyra with the new owner of Tiama, Jenny Decker. I helped another friend on their 1st ocean passage sailing from Tahiti to Hawaii, and will be doing a charter gig in the Caribbean in December. I’ve been considering doing some sort of cruising coaching platform but m still unsure.
There was a big financial and social cost to leaving my friends and family for 7.5 years to sail around the world alone. Now that I’m home I feel a bit lost without a big project and clear goal. I did over 5,000 miles at sea last year, filmed documentary, am nearly completed with my 100 ton captain license, got my prosthetics in order, went to my friends wedding, visited family, became a stand up comedian, and am looking forward to what comes next when I heal from this surgery.