But Schmuck, a self-professed "boat rat" from Newport Beach, still had a case of wanderlust. He was a Vietnam veteran, where he'd spent "11 months, 3 weeks, 2 days and 5 hours driving assault boats for the Special Forces underwater demolition team," and he was ready for an ocean voyage. In 1988, he set out alone into the Pacific aboard his 28-foot Bristol Channel Cutter, Puffin. "Nobody was shooting at me," he said. "It was one of the great turning points in my life."