I'd built Carlotta to sail around the world, and she proved a seaworthy, seakindly craft. But rum was 84 cents a bottle on St. Thomas, and life got in the way. Our daughter, Roma Orion, was born. I sailed every regatta on every famous boat in the islands, from San Juan to Trinidad, for over a decade. But at 6:23 a.m. on September 17, 1989, Hurricane Hugo, a Category 4 storm, forced us to swim away from a floundering Carlotta in 120 knots of breeze.
There is nothing quite like wrapping your 7-year-old child's passport in a plastic bag, duct-taping that plastic bag around her chest, and then jumping into the frothing water with her in your arms.