Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How to Identify a Blessing

Written at Vero Beach, FL
N 27 38 59
80 25 11 W

This blog prompted by emails from friends on two points:

  1. Too bad you are stuck in Vero Beach waiting for parts,
  2. We are facing job changes/job loss/career move back at home.

The crew of Meredith finds itself sailing only as the result of a series of "disasters" none of which, obviously, was a disaster at all. It just took some time to recognize our good fortune.

This is not some treacly dripping in honey kill the writer he's so damn nice, Christian exercise in "isn't the world such a wonderful place" article. Read on if you will.

Disaster No. 1: We lost our boat.

Our first boat, Quidam, was our pride and joy. The first season we owned her we took her to the North Channel as early in the year as we could.

First day out we wrecked her on the rocks: tore the rudder off, put great huge gouges in the keel, scraped her beautiful paint.

Our season was over. Connie sat beside Meredith's broken hull and cried. I would have but I am a man and men don't do that.

Upside: We had the boat repaired by Hadyn Gozzard and Ed Presczator. These guys were amazing. We found shipwrights of distinction.

When we found Meredith she was derelict.

Hadyn came to Toronto with us to inspect the hull and with the confidence we had in him and Ed we quickly closed a deal to purchase what is our dream boat.

There is no prettier nor more seaworthy hull afloat. If we had not lost Quidam we would never have found Meredith.

Disaster No. 2: Being Pushed Out of Business

For several years before we left to cruise we had invested time and a lot of money in a closely held business, the idea being that we would gradually take over the operation of that business.

By the time we went cruising it had become very apparent to us that the promised turnover of authority would never happen.

On one view it seemed we had wasted a lot of money (a LOT of money) and a LOT of time on a failed venture.

Coming to the understanding that we would never be in charge we chose to take a different path. We went cruising.

Upside: Had the business plan developed as hoped we would now be chained to our desks sweating the details on a lot of precarious business deals.

Disaster No 3: Losing our RRSP to a Shyster

When we set off cruising in 2004 we invested most of our loose cash in an RRSP which offered a modest return but guaranteed the principal.

Then, this little rat bastard shyster from Toronto by the name of Boaz Manor, stole the money and ran away to hide in Israel. (We were not alone in our misery: Manulife had $350 million invested with this piece of garbage)..

When the bankruptcy was over and the blood sucking accountants finished pursuing Manor and other assets the investors were paid out, on February 27, 2009 about 95% of the original investment.

What could be the Upside about losing 5% of our money after 5 years investment?

If we had not had our money in the ill fated Portus Asset Management we would have had it invested in the stock market. Where in God's name would we be now? Broke, that is where.

So guys:

  1. We do not consider disasters to be disasters for at least 5 years. There is insufficient data.
  2. Even the bleakest outcome may prove to be a blessing. You just had the wrong perspective.
Waiting in Vero Beach for parts really isn't a hardship. We have met a lot of really nice cruisers and have arranged get togethers up and down the eastern seaboard.

It works for us.

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