Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Stumbled onto Sadness
In late 1999, Karl and his wife Carol told me they were going to Puerto Vallarta to party for 10 days and watch the Superbowl and then fly home. I was headed to Mexico for the winter and it turned out I was in Vallarta on my boat BLISS in late January. I got their number and invited them out for a sail on Banderas Bay, so we did.
As we started back after the daily sea breeze died my diesel wouldn't start... so we sailed into the anchorage at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle in the dark. Carl was steering, Carol was reading off the depths as we came in and I was on the bow ready to drop the anchor. After we succeeded in sailing in the hook, I gave them the vee berth and went to sleep in the quarter berth near the nav station.
The next morning, I got into the engine room and started the diesel by jumping across the starter motor with a screwdriver (lots of noise and sparks) and we motored back to my slip. I drove them to their hotel. Karl told me he wanted to spend their last day together alone in PV (Superbowl Sunday) so I bid them adieu and drove back to the marina.
The next day I watched the Superbowl at a pub somewhere and the following Monday Karl and Carol boarded Alaska Airlines flight 261 out of Puerto Vallarta for San Francisco and Seattle. A flight I had taken a number of times. But theirs never made it. They died with the 86 other passengers and crew when the plane slammed into the Pacific Ocean near Pt. Conception in California on January 31, 2000.
I was cleaning out some stuff when I came across Karl's card., and it all came back to me.
So I wrote it here.