Sunday, March 31, 2024

A Sad Goodbye

I've said it so many times before, that the cruising community was the best part of the years that we've lived on the boat. The friendships that we've made cruising have run the deepest of any friendships we've ever had. I've often wondered why and, in the end, I suppose it's that we all share that same longing for wandering and voyaging and nature and community.

One of those friendships was with Mike and Anja Boyd of This Rat Sailed. They were one of the first people that we connected with on this journey and we hit it off immediately. Over the years comments have flown back and forth between our blogs and we have shared time in various ports, over a hardtop build for their catamaran, over hurricane prep for Joaquin, over Ubiquiti Bullet frustrations, over Tim's cardiac arrest and my broken wrist.

But this week...this week was not supposed to be something we had to share, that no one should ever have to go through.

This past Sunday, as Mike and Anja explored the area around Staniel Cay in The Bahamas, a speedboat up on plane approached them in their dinghy. Mike tried every maneuver he could to avoid the boat but in the end he was unable to do so. The boat hit their dinghy and both Mike and Anja were thrown into the water. They were pulled out and taken to the local medical center where Anja was pronounced dead. Mike was critically injured with broken bones, and an even more broken heart.

How do you process such a needless tragedy? How do you account for the cost of another's recklessness? No words will suffice.

So hug your loved ones today, and count the blessings of each of those you call friends. They are a treasure of immeasurable value.


If you are very lucky in life you will have a small collection of friends for whom you will do anything they ask without question or comment. My list of such friends included Mike and Anja. The challenges Deb and I faced less than a year ago were made much more bearable with Mike and Anja nearby. Deb had faced losing me. I was terrified when I heard her hit the concrete, sure that she was seriously injured.  As we worked our way through those events Mike and Anja were there. Whatever we needed they offered. No question. No comment. But what does one do in the face of such a loss? All I could do was sit stunned, not holding back the tears, as Deb relayed the news when I walked through the door, just home from work. No words suffice, but all of us can imagine how brutal life has become for Mike. Anything. Without question. Without comment. 

Ed Note: We have set up a GoFundMe to help Mike with medical, transport, and funeral expenses. Mike is completely overwhelmed and your kindness will go a long way to helping him heal.

1 comment:

Andrew P. on M/V Number 99 said...

My heart aches for the loss of your friend. This is a horrible tragedy. We, as cruisers, recognize and accept that there are risks in this chosen life style. The idea of being run down by another boat never occurred to me.
Time alone will dull the sharp pain of losing your friend, regretfully the ache will always be there.