6692 Pisces the Sailfish
This is the True story of my Family Adventure and Disaster and the best thing that ever happened to me! The number, 6692 is the date, June 6th '92, when the curse that was placed upon the vessel finally destroyed her. Although the ship was originally cursed when she was built and originally named Pisces, (the Star-sign). some believe she incurred additional “bad luck” because I effectively renamed her by painting a Sailfish outline around her name, Pisces, and turning her into a the fish instead of a star sign. I also left port on a Friday. Renaming a boat and leaving port on a Friday is considered bad luck by sailors.
This True Family Adventure and Travel story follows my young family's adventures after we abandoned our secure, comfortable and meaningless existence in suburbia to follow our dream. This often humorous account, relates how we unwittingly bought a jinxed yacht, watched it smash itself to pieces and with no prior experience, skills or training rebuilt it, sailed away, rediscovered paradise, punished betrayal, found ancient treasure and survived sharks, crazed lemurs, gossiping walruses, a lynch mob, a curse, explosive gas, flaming epoxy and oozing quicksand. It also relates how, in answer to my prayer, we lost everything we owned and experienced heart-breaking generosity that altered our lives and welded our family even closer together. The book explains why we celebrate June 6th every year as Pisces Day with a family meal of Prawns and Rice. The book also reveals why and how I tried to commit murder.
Despite encouragement from family, friends and total strangers to write this book I refused to do so for almost twenty years whilst I waited for someone that I tried to murder -to die. During that time it has remained trapped inside me like the key log holding its fellows prisoner within a logjam. I believe that once this book breaches the flood gates it will release my other novels from the dam.
After several short stories (based upon opening chapters of this book) reached the finals and were published in a daily newspaper's annual True Short Story competition, I was inundated by requests from readers for the rest of the tale, which I ignored at the time, for reasons which may become apparent.
I hope this book will appeal to readers of true adventure or travel, cruising sailors would-be sailors, dreamers, adventurers, and adventure travellers. Similarly it should appeal to anyone who dreams of escaping from their self-made prisons but perhaps lacks the courage or will to actually do it. Women in particular may identify with the multifaceted heroine, a strong female who is simultaneously my wife, lover, partner, best friend, a mother and our anchor.
Although 6692 Pisces and the Sailfish will perhaps resonate with those who experienced the final years of Apartheid in South Africa, it should also be of interest to readers who would like to learn a little about some of Africa's amazing people and exotic cultures. Similarly, although it is a “true-life-story” this tale does not revolve upon the depressing issues that we read about in the news every day to which many of us have become desensitised. Likewise, unlike many of the “sailing accounts” I have read, it does not dwell upon technical aspects of sailing that are meaningless to the average person and especially to me who is branded a heretic by most sailors when I tell them “Sailing is the price I reluctantly pay for the time I enjoy anchored safely in a new port.”
Finally although I vowed that I would never own another boat, I currently find myself building another one together with my now grown up family. Although we have yet to set sail again our journey has already begun anew. Our Journey, our adventures and those of the fascinating people we have met over the last two years are already well on their way to populating the sequel to this book –2nd Time Lucky.
- Don Darkes II, September 2012
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