MIKE DALTON'S TRIP

By Dorothy Dalton

 

An old sailor takes a postman's holiday and things deteriorated from there

Shortly after Mike's retirement from the Coast Guard, he became bored and decided that "it was now or never" to accomplish a lifelong dream. He had always wanted to spend time at sea aboard a tow boat. So, Mike bought an old tow boat and took it to a shipyard in Seattle for refitting. Shortly after he took delivery of the boat, he loaded most of his personal possessions, fishing gear, radios, etc., aboard and started the shake down cruise.

At this time we lived on Whidby Island in Puget Sound so Mike had only to loose the lines from the dock and he was underway. He had made it a "good piece" into the sound when he realized there was something wrong. His dream boat was sinking! It was thought later that the bottom may have dropped out. Some passing fishermen took Mike out of the water jus before he would have followed his boat to the bottom, and took him to Seattle where he wound up in the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia.

When I asked him why ...... with all of the radio equipment aboard .... he hadn't called the Coast Guard, he said, "I'll be damned if I'd call for help. I know all those guys. Here I am a retired Coast Guardsman unable to handle a sinking boat. I would rather have died than have those guys laughing at me."

He damned near did!

Commander Mike Dalton, USCG (retired) has "crossed the bar."

 

From We've Been There by Esther Stormer 1992 - Reprinted by permission.

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