The age of miracles has not passed. I am 80 years old today. Few, if any, including me, expected I would reach such an age. “Almost dying is a hard way to make a living,” I once wrote, and I have almost died more times than I can easily recall. It goes with the territory of pushing beyond the edge of human experience. Either I was very good or I was very lucky. Perhaps both.
I now mostly live in a condo on South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island overlooking Skull Creek, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway. Gannet is docked 500 feet away. I can see her mast from our windows and deck.
Hilton Head Island has a wonderful climate from October to May, but is too hot in the summer, with heat indexes routinely of 105ºF. So I am considering sailing somewhere cooler next summer. Iceland sounds cool.
Carol and I will spend the day quietly. I’ll go down and sit on Gannet for a while and consider what I’ve done with my life and what I might still do. This evening we will go out to dinner and when we return I will pour some of my favorite liquid, Laphroaig 10-year-old single-malt Scotch, and raise my glass to you and to me and to our dreams and to the passion to fulfill them.
Wishing you well from the other coast.
*Webb Chiles’ actual birthday is November 11, but as we won’t be publishing tomorrow, we’ve shared his letter in advance.