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John and Jean's Blog

How I came to find myself on the docks of Annapolis Md

Jean Silverwood - Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Well, John here - I had the pleasure of being made a guest at the nation's largest in-water sailboat show, The Annapolis Sailboat show recently at the kind invitation of Mr. Richard Switlik, President of Switlik liferafts located for three generations in Trenton New Jersey. Richard and his boat show manager, Steve Jaekal made me feel right at home, providing a great display area for me and our BLACK WAVE books. You see, I was nestled in between a number of the rafts the Switlik Co. have on display, but the irony is that this was not the first time I was so cossetted by inflatables...no, the last time I lay down in a Switlik raft, I was dragging my severed leg behind me three hours or so after having lost it in the South Pacific. So...The lovely Mrs. Silverwood and I were at the Oakland Strictly Sail Show the preceeding April, autographing books (and really, really trading sea stories with great people - yeah, SAILORS!) - when up comes this smilin' gent shaking my hand with the greeting, "I believe you found yourself in one of my raft's a while back". BINGO! That Switlik raft absolutely played a huge roll in my quioxtic quest to stay alive. I couldn't believe I was face to face with this legendary third generation Richard Switlik!
Well, Jean and I got to know him and Steve over dinner that night with Ernie Delli Gatti, who works at Coast Guard Island, home to PACAREA 11, which merely covers all the salt water from the North Pole to the South Pole and the entire Pacific and Indian Oceans!! Ernie happens to be the guy who oversaw and intervened often in the seach for my family and our shipwrecked, lovely sailing ship, "EMERALD JANE". Whew, I'm done!
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