I found confirmation in my obsession with the film Apollo 13. I believed that there was no catastrophe aboard spacecraft or watercraft that couldn’t be thwarted by scavenging, gluing and taping. While other marine journalists blathered on about eyewear, acrylic wineglasses and sure-footed deck shoes, I praised the wonders of 3M 5200, J-B Weld and WD-40. “Never leave the dock without duct tape,” I lectured.
Whether it was a two-hour sunset idle in the bay or a four-week Bahamas cruise, I was always prepared. And while I scolded the unprepared for failing to drag along the local marine store, I gladly stepped forward and offered my inventory to any yachtsman in need. I had considered them less fortunate. Brandishing my screwdriver like a wand, I disarmed bloated holding tanks on the verge of detonation and burped the air from dyspeptic diesels.