Through Hell, High Water, and a Hurricane: the story of one couple’s perilous journey from New England to Belize
Eight bells. As one watch ends, another begins,” wrote 51-year old Richard Sugarman as he and wife, Linda, sailed out of Niantic, Connecticut, for Placencia, Belize.
The 2500-mile journey symbolized for the couple the end of 20 years of dreaming and the beginning of a two-year trial run in the charter sailboat business. What they didn’t know was that the biggest storm to hit the Caribbean in 500 years would rearrange their plans — it would kill one of their dearest friends, nearly destroy their catamaran, and cause months-long delays and financial depletion. No one said moving to a third world country would be easy…
The dream was spawned when Linda and Richard and five-year old daughter Casey sailed to Mexico where they camped for three months before returning to New England. The dream was shelved while they focused on raising their daughter and building careers — Linda’s in physical therapy and Richard (ironically) in the field of trauma counseling. Thirteen years later, Casey returned from a Boston University field trip to Belize. “Mom, Dad. You’ve got to quit your jobs and move to Belize!