The day I quit smoking—forever.

This happened while we were still at Little Thatch. It was early morning, September 8, 1969, a date I will never forget. I was on my way in the Ivory Gull to pickup Enez, our housekeeper. It was a beautiful day, and I didn’t have a care in the world. I was about halfway to West End when I was suddenly gripped with a violent coughing spell. I became extremely dizzy and my vision turned to a black sky with thousands of blinking stars. I felt that I was on the verge of passing out or dying. It was pure reflex action for me to slow down and shut off the outboard.

I sat there for probably two or three minutes, my heart pounding like crazy. Finally, I began to feel almost normal, but badly shaken! I got the outboard going and continued on to West End. Enez said she saw me sitting out there but that I wasn’t hauling in a fish, and what in the world happened.

I told her that I had tossed my cigarettes overboard and that I had quit smoking. She said, “Good for you Mr. Myrick. That smoking is bad business.” I said something like, tell me about it Enez.

When we got back to Little Thatch, I told Marie I had quit smoking. She said nothing for a minute or so, then said, “Well, if you haven’t started again in twenty-four hours, I’ll join you. But this is the last time. If we start smoking again I will never try to stop again—it’s just too nerve-wracking.”

Marie and I got through four, very tough days, then it started easing off. We made it! I should point out that we had been heavy smokers—three or four packs a day!

I know that we wouldn’t be living today if we hadn’t quit. The Book 003



George and his wife, Marie, sailed professionally, chartering boats in the Bahamas, then in the Virgin Islands. They then leased an uninhabited island, Little Thatch, in the British Virgin Islands, and turned it into a small hotel. After six years, they left the island and bought a lovely beachfront property on Jost Van Dyke (BVI) where they built Sandcastle Hotel and the original Soggy Dollar Bar. George is now the author of Incredible Virgin Island Adventure: A True Story.

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