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Longtime boater John Hann of s/v Damasita dies PDF Print

Gloria and John, s/v Damasita. Photo by Bob Smith

John Hann, 75, of s/v Damasita died Friday, Nov. 28, 2008 after a short illness.

Born in England, Hann had spent much of his life in the United States. He met his lifemate, Gloria Hayes, in Florida 17 years ago.

They have been living on the Rio Dulce three years, most of which was spent at Xalaja Marina.

 On their passage from Florida five years ago, their boat was dismasted in a storm and they found emergency refuge in Cuba. They continued without a mast from Cuba to Mexico where another gale caused them to lose their rudder while anchored inside the reef at Punta Allen and almost lost the boat.

Key West architect and artist Bob Smith met John and Gloria in Punta Allen. They've remained close friends ever since.

After spending two years in Punta Allen repairing the boat and fitting a mast they recovered from a sunken sailboat, they traveled to the Rio Dulce which they made their home.

Formerly an officer in the British merchant marine, Hann also worked as a ship's electrician and an avionics technician. He had visited 32 countries in his lifetime.

John and Gloria were preparing to leave the Rio to sail to the Bay Islands and Panama.

Gloria expresses her deepest gratitude to all the boaters and local Guatemalans who have shown her their concern and support during her loss. She does not plan on having a memorial service for John since, she says, her greatest memorial of him is a Valentine's Day card he gave her many years ago. She keeps the Valentine's Day card in the logbook of Damasita.

It reads:

Until now,
until you

There were places in my heart
I'd never known before,

Moments in the day
I'd never appreciated before,

Promises in the night
I'd never dreamt before ..

Until now,
until you.

Signed: I love you
Happy Valentine's Day


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