Tomorrow isn’t Promised

I can’t believe I’m writing about the loss of another friend, but with great sadness I am. One of our best friends on Vieques, Capt. Mike Nisius, passed away suddenly last month in St. Thomas. Mike was a highly decorated U.S. Navy aviator and U.S. Army combat veteran. He was a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master Captain as well as a PADI Divemaster. There was the Bachelors degree in music composition - music really brought him peace and joy. He also had a couple of Master’s degrees in business. He was a Dad, with three teenagers from a previous marriage. But to us, all wrapped up, he was just Mike, a damn good guy.

We'd go to the beaches on Sundays and grill chicken, hotdogs, and veggies, eat Mike’s arroz y habichuelas (Puerto Rican rice and beans), maybe our pizza from the grill or other peoples' wonderful food, and stay hydrated with a few Medalla beers. In his honor, we did something like this again on Sunday, only a lot more people showed up to send him off. There were three big beach tents, half a dozen umbrellas, beach chairs, coolers, several grills, and so much food. Even his brother and sister flew in from the states for the event. Such a great day and a fitting way to say goodbye. But that sure didn't make it any easier on any of us.

Mike and his partner Laura were living many peoples’ dream lives, sailing the Caribbean while living aboard the S/V Surely Sea. They went to many ports, but they talked lovingly about Jost Van Dyke, St. Maarten, and Grenada. Mike said at one point that the Soggy Dollar Bar was on his bucket list and they finally went there last year. We even watched them on the Soggy Dollar webcam. This summer, they stopped in again, and I'm so glad they did. We're happy he was living the dream with such a wonderful woman to share it all with.

Sailing Vessel Surely Sea in Vieques
Sailing Vessel Surely Sea in Vieques

Mike's passing has certainly reinforced something we've known for a while. Tomorrow isn't promised, so get out and enjoy every single day as it comes. He was living life to the fullest when he passed, but we sure wish he was still here with us all, to tell us more tales. He was taken away much too soon.

Mike's Memorial Beach Party - a small portion of the attendees
Mike's Memorial Beach Party - a small portion of the attendees

Laura is back in Vieques and is getting all the love we can give her. We’re all in the dumps to some extent, but she’s got an enormous burden so we ask for all the love and prayers you can send her way, from wherever you are.

Float On, Capt. Mike, we miss you so much.

TODAY'S SPECIAL is from Modest Mouse and from Mike's own playlist. Don't worry, we'll all float on.


  1. Teri-Lynne Head Johansson on August 26, 2019 at 10:15 am

    I’m sorry to hear this Norm. He sounds like a fine person we could all learn a lot from. Thank you for sharing his story.

    • Norm Pyle on August 26, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      Thanks Teri, Mike definitely taught us all how to do it right. I appreciate your thoughts.

  2. Betty on August 26, 2019 at 10:20 am

    So sad. It is wonderful that so many people loved him. Of course I didn’t know him but you can tell a lot about a person by the number and loyalty of their friends. So I send love to all of you. God Speed,

    • Norm Pyle on August 26, 2019 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you very much. He’s been gone almost a month now and we’re still fighting back the tears. Yesterday’s beach day was wonderful, and it brought back a lot of great memories, but also some more sadness. Thanks for commenting.

  3. Kirby Collings on August 26, 2019 at 12:45 pm

    Thanks for including all the pics! It truly helps us ‘know’ Mike and he was obviously an absolutely incredible man with a lot of accomplishments in life! Living life to the fullest was the greatest of these! You know that we went to Jost Van Dyke a few years back and I totally agree with Mike that it was an awesome place to see. I have several pics from the Soggy Dollar, but it isn’t appropriate to even search for them right now.

    I found out that I can get Medalla beer here in Panama City Beach, so I’m going to do exactly that and toast to Mike!

    Thanks for sharing and dedicating this whole story to your dear friend!

    • Norm Pyle on August 26, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      Thank you so much Kirby – a Medalla in Mike’s honor is very fitting! Just note that it’ll take a couple of six-packs before you start to get drunk!

  4. Catherine on August 26, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    I’m really sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to lose someone close and so sudden. He looked and sounded like a great guy. He looked pretty young! Was happened to him? If it’s to private to share that’s ok!

    • Norm Pyle on August 27, 2019 at 6:48 am

      Thank you Catherine, he was in his mid-40s, much too young for this. It’s not for me to share his details but he didn’t suffer in any way.

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