When I was 16, my father and I had a huge argument which resulted in my leaving home.

I don’t remember what I said that finally set him off, but whatever it was, it brought to an end not only my trip with my family but also my life with my family. Suddenly my dad had me by the scruff of the neck, his fist curled and ready to lash out, both of us screaming at each other. “My God,” my mother thought, “he’s going to kick the crap out of Brandon.” He didn’t hit me, but we both knew we were going to a place that neither of us wanted to. We’d reached a point of no return. One of us had to go — and it wasn’t going to be him. With my mom and sister wailing in grief and disbelief, my father threw me off the boat.

He didn’t actually hurl me off physically. He just told me that I should take a pack with me and find passage aboard another boat to my destination of choice. He said it like he meant it.

Before I knew it I was off the “Agio,” our family boat, for good — and on my own in the middle of the South Pacific.

Photo: My sister and I (age 10) on our family sailboat on our passage from Vancouver, Canada to Ventura, California.

In a way, I was relieved. The tension between us had grown unbearable, and I knew that if we hadn’t parted ways, something really bad would have happened, and it would have caused irreparable harm to both of us, and for sure to our relationship.

Still, I was somewhat in shock at what had happened. I was also scared.