Friday, July 5, 2013

A Note From Alan

Cheryl forwarded me an e-mail that Alan sent to her last night. I've copied it below. I'm really going to miss Alan's detailed and poetic updates from aboard Nani. He has truly earned his title of "Director of Communications"! When Nani leaves Horta for England without Alan, we'll just be getting those short 160 character messages for awhile.....

It's 0830. We are sailing next to Faial, headed for the Southeast end to make our turn up the passage between Pico and into the Harbor. The sheer volcanic cliffs are impressive. Beyond, more than 1/2 of Pico's 2100 meter height is obscured in clouds. We are all talking about the Cafe Sport and our first beer, having run out about 4 days ago and the legendary missing case of PBR has not been found among Nani's myriad storage lockers. Good thing Cafe Sport is close to the marina, we are wondering if we will be able to walk after 17 days on board living on Stbd tack in various degrees of heel, pitch and roll.
Hard to believe that the trip for me is nearing the end. Nani with Alex, Dave and Bob, who will be joining the crew this evening, will continue to the UK. Another 1200 miles. In a way I feel like I am leaving the job un-finished. I guess we will have to sail back in our own boat and complete the trip another time now that I know the way.
It will be sad to see Nani set sail. She has taken good care of us and I have come to appreciate her design, strength, capabilities, capacity, and philosophy. We spend hours discussing boat design - always a set of compromises but we came back to the overall appreciation of her design. She is also well equipped and well maintained. The new engine known now as the Red Dwarf is sweet.
No boat is better than her captain and Alex has done an amazing job of handling countless details of the trip while relocating and starting a new job in a new country... On board he is tireless and always attentive to issues that need tending, mending, or upgrade. He has a daily list of chores and has a lot of energy and drive to see them through. Who would have thought we would be soldering new antenna connections in the rolling Atlantic, or running a new circuit for the tow generator, or launching his sea plane during a calm ? After disassembling the ship's computer, he persuaded it to boot up. We were treated to an eclectic play list of music of all music genres from reggae to rap or classics like "I did it my way" sung in Spanish. I think the system's random play routine is not so random - certain songs like "Frontier Psychiatry" came up frequently - oh and there are videos that go with these. I line from that song "That boy needs therapy" is often repeated among the crew.
It has also been my pleasure to get to know David. A good cook, crew, and friend who took it in good stride when I roused him an hour early for watch at 5 AM because I had inadvertently adjusted my watch. Of course his opinions about Ireland, music, the EU, proper beer, ethics, and economics gave us quite a lot to discuss. Not sure why it was always when David stood the graveyard watch that he had close encounters with freighters, a submarine?, or flares and glowing jellyfish. Surrounded by carnivores, he seemed to manage.
We could not have attempted or completed such a voyage without the support and love of those we left behind on shore. Lots of people lent a hand in many capacities but Cheryl, Karen, and Tricia are the best!
This is not intended to be a summation of the trip. I have written 20+ pages and could easily write that many more on thoughts, observations, lessons. This has been an amazing trip, the stuff of stories and memories that will last a lifetime. Undoubtably as time passes, the stories will become more embellished - the one that got away, the waves were how high?, David's boat encounters, Alex's heroics, and things that kept us laughing and working together...
Got to go on deck. We will be rounding the point soon, furling sails, and preparing to dock at customs.
More later.

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