The envelope with the three month messages... I was to launch on June 2, eventually left on July 10, as you know.
The three month messages...
October 13, 2007 - Day 96 9.8063N,151.5204W
A billion and a half Muslims around the world are done with their month of fasting, and with the three days of celebrations to rejoice the end of Ramadan. On the first day, the children received new shoes and wore their best clothes before their parents took them to pay respects to their elders. Grand parents, uncles and aunts got their round of visits on that first day by the little ones, and the last couple days were dedicated to friends and remaining family. This period of goodwill tours that I recall from my childhood, is lately becoming an opportunity to get away by many on a holiday, especially if a weekend can be used to extend the duration.
When one is away from home, especially on a little boat in the middle of the Pacific, the satellite phone gets a lot of use, along with emails. This is the time to remember family and to think of friends.
October 10th was the three month mark at sea. By now I have been at sea longer than I had on the Atlantic. I have four envelopes with me to open on given milestones. August 10 was the one month envelope. Last night I opened the three month envelope to find messages from friends, written before my July 10 departure from Bodega Bay. I have a six month envelope, and another to open once I land on the Australian shores.
Wilma Comenat's 1-month message was: "Keep your back straight and chin up. Posture baby! ;)" This time she instructed: "Keep your eye on the goal!" - the rowing coach in her comes out so clearly in her words. Believe me, I have been really trying to keep my chin up the last few days, but it hurt so much! As for the goal, it is still glowing brightly during each sunset.
Brad Vickers from our friends, the OAR Northwest team wrote: "Focus on the next stroke. Problem solve." That I must, always!
Seyma Öncel and Ayşegül Savur, two friends from the Turkish media wrote: "The journey you have realized over the last three months brought you closer to places on this earth that we won't know, offered you experiences that we will not live. You saw what we will not see." "Don't forget the documentary. That will be your greatest gift which you will share with us."
Dearest Nancy wrote: "I hope the dolphins & sea animals are keeping you safe and amused. We are all pulling for you back home and around the world." How appropriate, because two days ago a pod of dolphins appeared around my boat during the day. Last night through the cabin hull, I could hear dolphins chirping near the boat. Their puffs of breathing were audible from where I laid with the cabin door half open for ventilation.
An adult masked booby briefly landed on my boat the day before yesterday and a juvenile, just like the one which visited my boat on September the 28th, was making passes at landing yesterday. Pelagic bird colonies on Hawaii, Kirimati, Fanning and Palmyra each now only about 600nm away, will offer more frequent sightings as I am within their flight range.
My friend Arkadaş who had come to see my boat in Lisbon in October 2005 prior to the Atlantic crossing, was also present in San Francisco. He wrote: "Know that, out there, you are not realizing just your own dream. There, you represent me and countless others. Your dream is our dream."
My friend Matt Kear had written out of memory, lines from his favorite Robert Service poem, and after I mentioned the first line at the end of month one, he decided to send me the actual poem in four parts. It was the same poem he had recited to us during our Alaskan native wedding ceremony in Sadie Cove in June 2003.
The first two parts from that poem are:
"There's a race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
And they climb the mountain's crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
And they don't know how to rest."
"If they just went straight they might go far;
They are strong and brave and true;
But they're always tired of the things that are,
And they want the strange and new.
They say: "Could I find my proper groove,
What a deep mark I would make!"
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
Is only a fresh mistake."
Matt will send me part three at the six month mark, and who knows, perhaps personally deliver the last part to Australia and read it for us.
Friends make life bearable, and family makes it possible. Good friends are few and they know loyalty is given, not asked. While sharing good fortunes is voluntary, true friends and family remain in times of misfortunes. Time weeds out friendships of convenience; what lasts is pure gold, to be cherished. I am blessed to have friendships old and new, elder and young which will last into the future; I feel rich.