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    Around-n-Over

    Question - "What does having a dream mean to you?"
    Answer - "A dream is a goal glimmering in the distance; it is an inner calling which, when accomplished,
    serves as the rite of passage into wisdom." Erden Eruç - Sep 17, 2004
     

    Image: Frabelle VP Marketing - Doming Elape and the Vice Mayor of General Santos City - Honorable Florentina Congson traced my route across the Pacific Ocean. Frabelle VP Marketing - Doming Elape and the Vice Mayor of General Santos City - Honorable Florentina Congson traced my route across the Pacific Ocean.
    Image: On the deck of PRIMROSE, I was offered a welcome ribbon with the official seal of GenSan. On the deck of PRIMROSE, I was offered a welcome ribbon with the official seal of GenSan.
    Image: Welcome banners were unfurled on the Makar Wharf next to PRIMROSE as I received the ribbon from the Vice Mayor’s staff. Welcome banners were unfurled on the Makar Wharf next to PRIMROSE as I received the ribbon from the Vice Mayor’s staff.

    Celebrity welcome!
    June 7, 2008 (6.0534N,125.1492E)    
    Until the customs officers arrived, we were asked to remain on board. The Chief Mate of PRIMROSE, Danilo Aveno had reported my arrival as “found at sea? and the Papua New Guinea exit stamp obtained in Wewak was going to help. The Philippines did not require a visa for stays up to 21 days if I could present an airline ticket for my departure. They were going to be understanding.

    The Vice President of Marketing for the Frabelle Fishing Corporation, Doming Elape had just returned on June 1 from a business trip to Bangkok. Now on June 2, he was flying in from Manila to welcome me. This was a big deal. I knew how precious his time was, for he also held a City Councilor position in the Navotas City Hall. He was known as Honorable Domingo Elape in Metropolitan Manila. Mr. Elape waved from the dock when he arrived, later came on board the vessel together with the customs officers. It was exciting to finally meet this kind man who had been communicating with me by email ever since PRIMROSE was still in PNG waters.

    Mr. Elape informed me that the Vice Mayor of General Santos City, Honorable Florentina Congson was to join us as well right on PRIMROSE with her team, after which we were scheduled to hold a press conference at the city headquarters. I thanked him for his efforts and for the welcome which had been extended to me from the Frabelle Fishing Corporation. The assistance that I had received from Frabelle in the high seas had been an outstanding demonstration of solidarity among mariners. Everyone starting with the company president, from vessel captains down to the lowest ranking crews had treated me as a friend first, as a guest second. They made sure that I was comfortable, then each took turns worrying if I was not seen eating at mealtime. I often had to explain that I had just had a meal when one of theirs had sat me down earlier to feed me. I felt that I had found a new family in Frabelle.

    When the Vice Mayor arrived, she was all smiles. She arrived with her entourage of team members, then walked up the ladder at her slow pace, gracing PRIMROSE with her presence. Mr. Elape knew her and they had good relations. We invited her to the ship’s meeting room and I started answering her questions about my journey. The duration alone at sea of 312 days was the most striking fact for her. They had fun bantering that number around, emphasizing just how long that time really was, “almost a year? she would say. I found the verbal explanation of my route across the Pacific difficult, then asked her permission to run up to my room. I brought down the map of the Pacific which I had been marking all the way across. This political map also showed the countries and the islands on the ocean. I had stared at it for countless hours while on the water it seemed.

    I laid that map on the table in front of the Vice Mayor, then narrated my route from California shores to just north of PNG. The distances covered and the brief descriptions of the challenges I had faced were impressive. She paused for a moment, then said: “You were blessed by God.? “Yes, by God first, by Frabelle second...? was my response. I was granted a safe passage; I was about to get on land healthy and as strong as ever; I had an intact boat. Whatever the explanations for that, I knew that I was a fortunate man.

    When I had called Mr. Şahap Aktaş, the Chairman of the board of my Official Pacific Sponsor AKTAŞ Group on May 17th to inform him of my decision to receive a tow, his response had been: “We are happy that you are safe. Let it be late, but never unsafe.? Ms. Simay Kızılok Ergüç, the General Manager of AKTAŞ Group was equally supportive: “Only you can be the judge of the conditions out there. You are the captain. We support your decisions fully and your safety comes first. You should know that we will continue to support your journey.? AKTAŞ Group, just like Frabelle Fishing Corporation had been a gift to us at Around-n-Over.

    We are able to continue our projects with the strong partnerships and the support that our sponsors offer. If AKTAŞ Group helped launch this journey on the Pacific Ocean together with the rest of our team of sponsors, Frabelle Fishing Corporation is now helping to keep our projects in motion.

    Every reaffirming individual donation received, every approving sponsor gained, every endorsing partnership developed keeps us motivated to realize our mission as a nonprofit. It was with the donations we received while I was on the Pacific Ocean that we were able to raise just over $19,000 for İLKYAR Foundation in Turkey. Together with a Matching Donation from the Turkish Coalition of America based in Washington DC, İLKYAR is to receive over $38,000 to support rural students in boarding schools, there to receive their primary education.

    Erden.

    Previous Dispatches
    image

    Arrived at General Santos City...    June 6, 2008 (6.0534N,125.1492E)
    On June 2, we arrived at the Makar Wharf just southwest of the General Santos City on Mindanao Island around 10am. It was still dark when we passed the Sarangani Islands at the island’s souther

    image

    Making good use of travel time...    May 31, 2008 - Day 327 (3.0488N,130.8932E)
    The travel tıme on PRIMROSE allows me to do minor maintenance on my boat. I have two cigarette lighter jacks in my cabin, one on either side. The starboard side jack worked fine, but whenever I

    image

    Moths came on board for a visit...    May 30, 2008 - Day 326 (2.4870N, 134.9358E)
    While waiting for the Papua New Guinea Customs and Fisheries Authority officers to come on board in the morning on Tuesday, the day of our departure from Wewak, PNG Fisheries Observer Elizah Lucas cal

    Later dispatches - Previous dispatches


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