November 18, 2013
Even though we were completely and utterly exhausted from our challenging 10 days at sea, our friends on Pacific Flyer convinced us to go for free rum punch and nibbles at the All Points Rally tent that evening. Usually, once we’ve made landfall after a long passage, we try to power through without naps, and then we don’t have trouble sleeping through our first night at anchor. Therefore, attending the All Points function made sense. We would also get to say hello to several other cruising friends whom we had not seen in awhile.
Foggy minded, we walked up and into the crowded rally tent. Suddenly, something began to happen that we would have never expected in our lives. We had barely made it five feet inside the tent, and that’s where we stayed for the entire evening. Person after person came up to talk to us. The people who we knew gave us hugs. People who we didn’t know introduced themselves. They were all letting us know that they had been rooting for us on our troubled passage, as well as praising us for our strength and determination. We’d had no idea that so many people had been listening to our saga on the SSB!
The craziest thing . . . all these people had been most worried about me! With two feverish kids, a captain with vertigo, and no autopilot, they wondered how I managed. One guy, who crewed the passage on another boat, walked up to me, introduced himself, and said that he just had to shake my hand. He told me that they had listened to my daily reports, and regardless of how tough things were, I always sounded upbeat. They loved how I always stated our problems, but then ended my transmissions with “. . . but, all is well onboard.” He said that I was an inspiration.
I was in shock. We were in shock. We didn’t feel like we’d done anything that spectacular. There are people sailing on the high seas that have had much tougher passages than ours ever came close to being. Sure, we had our challenges, but we were never in any serious danger. There was potential for things to get worse, and if they had, we would have turned around, stopped in Minerva Reef, or hove to. I give credit to all of us onboard. As dizzy as he was, Wil hung in there for me, and the kids stepped up to the helm. We only did what we had to do, and we knew we had it in ourselves to keep going. I think many others would have done the same.