Last Sunday afternoon my friend Chase stopped by to see if I wanted to hit the beach with him before he shipped out. So I jumped on his boat and away we flew to Honeymoon Beach where we met several friends. Chase is now the 1st mate on Dance Smarty, a 107 foot sailing yacht. About this time three years ago Chase was stepping aboard the Guiding Light as crew and to start his sailing career. He spent a month on the Guiding Light through the Florida Keys and was one of the best mates I have had aboard. His vessel slipped the dock lines on Wednesday heading north for its summer home in Newport. Fair winds and God speed Chase.
Even bigger news is Southern Cross, my buddy boat in June and July of 2010 (check the blogs for that time to read about our adventures), and her captain Steve Spracher just complete a circumnavigation and were resting in the BVI before heading to the Chesapeake Bay yesterday. I had to see him and give him my congratulations in person, since he is the first person I know to accomplish this wonderful feat. So early Monday morning I lifted the anchor and motored upwind to Norman Island to spend a couple days chatting with him.
He joined the World ARC in January 2012 and was part of a fleet of boats completing the circle in 15 months. Going around the globe that quickly defiantly took a toll on both boat and owner and he is now sailing to the Chesapeake Bay to refit the boat and sort out some personal issues.
I asked him what his favorite stop was and his answer was “that is like deciding which is your favorite child!” Some highlights weregoing through the Panama Canal (“Shane, it is the canal of all canals”), the Galapagos Islands (where he woke up to a sea lion’s face in his hatch), Tahiti (where he showed me a video of a traditional hula dance), crossing the International Date Line (his phone went ballistic when he jumped one day forward), a safari in South Africa before rounding the Cape of Good Hope, St Helena (the 1st photo has a liquor bottle from there and it represents the famous staircase to the top of the island).
His entry back into the Western Hemisphere was in Brazil and he said once he got to Trinidad, and was back in the Caribbean, he all of a sudden felt like he was back home.
It was great seeing him, hearing about his adventures (which he had many more than he could tell me in two days), and remembering our time in the Carolinas (the last photo is of our crews at that time). He has accomplished an amazing feat (someday I hope to do the same, but at a much slower pace) and I would love for each of you to leave a comment congratulating him.