So, another year went by. For many around the world it was one they’d rather forget. The world is erupting into chaos on all fronts no matter where you live and so far, 2016 looks to be worse. However, for me it was one that I will forever treasure as it was the first year of our world circumnavigation in a sailing yacht.
Contrary to some of the videos and photos you’ll find up here it was not all sparkling wine and strawberries. We highlighted the experiences we wanted to remember while we tried to forget some of the ones that were scary or downright ugly. Don’t worry, I’m not going to dwell on either one however, I do want to focus on the special people that made this past year so wonderful for me personally.
I know, you’re saying 'Ok, here’s the gushy part' and you’re right. However, seriously ask yourself… would your wife/husband go along with uprooting your entire life and moving full-time onto a sailboat for unknown years to be with you and explore the world??? Yeah, I thought so. 😉
Sounds romantic, exciting, etc. but the reality is that it is much harder to do than it appears. Living 365/24/7 with the one you love challenges you both to the max. We all have space at home to enjoy our time alone, time off with friends, etc. On a 25m boat there’s very little of that. To say I appreciate how Tracy has taken on this challenge is the understatement of the decade (perhaps the century!). Needless to say, sharing all this with her has been the most wonderful part of this entire experience and something we’ll both remember long after we return to ‘civilization’.
Then there’s Giamma and Carmen, our rock. How could you do something like this without the support of friends like we have onboard? It isn’t enough to do the work necessary to keep a yacht going with maintenance, handling bad weather, different food likes/dislikes, etc. But to live with us full time is a challenge that most crews never have to experience (and don’t want to!) so we appreciate the effort they put in to pull it all together despite our quirks, our good days and bad days.
Feelin’ Good runs better than a ‘Swiss Clock’. Giamma takes care of all the mechanical issues onboard no matter how challenging they are. There is not a system he hasn’t mastered and can fix. This is on top of being the best captain in the world and keeping us and the yacht safe in all kinds of weather and anchorages over the past two years. Tracy and I call him ‘Cool Hand Luke’ after a character in an American movie who never gets flustered in any situation and always does the right thing. We couldn’t do this circumnavigation without him, it’s that simple.
Carmen continues to amaze with unique and different cuisine all the time. No matter where we are and whatever the lack of ingredients she continues to come up with astounding meals every day. Yes, we have our favorites (ah… Pizza Night, Lasagne Sunday, Spaghetti con Vongole, Calzone con Blue Cheese e Anchovie...) but I can’t remember a day in the past 2 1/2 years where I didn’t thoroughly enjoy a meal she prepared and colorfully presented. If that wasn’t enough, she is an incredible hand on deck and is right up there in bad weather working to handle the main sail reefing or anchoring no matter what the weather or sea conditions. She’s smooth and incredibly competent on the helm (I could learn much from watching her!). Her incredible personality and humor is the center of what is so wonderful onboard. She holds us all together in so many ways…
We’ve been so fortunate to have a number of 1st mates onboard in the past several years but Andrea has been with us the longest. His dedication to us, Giamma and Carmen and Feelin' Good have made him ‘part of the family’. He spent some time away to take care of his own boat issues (Nunki) but now is back for the rest of our time in New Zealand as well as our upcoming season exploring Fiji and New Caledonia. Also, since he joined us, our fishing has gotten better and I love his Pasta Puttanesca!!!
Finally, we’ve had one guest onboard for a couple weeks last August/September in French Polynesia. My son Eric took time away from his busy life in Los Angeles to come spend his 40th birthday with us. What a great time we had diving and enjoying being together. He also previously came to Antigua in January to see us off from the Caribbean. I’m a really lucky father to have a son that will fly halfway around the world to see me and enjoy our time together as much as I do.
So, our sailing ‘family’ is amazing. The ‘karma’ onboard is fantastic, we all appreciate, love and respect each other and we are ready for the next season of our world circumnavigation.
Note: we also have a really nice video documenting Halfway Around the World you should go look at too!
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