Time in the US

I am now on the second of four flights en route to Furthur and warmth, after spending a wonderful month back in Seattle. I hit the best times for boating in the northwest. First came the annual Selene Rendezvous, an event we started twelve years ago with a small fleet of four Selenes. The event like the fleet grew over the years to be center piece of the Selene world. Up to fifty boats at onetime attended the gathering. I was always tasked with putting on the seminars,a job I loved as I got to bring my favorite voyaging figures and authors to speak. The speakers told of faraway places and what they experienced and learned. I loved hearing these tales. This year I got to be the feature speaker and I got to share my experiences and what I have learned. It was great seeing many of my old friends some have owned their Selenes for along time and attended many rendezvous. I also got to meet many new Selene owners.

Next on the agenda is my favorite day of the boating year, Opening Day. This is a day I have vigorously celebrated since I moved the the San Juans in the 80’s. It is a sacred day for me. At the lowest point in my life I watched the Seattle Opening Day Parade from a dingy bar on a bright sunny day wondering where my dismal life was headed. I recall that sad day each year as I decorated my boat and joined my friends in the festivities I thought back to those dark times and became filled with gratitude that my life is so blessed.

I joined my many friends at Seattle Singles Yacht Club in the week of revelry. As usual SSYC won the most awards, had the best party and the most fun. This year I was more a spectator than participant and it was fun to just watch. I saw all the fun from the pomp and circumstance opening ceremony to the costumed parade.

The last event is another I have attended since its conception, Trawlerfest. I have always been a broker at Trawlerfest and always worked very hard. Often I would sneak out to hear the seminars especially if they talked about long rang passage making by veteran yachtsmen. I recall the first Trawlerfest where I met Jim and Suzy Sink just after they returned from their circumnavigation. I was in awe of them and dreamed of such a voyage.

Again this year my role changed, no more working on the sales boats. This year it was I who got to tell of great tales and hopefully inspired the next world cruisers. I did help a bit with Selene Seattle and I am very glad to see positive changes to the company I started. I have great hopes for their future.

Not all fun I had some “adult” stuff to do; first I had to renew my USCG Captain License.This entailed procuring a new form of federal ID, the TWIC card, a drug test,and a physical. The physical was a great indicator of the healthy life I am living. My doctor was amazed at my condition, much better than when I left. Cholesterol way down, weight down, all stress related problems gone, even my feet arehappier. Cruising the world with a great crew seems to agree with me.

I also formally ended my minority ownership of Selene Seattle by transferring my partnership to the majority owner. This was a mutually agreed arrangement and I leave the company in good hands and with a bright future. I will always be a Selene ambassador and a part of the Selene community.

This being the last chance for goodies from the states I loaded up; a new 50 gph watermaker, ice maker, more spars, dive gear, and a way cool effects box for the guitar, drum machine and wa wa peddle included. I also got a new laptop and installed a charting system and GPS for another layer of back up. Five boxes shipped, two as baggage so it will be like Christmas when I get back.

As one can expect this time of year I got the gauntlet of northwest weather. Spring is predictably unpredictable. The only thing you can count on is it will change.The first two weeks saw bitter cold wet weather, mostly I the 40’s and that penetrating relentless rain. As a native I used to be impervious to the cold,by this time I would be in shorts no matter what, ok shorts, wool socks and fleece,but in shorts. I am now a full-fledged wimp, I did not stop shivering for two weeks. It is amazing how our bodies adapt and stay adapted to a new temperature zone.

There is simply nothing better than a sunny day in the northwest, the sky and water scream blue, the snowcapped mountains erupt in glory, the people become exuberant. It took me almost a year of waking up to sunny skies and warm days before each one was a miracle, finally I just got used to it.

One of my big concerns when planning this trip was; could I get used to always being warm, often hot? Could I get used to constant weather, no seasons, no crisp fall days, and no snow? The answer is an unequivocal YES!

Everywhere I went I was greeted by well-wishers who had followed my voyage. I received hearty congratulations from so many folks in the boating industry. It is rewarding to work in such a great industry for over twenty years and develop deep friendships often with competitors.

This was a bitter sweet trip too. I am fully committed to cruising for as long as I can. I have followed my passion and my dream and it is my life now. I left Seattle knowing I had great friendships there and my family but knowing all other ties are gone so I will most likely not be returning for a long time.

So back to the warm sun, warm water, and new adventures. After a few projects and picking up new crew we will first do a shakedown cruise back to Tigra Island, do some diving and, oh boy, the mud baths. If all goes well we head 180 miles off shore to Layang Layang, a naval base on a small atoll to try to find some Hammerhead sharks and other wonders. Then we head to Palawan in the Philippines for some wreck diving on WWII ships. Probably back to KK for a crew change and then the Indonesian side of Borneo and down the remote islands of northeast Indonesia. I went to the neighboring dive shop to see a friend who lived in this area for twenty years, he pointed his fav dive sites, exactly where we are headed.

The new crew is very exciting, the most internationally diverse crew yet, look for more on them soon. The next year will take us back to my favorite spots in Indonesia,Malaysia and back to Phuket. It will be a great year. On to the next adventure!