Actually, today was my last day at work. And there is still a lot to do to get ready…. packing, provisioning, closing up the house, and a few more projects to complete on Dolphin……but for me, being able to step away from work and pass the reins to my very able team means, without a worry, I can dedicate 100% of my time to helping Adrien get ready to sail away! So for me, the journey begins now!
This trip has been a dream for Adrien and me for over 15 years! From the time we bought our first boat together, Joi De Vie, a 34′ O’Day in 1995, we’ve been working towards this adventure. At the onset we created a list of the major milestones we’d need to accomplish. It seems simple… clear the clutter to simplify, buy the retirement boat, sell the house, buy a condo, move, retire, get the boat ready to sail south…. simple, right? Easier to write on paper than get accomplished! I could write for hours about all that “to do” list involved…. but we’ve made it ….99% of the way…we are just a few weeks away from leaving the mooring! Could it really be happening?! Yes, for a lot of reasons….
First my wonderful husband, Adrien; affectionately known as My McGuyver! From the moment we found Dolphin in West Palm Beach, FL six years ago, Adrien has been her guardian. He Captained her from her old home to Narragansett Bay, a 3 week journey in mid-June, the beginning of the hurricane season! With the help of great crew they braved Mother Nature as she delivered a perfect storm that blew 70 knot winds, and offered 18′ seas. It was a true test of the Captains prowess, the crew’s seaworthiness and Dolphin’s endurance! Of course they survived; but it was reported that they kissed the ground upon arrival!
Since then Adrien’s efforts to maintain her can best be described as a labor of love…and sometime hate! He has worked through the replacement of 2 rear main seal leaks, blocking the engine twice; removed & rebuilt the transmission, removing the 275 lb diesel generator single-handedly; reworked the plumbing, rewired the electrical, upgraded instruments, replaced furlers, upgraded batteries, rebuilt heads & bilge pump, replaced lines, stripped teak, installed davits….there is nothing he has not touched, tuned, fixed and improved! He has worked tirelessly to get her ready. We, (I use that word cautiously given my involvement is so minute in comparison), are just a few solar panels, a wind generator and radar dome install away from being ready. Adrien will be sharing the writing on this blog and will no doubt be proud to tell you what he has accomplished! He has employed every ounce of ingenuity, skill, strength, patience, humor, split rib, bruised and bloody knuckles, and more patience…more than one human being should have to bear! All this would have been enough, be he even survived my endless “Honey Do” lists, badgering, prodding and pushing, which in itself is no small feat! He is amazing!
We would not be starting this journey now if it weren’t for the incredible folks at TRC. My boss was willing to sponsor a sabbatical and my team and colleagues were willing to take on more responsibility in my absence. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! My cup runneth over with your generosity and support! I promise to be in touch on a regular basis; GPS phone tracking is on, and Yes, I will be returning if you’ll have me!
Our sailing friends have inspired us with stories of their sailing adventures. “Ciao”, “Imagine”, “Kwityourbitchen”, “Tashmoo”, ” Evergreen”, and friends from RBHYC and LT shared many tips, tricks and tested anecdotal remedies to ease our trip ….and they survived our barrage of endless questions, and still welcome us when they see us coming!
Our family and friends at the Woodlands who welcomed us from the day we signed the P&S, have politely endured our saga of hurdles and setbacks, celebrated our accomplishments, dreamed with us and encouraged us all along the way…we’ll be thinking of you watching the sunsets at the top of the hill, knowing we will be connected by the same moon wishing we had a vessel big enough to bring you with us! You’ve sent us off with fond memories of the wonderful Bon Voyage Party, toasts via tambourine and vivid images of a gang of colorful pirates!
Mom, how can we thank you for all your support, encouragement and willingness to keep Inca company with comfort, affection and two meals a day!!! Don’t worry, we will be safe and we’ll take him back when we get home!
We Thank You All for helping us pursue our dream, a trip of a lifetime! We hope you’ll check in now and then and enjoy the journey with us!
Captain Adrien and Admiral Nina