We had a very nice Bon Voyage gathering on the boat last night. This week I had been reflecting on how grateful I am to all the people who helped us get us to where we are now. Being surrounded by close friends and family intensified my thankfulness. Thanks Carol, Ted, Laura, Iver, Cindy, Saman, Beth, Dan, Ray, Lauren, Brigitte and Jean for a really nice evening and the food, wine, champagne and gifts.
There are a handful of people in the Bay Area marine industry who I have gotten to know and become friends with over the last 12 years of boat ownership. They taught me a lot, did quality work and helped lighten my bank account when it was too heavy. Thanks to Bob Hennessey at KKMI for helping crane the solar panels on the boat on a Saturday morning and making the yard available to me for DIY work. Thanks you, Gilles Combrisson at GC Rigging and Composites for installing the Code 0 bow sprit, looking over the rig, fixing the weak links and machining new reef line sheaves that look like jewelry. Gracias, Jeff Thorpe at Quantum Sails for "knocking heads together" to get my newly serviced mainsail back on the boat on time. These folks work with teams of people who are friendly, professional and care about their work.
Though both Renee and I are very healthy, I'm grateful to the health care providers that help keep us that way and make sure we are good to go and have what we need for this trip. Thank you Mara Bertoli FNP at Santa Rosa Sports and Family Medicine, Jon Fitzpatrick OD and James Forni DDS, a fellow sailor who will participating in the Baja Ha-Ha rally.
Thanks to all my friends at work who sent many good wishes our way, to Iver for keeping me in the loop while I was occupied with boat projects and to Ted, Alex, Dan, Rick, Sue, and Saman for our long friendships inside and outside the office. Thanks to my dear friend Stephanie for turning me on to yoga that helped me get mentally and physically for the trip and for inspiring me to sail "green". (Environmentally green, not seasick green, that is!)
Thanks to my family for your support and encouragement, especially to my Dad who took me to boat shows in New York City when I was a kid and bought the O'Day Javelin over 40 years ago which ignited my passion and dreams about saving. Thanks Luther and Hannah for going sailing with me, when you wanted to and when you didn't. Thanks Carol for making "ex" not be a bad term for us. Thanks Mom for your own enjoyment and enthusiasm for sailing. Thanks Brigitte for helping Renee get the house ready; you really saved the day. Thanks Jean for helping arrange the ranch truck, tractor and help with gravel, fences and moving. Thanks Christina and Nicholas for not telling your mom to get rid of me, even though I can be "difficult".
While all of the preceding gratitude is sincere and significant, what I am feeling most grateful for right now is that Beth, Dan, Ray and Lauren decided to live in our house while we're away. They have been flexible, understanding and patient as we have struggled to get things moved and the house (sort-of) tidied up. I know they will take good care of the house and goats Lola and Daphne and cats Thor and Xena. It brings me immense comfort to leave the house and pets in the care of my best of friends instead of strangers. They made one of our biggest worries about leaving on this trip vanish completely. I want them to really enjoy living on this beautiful ranch that we call home.
And of course, thanks to Renee, for learning to sail, sharing a passion for adventure, working soooooo f*ing hard on the house, and putting up with someone who can be a mean SOB curmudgeon on his worst days. I couldn't do this trip without you.