Our Chart plotter is telling us that we are going to finish sometime tomorrow. If the winds hold and it's correct, that would mean that I wouldn't get a chance to send the final email that's been bouncing around my head for the past few days, thus I am secretly penning this while our morning routine is underway. An email to make a brief, but important, 7 acknowledgments.
The first is to Adrian and his incredible bravery and determination. For someone who has never spent a night at sea to sign on for an Atlantic crossing in an "Athletic" boat, and then to overcome his trepidation by proving himself a skillful helmsmen during tough conditions, and then when off watch, to whip up an absolutely incredible Nicoise….need I say more?
William had similar hurdles, proved himself equally as well, but most Importantly he took control of the galley, and thus the boat's "real" fuel supply. Irregardless of the weather conditions, he cooked amazingly delicious hot meals…not an easy feat when the boat is crashing through waves at 20 knots. In addition his enthusiasm to help in all made him the perfect shipmate.
Rocky Gluckman in many books would be the MVP. He was an animal! Tireless at the wheel, omnipresent in the galley as William's right hand…he was like a weeble….impossible to keep down. And this makes no mention of his sense of humor….and his vast vault of stories….
Captain Rob not only prepared the canvas for our masterpiece, but repaired it competently along the way as all the usual hiccups emerged. His calm demeanor and unflappable character and smile were bedrocks throughout. Whether we were crash jibeing the boat, tearing sails, or blocking the heads, he never flinched! Perhaps he didn't smile at these times…..but he never flinched.
We all know Chris is funny, but his smile and laugh contributed more than I can possibly put into words throughout our journey. Never were we faced with a situation where Chris didn't have an appropriate joke, and his ability to organize a birthday party is unparalleled. I must personally thank him for that. In addition to his getting us to St Lucia, his command of the Nav Station kept us all in touch with weather, the other boats, and all of you. I would never hesitate to accepting an offer to sail offshore with him again. Its a complete joy.
And perhaps the biggest nod to Fred. Rob may have been the Captain. Chris may have been in charge of the Nav, but Fred was our leader. Fred has an amazing ability to bring out the best in everyone, and I truly believe that it was because of him that we all enjoyed our journey as much as we did. He organized and hand picked the crew, and in doing so put together our Atlantic experience, for while the trip was certainly about the physical act of sailing, it was perhaps more about the comradery and the experience we shared as a team. I always say that the attitude on a boat stems from the top down, and on Ace, Fred was directly responsible for the positive environment that pervaded.
And the final nod must go to the Good Ship herself, the Mighty Ace. Any boat that can put up with the 7 of us, while delivering 13, 200+ mile days, with top speeds of over 23 knots, is a damn fine ship. Long Live Ace
I feel honored to be included in the above group, wish to publicly voice my thanks to all of them, and look forward to continuing our relationships and furthering our sailing adventures together.