Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
The last crew member arrived today, and we moved onto the boat. It’s great except for the mosquitoes … and unfortunately, Zika virus is alleged to be here in Fiji. As a result, I’ve been increasing the quarterly profits of the insect repellant company …
Mostly, today was gathering bits and pieces, and last-minute shopping. As a result, not much in the way of pictures. I took a couple shots of the boat, from the deck and the flybridge … from the deck it looks big.
For obvious reasons, he is of the opinion that my corpus delecti is woefully unadorned, so he’s made an appointment for me to visit Tu, his Maori mate and tattoo god. I do have a tattoo that I got in the Solomon Islands …
As a result of several hasty decisions, back in the eighties I’d ended up in the Solomon Islands north of Australia, where I got involved with people from the island of Bellona. This is a version of one of their traditional tattoos. The top fish is a “gupo” fish, which is their sacred mythical fish. The top row shows more gupo fish. The middle row is frigate birds, and the bottom row is sharks’ teeth. A Bellonese policeman who was a friend of mine gave me the tattoo using three sewing needles wrapped in thread and india ink … but obviously, it pales in the light of Mike’s tattoo. So I’m happy to meet Tu, but I’m not sure how this will all end. I’ll let you know how this part of life’s rich pageant turns out. Here’s Tu’s web page to consider in the interim.
Not much more to say. We’ll be putting to sea tomorrow, and before I go to sea, I always make it a point to thank the people who have helped me in my life. The ocean has been the death of many men, women, and children, and I am not exempt from her harsh rules. So it behooves me to be aware of that and to thank those who have helped me on my path.
So I’ll take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the good denizens of WUWT for your support. I came late to science, and I am thankful for the fact that most people were willing to ignore my lack of a formal scientific education and listen to my ideas. But the support has gone much further than that, extending to my writing on non-scientific subjects and to my life of adventure and dreams. You all have made my planet more varied, more interesting, and more fun. Thank you.
I also need to thank a couple people in particular. One is Mike, who has been my boon companion, business partner, employer, employee, fellow adventurer, and good friend for thirty years and more. Such friendships are rare, and he has my great thanks for his manifold contributions to my life.
Finally, I owe an enormous and likely unpayable debt to my gorgeous ex-fiancée, who has been my friend, my support, and my good right hand for thirty-eight years now. She has put up with me, and Mike, and all of my demented friends, and has done it with joy and laughter. She accompanied me on many of my adventures both on shore and at sea, lived with me in outrageous conditions with very few words of complaint, and has encouraged and supported me in my global wanderings when she couldn’t come along. Dear lady, I could never express my admiration for you in strong enough terms.
That’s the news from Vuda Point Marina, where all the men are swabbies, all the women are strong, and all the children are amphibious. We don’t have email capabilities on board, so you’ll next hear from me in New Caledonia. Here’s the full route we’ll be taking, all 1,700 miles of it.
Australia on the left, New Zealand bottom right, Fiji top right, big old ocean all around … as Euell Gibbons observed, “An island is a small body of land surrounded by the need for a boat”.
I suspect you’ll hear from me soon. I’ve always believed that you won’t drown if you’re born to hang, so I’m likely OK on the ocean …
My best to everyone, I can only wish that your life turns out as blessed as mine,