By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,011)
“About 250 miles off the coast of Ecuador I was approached by several fishing boats. Four, 20 foot open boats with tall prows and 75 h p outboards approached me over a 3 day period. They were quite friendly and requested cigarettes and food. I left Panama without a supply of tobacco as I thought it a good way to quit. A decision I soon regretted. Without tobacco I placated them with Mason jars of my homemade beef stew that I had preserved months before. The first 3 boats had 2 fellows aboard and I gave them each liter of stew that I had preserved months before….They also asked for water and they presented me with a 5 gallon jug when I asked “quanta?” Reluctantly, I filled their jug and after I passed it over they presented me with a large mahi-mahi which I had them fillet for me. I ate well that night and dried the remainder and have had several meals from it since.” This is an excerpt from a five page email mhn.com received early last week from Canadian sailor Paul Vibert.
Last August 27th, Paul found his way into Portland Yacht Services from the east looking for refuge from the fog and winds of the impending Hurricane Irene. PYS had run out of cradles and could not accommodate him should he choose to come out of the water as so many other boats along the waterfront were doing. Instead he rode out the storm on a mooring at Falmouth “with ease in the company of some fine Kentucky bourbon,” he writes. He is on his way to Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific, alone, aboard his 30 ft. Alberg, named “Rough Bounds;” an apt name for his two year journey which he plans to turn into a book of his experiences. MHN.com told his story herein last September with a promise from him to stay in touch. Another excerpt from his email continues below:
“I was now a blue water sailor with just one passage to my credit…It was January 10th and I was now in Panama and had to make arrangements to transit the canal to the Pacific. This took me 12 days and I finally made my transit on the 23rd of January.I must admit that I had some trepidation toward continuing with my intended venture. I was on my 4th sailing season and learned to sail by simply buying a boat and going out alone with her. My experience was growing with each mile but many would say, lacked the depth for such a grand undertaking as a solo circumnavigation. I pondered for a time the notion of heading back toward Florida than back to Canada in the spring. With these thoughts in mind I continued without much enthusiasm with the transit preparations. Finally the day came and I entered the canal for the 2 day run to the Pacific. I remember looking back at the closing doors of the Miraflores lock with a sense of finality. A short time later when the doors opened ahead with a view of the Pacific I finally knew that I was actually doing this. I would return to Canada, that was certain, but the only way back was forward.”
For more about Paul Vibert and a photograph of him, please read Post # 873, dated 9/4/11 herein.