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FINAL THOUGHTS: A Dream Come True

Posted by Keith on September 4, 2007 at 7:17 am  

Northbound on the China Sea
About 420 miles southwest of Hong Kong

A chat room participant recently suggested that our trip would have been more successful if my family and I had taken a cruise ship around the world.

I’m afraid this poor fellow entirely missed the point of our Global Adventure.

First and foremost: The beauty, excitement and challenge of being at sea in our own small ship – especially a vessel as seaworthy as our Nordhavn 55; the satisfaction of charting courses, traversing vast expanses of ocean, maintaining the ship, and arriving safely at our destinations; and the fun and flexibility of setting our own schedule – these are the elements of true adventure, and are just a few of the things that have made every moment of this trip a dream come true.

As we arrive in a few days at our final destination, Xiamen, China, we will have traveled 11,000 nautical miles, or about 12,600 statutory miles – a distance almost exactly equal to half the circumference of the globe.

After departing San Diego on April 1, my crew and I brought ourselves to, and called at: Honolulu, Hawaii; the island of Majuro, The Marshall Islands; Pohnpei Island, Micronesia; The island nation of Palau; Cebu, The Philippines; Porta Princessa, The Philippines; Kota Kanabalu, East Malaysia on Borneo; Pattaya Thailand; and finally Xiamen, China.

During this trip I made a side trip to Hong Kong, met my family, and toured Mainland China for three weeks.

Along with several thousand cheering fans, I watched the Micronesia games on Majuro.

In Pohnpei we saw fishing vessels at the dock next to us unload a huge harvest of Yellow Fin tuna, we toured the beautiful countryside, and visited ancient ruins.

We went scuba diving in Palau, took friends there on a sunset cruise, and in fact made friends wherever we went.

I toured Cebu, the Philippines, visited the first Spanish fort there, and the bay at which Magellan was killed, and I saw the gut-wrenching poverty in its neighborhoods.

I visited the base of Mount Kinabalu Sabah, East Malaysia, on the Island of Borneo, toured the legendary city of Bangkok, and strolled down infamous Walking Street in Pattaya, Thailand.

Just two days ago, while in international waters off the coast of Vietnam, a patrol boat fired several flares across our bow, attempted to cut us off by pulling directly in front of us, and tried to board us. They said we passed too close to one of their offshore natural gas wells. We raised our U.S. flag, held our ground and refused to pull along side their ship, or to let anyone from their ship board ours. We put out an alert on our VHF radio, and after a one-hour stand-off, they pulled away.

Throughout the journey we fished, and kept only what we could eat, and sometimes we watched in awe as 400-pound Marlins danced across the surface after striking our lures (almost always biting through them within minutes).

Sometimes we fought 15-foot seas, and sometimes we enjoyed perfectly calm days. We stopped our ship and went swimming in thousands of feet of water whenever we felt like it.

We ate well thanks to our fully equipped galley; and we lived every bit as luxuriously aboard our Nordhavn 55 – the aptly named Global Adventure — as aboard the most opulent cruise line.

Thousands of miles out to sea, I’ve seen fishes that fly, birds that swim, whales and dolphins, and, as at this very moment about 420 miles southwest of Hong Kong as we head north in the China Sea, we’ve enjoyed empty horizons in every direction where we alone momentarily ”own” the entire sea around us.

Some nights we’ve seen hundreds of small fishing vessels light up the horizon in all directions, and sometimes we barely missed tiny unlit vessels, and their nets. We’ve stood watch in rotation, and sometimes doubled the watch in cluttered seas. Meanwhile, we’ve seen colorful vessels of every conceivable sort, some little more than canoes fifty miles from shore.

And other nights, and sometimes for nights on end, we alone have owned the stars and the moon and the breeze.

And throughout it all, we’ve had the privilege of sharing our videos, photos and commentary about our adventure with thousands of radio listeners and website visitors.

As we arrive in Xiamen we will have crossed not only the entire Pacific Ocean, but also the Sulu Sea, the South China Sea (twice) the Gulf of Thailand (Siam), the China Sea, and even the Formosa Straight.

What made the trip possible in the first place was my family’s enthusiastic support of my dream. But my wife, Lynn, and I agreed more than a year ago that yanking our youngest sons from school was not in their best interests; so the possibility of the family traveling together at this time was never on the table.

It was I, not they, who called it quits. In fact, my ten-year-old son, cried when he heard the news. He thought I’d be sad.

There may come a day when we complete the second half of the journey. Or not. It doesn’t matter. The Global Adventure has always been about the journey, not the destination.

It has always been about dreams come true.


Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Bob Johnson on September 4, 2007 2:51 pm

    Once again.

    Sorry to see you go.

    I’ll miss your adventures..

    Bob
    Tempe, Az.

  2. Lauren Carter on September 4, 2007 11:43 pm

    I have followed you every wave of the way and will miss you greatly.

    SAFE HARBOUR

  3. John J. Theiss on September 9, 2007 9:29 am

    Keith, you and your insights will be greatly missed. Perhaps our paths will once again cross as you explore another new adventure.

    John

  4. Bob on September 10, 2007 2:04 pm

    Ok,now run for govenor again.We need leaders.

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