Most of the things people say they worry about when they hear about how we live… well, they generally aren’t things I worry about. Pirates. Storms. “What if something happens?” type stuff. Without belittling these possibilities, the risks are sometimes more about fear of the unknown, and the known factors are all things we manage against.

But then there comes a spell where we hear bad news from the boats around us. Twice during the two-week span we spent in Vanuatu, cruising boats arrived at their destination with one less person aboard. We’re reminded that safety is something we can never be cavalier about.

We arrived in Noumea this morning. Weather changes turned a two day passage into four days, but we spent most of the balance taking a break- tucked safely into a protected bay along our route. Here in Noumea, though, we found friends who had a more memorable passage- the pounding upwind pushed their rig over the limit, and they lost their mast. They’re fine, and the boat is eventually going to be fine, but it’s sobering.

Quartermoon's rig damage

So I’m grateful. Grateful to be safe in still water with my family. Grateful for Jamie’s depth of marine experience and amazing skills on the water. Grateful for our Totem- our vessel in more ways than one. Grateful for a tap on the shoulder to remind us to be vigilant.

5 Responses

  1. WOW – this is unbelievable!! Please give Mike and Sammy our best wishes for a fast fix and safe trip home.

    Did you know the boats that lost crew members en route to Vanuatu? Any idea of what happened. We’d be interested to hear more about this, and hopefully learn from this tragedy.

    Stay safe out there.
    Naomi and John

  2. Sorry to hear about the dismasting. So glad it was not something worse.
    Safety is always a foremost concern and sometimes we must be reminded of this whether on a passage or even just day sailing.

  3. Wow ~ sobering to say the least. The dismasting and loss of two separate crew members. Witnessed a dismasting a couple of weeks ago, but they were close to help ~ very scary. And losing someone overboard? Been part of a rescue attempt before and it still haunts me 14 years later ~ got one of the two people back on board. Tie those little ones to the boat always!!!

  4. I read this just before I went to bed last night, it made it hard to get to sleep thinking about all the what ifs when your sailing with children it makes you stop and think about it even more…. we are getting closer to push off with 3 children too, so it made it another reality check for me~ Kim

  5. It’s been a sobering week for those of us on this island, too. It IS so important to be prudent and thoughtful about risks. I’ve also been reminded of how important it is to prioritize living and family and love – And you Totem sailors inspire me to do that.

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