Loss of a dear friend

Published: June 17th 2017
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March 1<sup>st</sup>, 2014 – Loss of a Dear Friend

Hi all,

We received word yesterday that Tony's dear friend Paul passed away. This is horrible news and we feel so helpless being so far removed from all of Paul's family and friends at home. It was Paul who did the trip south with Tony 25 years ago, and Tony has been reliving the route and reminiscing at all the spots that they visited together. As we continue south, we will continue to think of Paul every step of the way. After all, Tony's opening line to the locals on each and every island has been, "Twenty-five years ago…" and he would tell the same story, over and over, about how he and his buddy Paul sailed these waters…and spoke of the adventures they had...

We are at Black Point Settlement, Exuma. We've stayed here a couple of days longer than expected because of bad weather. Because they have good wifi on shore, I spent much time yesterday uploading pictures to our blog, and it was when I opened up gmail to begin the blast email that we received the tragic news. Needless to say, I didn't feel much like writing to y'all about our trip when all I could do was cry.

Right after we got the news, the local Police Chief, Mr. Right, (I couldn't have made that up if I tried!) came over because he saw us crying and offered condolences and access to the local chapel. Tony thanked him and went right into his usual story, "Twenty five years ago….". Mr. Right sat quietly and listened.

Today we have received notes from several of you with condolences, and we thank you for your thoughts and prayers. Most importantly, we've also heard from Paul's partner, Mikey.

It just so happened that I said everything I needed to say about the trip and the photos on the actual blog this time around. Thank goodness, as I still really don't feel like writing. The only important info that I need to pass on in this blast is the following:

- Please note that neither of us are able to access our Hotmail / Live email accounts out here, so use this email address for all correspondence with us. We found out that our old, first generation Kindle, with 3G, can access the internet (very limited) as long as there is a cell phone tower nearby. In some cases, we've hiked to the highest point of an Island to get a signal! But it's worth it to be able to send a quick note to family to say we're ok, or to receive mail. (See the pics from Little Bell / Cambridge Cay.)

· I am unable to find a website that tracks our MMSI in The Bahamas. If anyone can find one, please sent it to me. It seems that most sites only track within US / Canadian / European waters.

· As well, since I am heading home in a few days to help my mom as she has knee surgery, Tony has offered his volunteer services to The Exuma Land and Sea Park. We enjoyed Cambridge Cay so much that Tony will be returning there while I'm home to be the "resident boat" in the mooring field. Tony will be the person who goes around to the other boats and collects the mooring ball fees, offers info about the park, etc. The Park is very good to their volunteers, and in return for his help, the Park will bring Tony water and dinghy fuel once a week, as well as pick him up in a high speed boat and take him to Staniel Cay once a week so that he can get provisions. Tony is very happy to be able to help them out. As soon as he learned of the position, he jumped on it. He's perfect for this kinda thing.

Yesterday, I couldn't even consider sending out this blast, but knowing that Mikey made it up and out of bed this morning, armed with a piece of Paul in his heart telling him that life must go on…I take my inspiration from him today.

Life is precious and fragile. Embrace every moment. Live life to the fullest. Love wholeheartedly. And always say 'I love you' to those you love.

Sending our love to all of you.



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