The reason we're here in North America, of course, is to see our families. But in addition to catching up with our Alaskan friends, our visit to the Lower 48 has given us the chance to see some very good friends from different corners of our lives.
There's a funny geographic pattern at work there - Alisa and I don't have any close friends left in Cleveland, where we both grew up. But Boston, where my sister and parents have settled, gives us access to a rich little community - being there allowed us to see my best friend from high school and his family, two of Alisa's good friends from grad school in Alaska, and their kids, good friends from Tasmania who are also doing the dual American/Australian approach to citizenship, and finally, good friends from our first crossing of the Pacific.
A special treat, because we hadn't been expecting it, was the chance to see our friends Dave and Julia from Macy (above), whom we hadn't seen since the early days of 2009. Since we've seen them last they've completed their circumnavigation and settled back into life ashore in Rhode Island. When I was looking back through old emails to try to find a non-sailmail address for them, I was reminded of how close we were to these guys - we met them in Marquesas, shared an über-memorable pair of anchorages in Makemo, in the fabled Tuamotu Archipelago, crossed paths in Tonga, and then had them aboard for a few days in Iluka, our spiritual home in Australia.
And then, nothing. They left New Zealand, sailed through Indonesia and the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and the Caribbean and the Gulf Stream, and were home. We slowly fell out of contact, as you do.
And that's the joy and the regret of the sailing life in a nutshell - we've formed very close friendships with a small group of people from all over the world during our years afloat - people, for instance, from Rhode Island and Holland and England and New South Wales and Tasmania. These are all people we never would have met if we'd stayed home in Alaska, we've known them, in general, for quite short periods of time, and then the friendships come to an end as we, or they, move on. So it was a great treat to cross paths with some of those friends on this trip, to be sitting at a barbecue in my sister's back yard, chatting with Macy.
|Macy waving good-bye in Makemo.