Friday, October 23, 2009

Another day in Bangkok!

Still in Bangkok. Went on a great river boat ride. Not quite Starship, but fun to see the exotic boats... And I met a groovey reptile friend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"One Night In Bangkok!"

Well, actually four and four can wear you out! I love this city. It is my second visit to Bangkok and the “Land of Smiles”, and it is just as I remember. Bangkok is a sprawl of pollution, people, and everything and everywone here is alive. You can eat well on the street for $2 and buy a coke for a quarter. I just love it! The people are incredibly nice, and if I walk with a cane people climb over each other to see if I need assistance. Wow! On Saturday I will be headed for Hanoi, Vietnam where I will be mixing in a little work, and then it is off to Sydney to see Pam, the boat, and all my Aussie mates. Next the Lord Howe Island barbecue sail! Finally, back to the states for a bit more work before the continuation of the big voyage…

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Checking In From Ireland

Hello from Dublin Ireland! I am on my way around the world, but not by boat yet. I am traveling back to Australia on a round the world plane ticket. During November I will be working on the boat, then shaking down Starship as I sail to Lord Howe Island with blind sailing friend Tony Purkiss. Over the next few weeks I will be in Dublin, Bangkok, Hanoi, then finally Sydney by early November. In mid November I will travel back to the states for a final stint of work to feed the cruising kitty and then I will be off to complete the Blind Circumnavigation. It sure feels good to be on the move, even if it is not on the boat yet.


Saturday, July 04, 2009

Happy Independence Day! - Quick Update!

Ahoy BlindSailing friends!

As most of you know, I have been working in the states (Washington DC) while Pam has been working in Sydney, Australia. We have been in a bit of a holding pattern as we each feed the cruising kitty and Pam considers her options for continuing the voyage after her unplanned eye surgeries this year. Unfortunately her vision was not greatly improved by the last surgery, but it looks like her vision loss has been stabilized and this is a very positive result from the surgery.

As for the Blind Circumnavigation, I will for sure carry on, though Pam may support the sail from a strategic, planning, and administrative capacity.

Attached is a photo from the Independence Day celebration in Washington DC.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

2009 New Years Update On The Blind Circumnavigation


When we departed San Francisco in late 2004 we never would have thought that we would be writing an update to our friends and supports four years later, with more than half the world and approximately half the sailing miles to complete The Blind Circumnavigation. Still, with 50% of the world to visit, we have experienced a voyage far beyond our greatest expectations and wildest dreams.

We wish we could say that this past year was our smoothest, and while it was one of our most interesting years, it was a year chock-full of challenges.

During the 2008 cruising year we faced a dangerous knockdown on the Coral Sea, causing extensive damage to our dodger and bimini, while flooding the bilges to capacity, and ultimately causing us a two month delay in Noumea, New Caledonia. It was also a year of physical challenges. Pam developed a completely unrelated eye condition that led to ocular hemorrhaging and two retinal tears, requiring emergency surgery in Sydney.

Yet, with the fortitude and determination that has been the cornerstone of this voyage, we have faced and overcame our challenges and today we are more prepared, more experienced, and more determined than ever to complete our goal of sailing around the world.

Far outweighing the challenges are the wonders of the world that we have experienced including the beauty and senseless mining erosion of the islands of New Caledonia. We have witnessed the fiery awe of the active volcano Mount Yasur. We have been treated to the hospitality and warmth of the gentle people of Vanuatu and seen a beautiful way of life largely unchanged by modern civilization. We have met wonderful new friends who have shared with us the experiences of blind and visually impaired people living in the western South Pacific, and we have offered some of our experiences in return. We have swum in the bluest of waters and fed Kingies (King Fish) by hand. And we have met amazing new friends. This year has been a continued collage of living every moment to the fullest with each new day creating unforgettable memories.

Currently Starship is right back where she started last year, in Newcastle Australia. After visiting New Caledonia and Vanuatu, we were posed on the brink of departing for the Solomon Islands when Pam experienced the vision loss that would eventually necessitate emergency surgery in Sydney. Scott sailed the boat singlehanded from Oyster Island to Port Villa, Vanuatu where he was met by blind sailor and friend Tony Purkiss and new friend Patrick Silver who crewed with Scott back to Newcastle.

Starship is now waiting out the Southern Hemisphere Cyclone Season again, positioned at the last port which Pam has independently sailed to, allowing us to continue the forward progress of the voyage without outside assistance. Pam is currently working in Sydney and is still recovering from her sudden retinal damage and will undergo another surgery in the near future. Her doctor assures her that she will be able to continue the voyage at the close of the Cyclone Season this May or June. Scott is temporarily working in Northern Virginia and will return to Australia early this year after completing a round the world plane trip including stops in Venice Italy, Istanbul Turkey, Bangkok Thailand and Saigon Vietnam. The cruising kitty is getting a much needed feeding and Starship is undergoing the annual upkeep to prepare her for the coming year.

So, to sum up the year, yes we have had our struggles, but please don’t be concerned. We see the challenges only as the contrast by which we can appreciate the truly spectacular experience we are living and sharing with all of you, our friends. Get ready for what comes next because with destinations like Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Thailand and beyond coming soon, we will have much to share about the world and the people living with vision loss wherever we travel.

Scott and Pam