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Main Menu -> SALTS -> Pacific Odyessy - 2007 Offshore -> Pacific Odyssey - Leg 7

Pacific Odyssey - Leg 7

Honolulu to Victoria - for more information see

Total Distance: NaNnm over 37.06 days
Average distance each day: NaNnm
Distance from last position : 3.55nm
Last Position:
48°25'36.12 N 123°22'4.80 W
  on June 15th 2008 @ 23:25

Ship's Log:
It is the end of another very busy but incredible day.  I was hoping to write the final log of this offshore voyage yesterday, but when we finally arrived home last night, without the computer, and so many other things on our minds, I realized today would hopefully provide a better window in which to do it.   The ´Pacific Grace´ crew met this morning with the office staff and the crew of the Pacific Swift for an ´end of offshore´ brunch, a time to be together, recognize the work we do together, and our appreciation and dependence on each other.  Afterwards Jose, Jordan and our family moved all
our things off the boat; what a lot of stuff we dug up from everywhere!

Jose and his dad Robert were helpful in transporting a load of our things to our house.  It was fun to see some of the very interesting purchases we made from the different islands; primitive carvings, tea ceremony cups and teapot, Japanese and Chinese teas, ceramics, books, shells from all over the Pacific, ´Reuben,´ our totem pole from Vanuatu, spears, sushi ingredients and accessories, wool, coconut oil, posters from Midway, collection of albatross bones etc.  Tonight I want to describe our return into Victoria Harbor from yesterday.  It was an absolutely overwhelming and wonderful day; we totally enjoyed it and were swept up by it.  The number of trainees that returned to see the Grace come home was the highest we´ve ever experienced; it was wonderful.  It felt so good to see them all so happy on the dock, and especially, to give them a hug, look them in the eye, and just share a moment.  I loved it; it was truly like a family where all the children and
members of the family had returned to be together; the bond was strong, the memories deep.  Thank you so much to everyone who came to welcome us in; it meant a lot and I find myself still thinking of all of you, of all the people I had a chance to see, hug, and chat with.   The weather cooperated; it was warm and there was a very light wind.  We weighed anchor at 1100hrs with spirits high, full of anticipation.  Gillian made a delicious lunch of cheeses, meats, crackers, fruit, vegetables, humous and red pepper dip. We were able to eat on deck and watch the smaller boats coming to welcome us.
We raised all our fore and aft sails; we looked beautiful. Sam Witt had a friend with a sailboat who took Sam, Tavish, and Mary, all trainees, out to visit.  We were ecstatic to see them. Soon after, we saw the ´Swift´s´ sails being raised as she was exiting the harbor; that initial sighting was wonderful.  Everyone watched expectantly as the 2 ships approached each other.  Once we were close enough to recognize faces, people on both ships were lined along the rail, staring intently, drinking in deeply the sight of each other again, as if quenching a thirst after a draught.  It is a special moment, that first glimpse of friends and family after so long a time.  We were still out of the busy-ness of the inner harbor; the time was still ours, things still moved slowly to our pace of offshore, we were still intact as a community, but able to enjoy the initial tastes of returning home.  At the breakwater both ships lowered sail and the Pacific Grace was lead in by the harbor ferries, and accompanied by a fireboat, private sailing boats, the tugboat =B3Viking Monarch=B2 owned by Ilya´s father (Ilya was a trainee on leg 5), and the Pacific Swift . . . it was quite something.

One of the private sailboats had about 15 trainees from leg 2 and 3, and came up beside us, a wonderful surprise.  I can´t express how good it was to see the trainees again, to have them all together in the same place because of the Grace and the life we shared on her. We had a team of trainees standing aloft on the yardarms and the spreaders by the 2 masts; Elske, Becca, Adrienne, Chris E, Susan, and Arwen had practiced the previous day and were standing proud in their uniforms with possibly the best view of all of us. The signal flags went up the fore ward and after stays, and the country flags of all the countries we visited were hoisted on the starboard side.  The dock was full of people and again people looked  intensely for each other, screaming out when they recognized someone close.  It was amazing; what a welcome.  We wandered up the dock to applause and congratulations. Loren, SALTS executive director, thanked everyone for coming and welcomed the Grace and her crew home.   Two trainees gave moving accounts of what their time on the Grace meant for them; Steve Barber and Sara R. had been asked by Skipper if they were interested in sharing some of their story.  They both did an amazing job.  Skipper then introduced the crew and spoke briefly on the different ´neighbors´ we met along our route. He had made enlargements of some of these encounters and passed them around as he discussed the story behind the photo.  It was an attempt at bringing a very small portion of our trip home for you to see; a chance to see some of the people that made it so worthwhile and from whom we learned so much.  

I was presented with a most generous, precious, and thoughtful gift; the log all typed out and bound into a finished book!  I was overwhelmed; it was a perfect gift.  I have not kept a personal journal and had been hoping I could print off all the logs and create an account of our trip to put with an album for the kids.  The book is beautifully made and opens with a dedication, and a photo from Huahine, and closes with the words ´until then . . . good-night, Bonice.´ Thank you Scott Baker, SALTS office staff, Stephen Duff, and Skipper, for initially asking SALTS if my logs were still available for printing after the trip.   Then Bob Cross from the Victoria Tall Ships Society welcomed us, followed by a prayer of thanks from Loren. Trainees and family and friends were then able to be with each other and hugs, tears, and words of welcome and thanks flowed for several hours. Trainees slowly moved off the ship and returned home or wherever they were to spend their first night off the ship.  It was sad for me to return to an empty ship, but the day was wonderful and we were truly  wonderfully welcomed home.  Thank you to everyone.  This is the final log of this offshore.  I have enjoyed communicating to everyone and I know I will miss it.  Please continue communicating to and with each other; we all have amazing stories
and lives to share. I have invited trainees to stay in touch, drop by our home etc.  I cannot imagine I won´t see them again at some point.  Our home is always welcome.  Thank you to everyone who made this year an incredible one; one that we will not forget.  

There is no next time, so I will say,

until we meet again, good-night, Bonice

sunny and getting warmer

Email processed: 2008-06-16 17:12:04

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