This story is apropos of not much at all, except that I think it’s amusing and I tell it at dinner parties where the audience seems to enjoy it. And, since I think of you, our readers, as friends and part of my community, I thought I would tell it here.
Also, writing it makes a nice break from the in-progress Adventure 40 systems specification post and our taxes, both of which I’m struggling with.
Shortly after we we got back from the Arctic in 2011 I received an e-mail from The Reverend Bob Shepton saying that he was planning to transit the Northwest Passage over the 2012 season and could I advise him on the best way to receive ice reports by satellite phone, which I duly did.
Bob was, at the time of this story, 76 years old. For those of you who don’t know of Bob, he is a retired Anglican (Episcopalian to you Americans) priest who has made a series of incredible voyages, many of them in the high latitudes, in his 34-foot fiberglass Westerly Discus, Dodo’s Delight. You can learn more at his web site.
Anyway, back to my story. At the end of our e-mail exchange I received a very nice thank you from Bob, which ended with him writing that he assumed he would see us in Greenland the following summer—we had briefly seen him there in 2011.
I wrote back and said that no, we would not be going that far north in 2012, mainly because I simply don’t have a high latitude cruise in me every year, and, in fact, as I get older (I was 60 at the time) I find that it takes me longer and longer to get over the “I’m never doing that again phase”.
Bob wrote back a one line email:
How sad, and in one so young.