Sarah could not have asked for a better send off today. The people of Chatham really did her proud. There must have been 150 or more people down at the beach today, school children with fantastic signs, her Chatham family, friends and well wishers. Two friends even drove all the way down from Quebec last night to see her off this morning. Super special.
It was a cloudless sky, the sun was blazing out on the water today and the wind was doing useful things. Sarah left on time at 0945 with 8 escort boats; a mix of the Harbour master, Coast guard and friends on on-board and with plenty a of shouting and ‘wooping’ from the beach.
The escorts saw her past the sand bar and turned back and a couple of boats followed her out a little further. Alan the superstar at Ryder’s Cove boatyard let me aboard his boat, (brave man with an emotional woman!).
Sarah and I said our final goodbyes bobbing around on the ocean, with the sun dancing off the water. It was amidst tears, and happy laughs and orders of ‘don’t forget to tell Sara I’ve left,’ and ‘don’t forget to eat the humous I made in the fridge’ that I then sat and watched as she rowed away from me, eventually out of sight, blending quietly into the skyline, becoming another dancing, dazzling spark that she is in the seascape.
I flew back out Sunday evening to be with Sarah this week. When I tried to explain why I needed to come back out I couldn’t – I just knew I had to be out here. Being the most involved with the expedition at this stage, then I had ever been, it felt really incomplete leaving without seeing her off. We both needed closure on wrapping up this chapter together.
So I sit here now tapping away, eyes filled with tears but they are mostly happy tears, happy she is safely away, happy I could come back out and see her off and happy that she is right where she needs to be right now – and for the next 3 or so months.
Here’s to the Atlantic adventure!
And a huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who has helped Sarah along the way and to the wonderful Carol and Colleen who stayed behind to see me off the boat. Superstars.