What are the Chances??
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What are the Chances??

What are the Chances??

What are the Chances??

If texts could talk the one I received at 0330am two days ago would have been shouting. Someone thought Seaburban was the yacht they had crewed on when Seaburban, then Artisan, was moved from the Med to the Caribbean.

I know precious little about Seaburban’s previous lives save from what a box of receipts and bills can tell you. In that pile there is an invoice for an Isomat boom that was shipped to Malta. I knew Seaburban had been in the Med.

The person texting wondered if there was a secret compartment in the main bulkhead forward of the mast. Indeed there is and indeed, this was the yacht. What are the chances of that? Small right?

Excitedly I asked Leah to forward my Iridium email to this person so we could compare notes. How fun! A chapter in One of Seaburban’s past lives come to light. Present troubles and challenges evaporates as I wondered aloud what I might learn.

Leah answered immediately with no need to forward an email. He’s looking at you right now. He’s in Stanley!

There are words that should be uttered so infrequently that one can never be accused of hyperbole. Here’s one: gobsmacked. I was well and truly gobsmacked.

At what is one of the more isolated places on the planet, 1 of the perhaps 3 or 4 people who have crewed on Seaburban at some time in her 32 year career is looking at me right now. And I am not even supposed to be here. What are the chances of that happening?

The chances are, in fact, so infinitesimally small as to be zero. You’re odds of winning the 649 lottery back home are about a thousand times greater. Translated, the odds of winning the 649 Lottery one thousand times and running into Grant Munro in Port Stanley are about equal.

Mr. Grant Munro helped sail the yacht Artisan across the Atlantic and through the Caribbean back in 1991. Having helped antifoul Artisan before her Atlantic crossing all those years ago, the yacht’s rather distinctive cutaway forefoot had been stamped into his memory. Now, close to 30 years later, he was looking at that same forefoot plunging up and down in the chop in Stanley harbour.

Thinking his memory might be playing tricks, Grant went looking for some pictures of that trip in an old photo album that his parents had maintained. Sure enough, some deck and interior details clinched it. Seaburban and Artisan were one and the same yacht.

I couldn’t wait to meet Grant. I sent an email to Jenny Smith at Customs and Immigration and asked what could be done. I emailed my sister, called my Father, and texted anyone else who I figured was awake back home.

I emailed Grant and invited him aboard pending a response from Customs. I was so darn excited I forgot to put my missing tooth back in.

A couple of hours later, I think I hear something astern. Poking my toothless, disheveled mug out the companionway, some hardy soul wearing a dry suit has paddled an inflatable kayak out to Seaburban. It is none other than Grant Munro come knocking on Seaburban’s counter after a 30 year hiatus.

It is, I think to myself, exactly how some hardy soul would make his way out here. If he had swum out I would not have any less surprised. It’s that kind of place.

Questions tumble out of my mouth as I try to learn something of Seaburban’s history, something about Grant and his path firstly to Artisan and then to the Falklands, try to apologize for the mess in the cabin and for what must be an olfactory offence second only to a pig farm.

Grant graciously brushes aside any apologies with a smile and patiently answers a fusillade of questions. I discover he is a kindred soul: At home in faraway places, capable, and not at all fussy. He is articulate and soft-spoken and It is easy to see how the owners of Artisan took him on as crew and friend.

Our gam is too short-lived and as I watch him paddle back to shore, expertly crabbing what looks to be nothing more this an inner-tube against a 25 knot breeze, I am struck by the string of incredible coincidences that created this moment. Being here, the crazy chop exposing Seaburban’s lines, how the photo album ended up back in Grant’s possession, the Facebook pictures, all of it. It is beyond improbable lurking somewhere well past astronomical.

It is one of this trips most treasured moments to date. Something I will never forget. Something like the way Grant remembered Seaburban’s forefoot.

Follow my tracks in real-time:
https://bit.ly/svseaburban

 

16 Comments
  • BT
    Posted at 10:41h, 02 July Reply

    Bert, you are amazing! Following you progress and posts with great admiration for you courage and wishing / willing you success. You are on the downhill run now. All the best from an Aussie follower BT ( 2 degrees of separation from your Uncle Joe).

  • Sandi Lyon
    Posted at 03:20h, 06 July Reply

    That looks about right. When it’s hot out in the ocean, its foggy and wet on the Wet Coast. That means you’re on the right track, heading the right direction. Finally. Woohoo.

  • Anita Kuntz
    Posted at 00:10h, 08 July Reply

    Following you journey and am truly amazed.

  • Suzan Persons
    Posted at 15:43h, 09 July Reply

    What an amazing journey!!

  • Karin Hill
    Posted at 15:27h, 13 July Reply

    Been following you for a couple of months now. What an amazing journey! Your blog is insightful and humorous. Almost home. Safe travels!

  • MountainJack
    Posted at 19:52h, 14 July Reply

    Has to be an amazing feeling to be so near home, Bert.

    Have spent months at sea “steaming”, not sailing, gaining my sea legs with the constant motion just became second nature. Getting back to a stable platform at dockside or over on the beach left me wobbly for a day or two. Cannot imagine how you’ll feel after a year of hardly ever being stable. There is that other thing having been on your own for that long; the familiarity of constant aloneness , the feeling of approach avoidance, being forced back into humanity. Might feel as though you could just extend a little bit more and savor the experience just a little longer…naw, probably not.

    Welcome back home, Bert. You’ve completed one heck of a feat.

  • Arthur Oliver
    Posted at 04:33h, 15 July Reply

    Getting oh so close. What’s the ETA?

  • estelle C whiddon
    Posted at 02:58h, 16 July Reply

    Bert, your homecoming Saturday will be a joyous occasion! I have followed the voyage daily and hope your arrival home brings much joy.

  • Peter Jungschaffer
    Posted at 07:19h, 18 July Reply

    This has been so great. Thank you!!!

  • BT
    Posted at 09:50h, 18 July Reply

    Hi Bert, you are just a few hours away from home. We are cheering for your most successful journey. We are especially amazed at the sailing conditions below Australia and New Zealand, as we can have some very big polar blasts hit us at this time of the year. Cannot imagine what it was like to sail through that type of weather. Can only take of hats off to you I amazement. Hope that you make it to Oz for a visit. What a wonderful achievement you have accomplished. /bt

  • Antonio Corbelletta
    Posted at 16:15h, 18 July Reply

    Congratulations! What an adventure! Well done. I have enjoyed tracking your voyage everyday just wish I would have know about it earlier, from the beginning.

  • Suzan
    Posted at 18:13h, 18 July Reply

    Yeahhhhhhhhh Bert!!! You have done it!!!
    Happy Homecoming – And stay safe!!!
    It isn’t the same world that you left!!
    I’m going to miss reading your travels and your adventures!! But thrilled that you’re home (almost) safe and sound!!
    Next trip around the world, hope that you’ll stop along the way and post your photos of the locals and the ports!!

  • Raegan Elford
    Posted at 19:23h, 18 July Reply

    Soldier who has logged more sea time than this Navy sailor.
    What an incredible accomplishment (the journey vice logging more sea time than I)
    BZ

  • Marianne Scott
    Posted at 18:25h, 19 July Reply

    Congratulations on your accomplishment! I guess we will have to put up a plaque commemorating your voyage on the Victoria Harbour wall.

    Hope to see you this week.

    Marianne Scott

  • Tom Cory
    Posted at 07:40h, 23 July Reply

    Congradulations Bert from Annapolis MD. A Great Adventure.

  • Mark
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 July Reply

    I don’t think that anyone that attended Estevan Junior High could have imagined that this was in the future for one of it’s students. I checked in at different legs of the journey and was fascinated every time. Congrats!

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