I'm writing from Pam Wall's kitchen table in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Mia, Liz and I flew down on Sunday to get ready for our next trip north on Isbjorn, and Pam has very kindly been hosting us ever since. Another friend of ours, expat Frenchman Thierry Humeau, is here as well, helping out with some as-yet-unannounced film project we are working on. Stay tuned for that one, and sign up for our newsletter to hear about it first!
Yesterday we all went sailing with former Whitbread crewmember and OSTAR race winner Etienne Giroire (of his namesake ATN Inc. company that makes the ubiquitous spinnaker sleeves) aboard his classic Dick Newick trimaran Tricia. Etienne docks Tricia right across the canal from Pam's iconic Freya 39 Kandarik (I can literally see it right now as I type), so he picked us up and out the inlet we went, quickly cracking 10 knots in the 36-foot tri in a 12-14 knot south-easterly breeze. The ride was exhilarating. And wet.
It's been a fantasy-camp of sorts since we got to Florida the other day. Both Pam and Etienne are heroes of ours, so it's super-cool to hang out together now as friends. I still have to pinch myself that we're so lucky to get to do all this! We visited Etienne's shop yesterday down past the airport, and after our little sunset sail, he joined us at Pam's house for a wonderful meal Liz and Mia cooked up for us all. Then we spent the rest of the evening drinking wine and listening to Pam and Etienne tell stories.
The crew for the next leg on Isbjorn arrives tomorrow, and after a month ashore, Mia and I look forward to getting back to sea. We're certainly in the mood for it now after the last few days of storytelling! Liz and Thierry fly back tomorrow. Thanks mostly to Liz's help, the boat is clean and organized and ready to go. We'll provision tomorrow, download the latest weather, rig the safety equipment and off we go! Stay tuned to 59-north.com/tracking for our updates via the YB Tracker once we head offshore.