Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sending love to the Victims

A big THANK YOU to all our people writing to check in on us after hearing about the earthquake in Sumatra. We are fine. Thank you for thinking about us and sending your good thoughts. Right now we are tied up in the Tanjung City Marina in Penang, Malaysia, awaiting one of Nicole's best friends, Heather, to fly in tonight. We are very close to Sumatra, but the earthquake hit on the Indian Ocean side, not in the Strait of Malacca where we currently are. Malaysia was not affected. But, let me tell you, it's very real here and we think about the possibilities of earthquakes and tsunamis all the time now. Let me remind you all that we are just coming into the region where the massive tsunami hit a few years back killing hundreds of thousands of people and shattering whole towns and communities, including many sailors.

There have been some very intense and tragic natural disasters this past week. An 8.0 earthquake that created a tsunami just hit the south pacific island group of Samoa and the northern islands of Tonga. Pago Pago in American Samoa bore the brunt of it. Included in the massive wreckage were many sailboats and one sailor lost his life, an extremely sad story.

The San Franciso-based sailing magazine, Latitude 38, has some write-ups if you are interested: http://www.latitude38.com/lectronic/LectronicLat.lasso

The Philippines have also recently been hammered by typhoons and floods. Typhoon Parma and Tropical Storm Ketsana have killed hundreds and evacuated hundreds of thousands of locals.

Nicole and I realize these "disasters" happen all the time around the world. But, like anything, when you have personal connection to it, you are more affected by it. When you travel and spend time in these places, you meet the people, you eat their food, you share space, smiles, laughs, and sometimes even tears. Many people around the world live in places that often have earthquakes, floods, typhoons, etc., and they deal with it when they happen. It's not easy, but for them, it's just life and you do what you can to move on after the fact.

Being a global-sailor we are more connected now then ever before. We know local people and sailboats currently in Tonga and Samoa. We have friends in the Mentawi Islands in western Sumatra on a sailboat right now who were fairly close to the Indonesian earthquake. We know many boats who were with us in Palau who traveled to the Philippines not long ago and a couple may still be there (hopefully their boats and they are ok...we still haven't connected with them yet).

And here we are, almost to western Thailand where the 2004 Tsunami devastated so many peoples worlds, not so long ago at all.

We have chosen to live on a boat where typhoons, hurricanes, cyclones, and tsunamis are very real. We know there is always that possibility we could find ourselves in one of these same situations. We certainly hope not and try to do our best to plan ahead, watch the weather closely, and think about the "what if" scenarios. But you never know, that is life.

As we send our blessings and love out to all the affected people in Sumatra, the Philippines, Samoa and Tonga, we will continue to appreciate our health and opportunity to be on this planet, in these bodies, and to lead full lives, because we never know what the next day will bring. Please do the same.

1 comment:

Hollye said...

Hey Nicole,
I had the absolute pleasure of meeting your parents on a trip from SF to Phoenix the other day. They gave me your website info and I just wanted to let you know I'm thoroughly impressed. I'm looking forward to reading deeper into your blog and site.
Thank you for the inspiration and having such rock star parents!