Spencer sails off to Tahiti

First he got a tattoo and was “missing in action” for 6 hours. Then he decided to jump on a sailboat going all the way to Tahiti! Spencer made a few impulsive (but good) decisions, in his last 24 hours with us.

It was time to go. Aldebaran was not sailing to the northern Marquesan Islands – yet – where Spencer’s return flight awaited him. The haul-out was scheduled for the end of the month, in Hiva Oa, the capital of the southern Marquesan islands. Spencer looked at his three gigantic duffel bags full of gear and souvenirs, which would cost a fortune on inter-island flights, and decided that sailing to Tahiti sounded like a darn good idea.

The new boat’s name was Dancia, a 39 foot Jeanneau captained by a solo Aussie sailor. The fellow was also giving a ride to a girl from Easter Island, who had hitched her way on another sailboat to Marquesas. The three of them would now be crew mates for the next 800 miles going west across the Tuamotos archipelago, all the way to Papeete.

Spencer had just finished sailing 4200 miles with us on Aldebaran over three months. Starting in Galapagos where he flew in to meet us, we sailed three weeks to Pitcairn, then Gambier, and ended in Marquesas – fulfilling many dreams together.

Spencer is a sailing instructor. After the first 1000 continuous miles of our Pacific crossing, he became eligible for an even higher level in his career: blue water sailing instruction. The Pirate King himself appeared and proclaimed him “Master Mariner Macrae” after the appropriate ceremonies were conducted.

“M-cubed”, as we affectionately call him, lived up to his title. Aldebaran’s reefing system was, frankly, a joke before this. Spencer spent several hours on deck while underway in our passage contemplating the running rigging; he made a system that we can now reliably and safely reduce the mainsail. This was a massive improvement in the boat’s operation.

Spence was a fantastic crew mate and we will miss his energy. He became giddy with excitement when asked to teach knot tying skills. He also shimmied in a happy dance during the few times Sabrina served flan for dessert. Even though the heat sometimes took its toll on Spence, he was a good sport and blasted Travis Tritt’s song “It’s a Good Day to be Alive” almost every morning on our stereo. Talk about a morale booster!

Fair winds Spence — we’ll see you again down the road! We are stoked you completed your journey to the South Seas with a sail to Tahiti… we can’t wait to hear all about it.

Photo: One of the apex moments of our journey, arriving in Fatu Hiva (watercolor rendition by Deena).

5 thoughts on “Spencer sails off to Tahiti

  1. This is a darn good post. Congratulations, Spencer!

    Edge of my seat reading here, “susSpence-r”! Tatoos, sailboat hitchhiking during international sailing voyages, license upgrades, this is marvelous:)

    • Hahaha I like that.. SuSpencer. That fellow has so many nicknames. Such a classic way for him to depart us, jumping on another boat, hitchhiking the Pacific after getting his calf tattoo– not hard to make the story entertaining!!

  2. Nana Spencer and Ooh I want to see the tattoo! The watercolor is a different photo, it’s the arrival to Pitcairn after your epic crossing 🙂

  3. Wonderful, wonderful to hear about Spencer’s adventures!
    Bob and I met his parents in California. The fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree… they are both beautiful people. They told us that when Spencer was 3 years old, out of the blue, he said he was going to sail a boat when he got big. And there you go!!
    Sail on, big Spencer! fullfill your lifetime dream!!!
    PS: Deena’s watercolor is great!

  4. Spencer…you are wonderfully crazy and from the stories you told you always have been. Sailing has always been in your blood and your Master Mariner Celebration en route to Pitcairn was historic (with honors brilliant bestowed by Pirate Captain Kristian). Your sailing knowledge is awesome and you will forever be an indelible part of my memory aboard Aldebaran. See you in Santa Barbara!

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