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.