Tuesday, March 17, 2009

No-go on sailing to Bermuda

Valiant 40 Wild Iris in the BahamasNan and I had a discussion on Sunday night about my planned sailing trip with Paul and Honey Caouette from Miami to Bermuda, the first leg of their trans-Atlantic passage, which is scheduled to set sail on May 16. In the end, we decided that I should not go.

The financial situation with my employer, Aspen Valley Hospital, is not good due to the slow economy and reduced skier numbers this ski season, so they are looking to do everything they can to reduce expenses short of lay-offs and pay-cuts. I would not have had enough paid time off accumulated to cover the almost three weeks the trip would take, and it would jeopardize my full-time status and benefits to take too many unpaid days off during these uncertain times.

I emailed Paul this morning with my regrets. I haven't heard back from him but I hope he understands. He and Honey have two other people lined up for the entire passage from Miami to Portugal, so they should have adequate watch coverage without needing to find a new fifth crewmember. I left open the idea of Nan and me joining them for a future trip, so there may still be an opportunity to sail with them aboard their Valiant 40, Wild Iris, if they don't decide to sell her in Europe at the conclusion of their adventure.

In the meantime, I offered to do whatever I could for them while they are in transit. Jeff, one of the crewmembers, has set up a Google Group, "WildIris", so I'll post updates from it as they come in, starting with the photo in this post, which was taken during the Caouettes' trip to the Bahamas last year and is the group's icon. Stay tuned.


aarone said...

Hey, long time John. Just catching up on your blog. That must have been a hard decision to not go.

John Lichty said...

Good to hear from you, Aaron! Yes, it was a difficult decision, but there will be other opportunities. I hope they have a fast, safe passage.