Panama City, Panama
Ironic how last thing I wrote about was Hubert leaving the boat, because now he’s really gone — decided to leave the ship permanently. With only a small splash of drama, it all went down quite naturally… although it wasn’t all pretty.. he came back aboard first thing yesterday morning and called a crew meeting, exuding confidence and comfort in his skin, on the right path (and rightfully relieved.) He handled it beautifully, with much respect and a certain class, although our captain did not take it so gracefully. Actually it was a bit painful to see his lack of tact when Hubert broke the news, and perhaps it was a conclusive demonstration of what was awry to begin with. Hubert, in high esteem, offered himself for the day to help out and finish any work he had been involved with, invited us all ashore to treat us to dinner that night, and only asked for half of what he had paid for his passage all the way to the Marquesas (six weeks out.) Julian declined all except the money.
Things smoothed over by the afternoon, when after the day’s labors Julian cheerfully dropped the three of us ashore to dine with Hubert. We had a fine time indeed, toasting to our honoring what’s best for us all, sharing info about all the fun ahead on our shared course, which he shall be doing aboard a French vessel on a similar timetable, meaning our paths will likely cross again ahead. Symbolically passing the kitchen torch to me, he gifted me a handwritten copy of his bread recipe. It was, after only two days in each other’s company, our first genuine bonding moment.
The last few days I’ve settled in quite a bit. After any initial skepticism or doubt to whether I would get along well with a random crew of strangers, we’re off to a tremendous start. Not only am I sure we will tolerate each other nicely, we are all ready, both as a crew and a school under tutelage of a fine teacher, to succeed in this expedition. I think we each take much pride in our contributions, and I surprisingly feel quickly at home.
Tomorrow our fifth crew member Kuba will be arriving, and then, depending on the weather (and wind forecast) it’s onward to either the Galapagos, as scheduled, or to the nearby Pearl Islands to enjoy the local sights until a suitable window to depart is upon us. Just going with the flow.