Tribute to America
By Lois Joy
This is the first time since the day of terror on September 11th
that I have been able to write. The surprise, shock and horror have
been replaced by a veneer of sadness beneath the surface that breaks
into tears at the slightest provocation. It has been a week for Americans
like no other. In the end, America has emerged more united and
patriotic than ever. We the people are the government. We are
all in this together. Flags are flying everywhere.
Gunter and I can’t seem to tear each other away from the news. Neither
can we tear ourselves away from each other. We have retreated to a safe
haven of family and close friends. We have been nesting in the family
room, mesmerized by the TV, for days. When we cannot bear the
images and the pain any longer, we take refuge on Pacific Bliss,
now on the dock in Shelter Island, looking prim and polished as the
warranty repairs are coming to an end.
Some are saying that the hardest thing Americans are facing is the
frightening loss of control over our lives. But in our hearts, we knew
that all along. The hardest thing about all this is finally accepting
Gunter and I faced the issue of loss of control many times during the
maiden voyage of Pacific Bliss. Right at the outset-even
before we even left the Catana factory in Canet, France, we had to change
schedules and delay crews from arriving until our yacht was ready to
make the passage safely. When we finally left to cross the Med,
the winds and waves from a Force 10 storm forced us to take refuge in
Estartit, Spain. Like bookends, Voyage 1 ended with our being out of
control again--months behind our original plans--as we beat our way
up the long coastlines of Central America, Mexico, and Baja. Even
hurricane Adolf, who churned 250 miles south of us when we were in Puerto
Vallarta, delayed our crossing of the Sea of Cortez. We were again delayed
in Cabo and in Turtle Bay, waiting for seas to calm. By the end
of the voyage, we had calmly accepted being out of control. There
are no guarantees in life. The dangers can be terrorists, pirates-or
simply the raging seas.
There is a certain peace in being out of control. It reminds
one of how much there is to lose. And how fast we can lose it.
Related Story: Papagayos, Tehuantepeckers,
and the Baja Bash or We are Not in Control.
We are continuing to plan our circumnavigation, having gone 1/3 of
the way around the world so far. The next two voyages will be
in the South Pacific, near relatively safe countries. Beyond these
voyages, which will take two years or so, we will face difficult decisions
on whether to continue through Indonesia, Malaysia, and on through the
Red Sea. Only God knows whether those areas will be safe then for yachts
flying the American flag.
The quotes from Americans of all ethnic backgrounds can be found at
the website CNN.com/community
These are my favorites:
“To ask why does not change what is.”
“Caution is wise. Fear is debilitating.”
“The outpouring of love and support from nations throughout the world
has tempered my rage.”
“We are challenged more than ever to be one nation under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all.”
I trust that you will enjoy these photos of Pacific Bliss proudly flying
our flag during Voyage 1.
The Med, Spain
The Pitons, St.
San Diego Bay