Recently I have given Roz two surprises in my emails to her.

First: I had been looking through old photograph albums, and found several pictures of my parents, my brother and myself in boats. I sent copies of these to Roz, and her response was “Wow! We must have these on my website.” So there they are, in her Gallery, under the headings of Photo Album, Portraits, and then Family Photos.

She had asked me if she could spend a few days with me in early October, but I said that I would be away. Of course she wanted to know where I was going. My reply was the second surprise:

“Dear Rosalind,
Where am I going?
If you had not rowed the Atlantic . . .
I would not have heard of the capsize of American Fire . . .
I would not have heard of Stavros S Niarchos . . .
I would not have heard of its sister ship Prince William . . (Can a Prince be a sister?)
I would not have signed up as crew for the crossing from Portsmouth to St.Malo !!

I know it is for young people – they take them up to the age of 74.
Crazy, I know.”

Then I was the one to get a surprise! While I was signing up to go on the sailing ship in early October, Roz was signing up for a sponsored event for the Tall Ships Education Academy in San Francisco (see the link on the right hand side of this page under Blog Sections) later in the month.

I wonder whether it is coincidence that I spent 105 days on a cruise ship in 2005 going around the world, and Roz spent 103 days in her little boat in 2006 crossing the Atlantic. Are we trying to outdo each other? Or is it just part of our genetic inheritance to seek adventures at sea? Do I blame my father for always having a boat of some sort? Or my great-grandfather who sailed from England to New Zealand in 1842 – returning again in 1843; he later took the family to South Africa in 1849 on the King William – and the rest is our family history.

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