Not Much Gardening, But Best Garden Club Program

Today my Garden Club had our monthly meeting. The program was provided by our own club member, Pam Harris. She gave us a fabulous talk about her six year circumnavigation of the globe on a sail boat with just her husband and her cat.

I have known for a long time about Pam and Joe’s six year trip sailing around the world, but I never really thought about what committing to such a trip really meant. Before her talk it seemed like a difficult thing to do, but now, after hearing the details first hand, I know it was an extraordinary effort.

Pam described two storms they sailed through. One where the boat surfed on swells they estimated were at least 30 feet through the night. And by surfing I mean the boat goes up the thirty foot swell and then crashes down the other side. The second storm where their sixty foot boat was struck by lightening during a thousand mile passage between New Zealand and Figi, taking out all their electronics, including the auto pilot, radar, navigation equipment and communications equipment except a ham radio. They had to sail for three days through the squall taking two hour shifts each holding the wheel and keeping the boat on track using just their compass, while the rain pounded on them.

I wanted to cry just listening to it. I could not imagine what that feels like out in the middle of the ocean with no one to help.

Of course Pam shared some of the stories of the interesting people they met when they were on land. She showed us beautiful photos of their smiling faces. We did see some gorgeous island flora and fauna which qualified her talk as a garden club program.

I asked her what she brought with her that she discovered was a waste of space. “Hair spray” was her answer. After listening to the storm sailing stories we got a big laugh out of the thought of hairspray.

I walked away very impressed that she made this trip with just her husband and cat, but I knew that I have no desire to ever do that. I am so glad Russ did not hear her talk because he probably would feel the opposite of me and would want to start sailing now. Thank goodness we can’t afford it.

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