The following post contains no images – just words.
With our intentions of lending a helping hand turned upside down in the span of an hour, we found ourselves overwhelmed with the turn of events and the loss of S/V Forever.
Thoughts tend to be scattered after a traumatic event like that but luckily there is something else that overrides that – reality.
She doesn’t stop for you or anything else and there’s nowhere to hide and nothing that will make you feel better.
Reality here was that Forever was a total and complete loss.
And now you have to deal.
Reality is motivational in that it FORCES you to figure stuff out even though you want the earth to swallow you up.
So, you do. You push through the confusion and you face the inevitable.
You figure it out.
Picking up where we left off at the scene of the wreckage, the tow service had been requested to come out right away.
Whether it was the people who tried to help us, the Coast Guard who patiently waited as I searched through our stuff in the dark with shaky hands for the info he needed, or just someone who heard the radio call for help, the message was relayed that we required immediate assistance.
The response was that they couldn’t get to us that night.
There’s no 911 to call there and we didn’t have the salvage/towboat company on speed dial so we’re glad someone had that info.
They said they would be there in the morning.
And they were.
We had spoken to the owners as soon as it happened and would, going forward, keep a constant line of communication open throughout the days that followed.
The tow boat came and made several attempts but could not float her or move her even a tiny bit.
She would have to be dealt with where she sat.
The only thing we could offer at that point was to make the clean up as quick and efficient as possible mitigating the costs.
There were no places available to stay, we only had the clothes we were wearing and internet (our main source of contact with our world) was not available at our location. These were small frustrations in the grand scheme of things.
Sometimes, its the frustration of not being the one there to deal with a situation that’s harder than being knee deep in it.
Almost daily we kept the owners up to date on the progress of the clean up through texts, photos and videos which they relayed to their friends and family as well as ours.
S/V Forever, for those who weren’t aware, was a mini celebrity online.
Starting out as the star of Zero to Cruise, followers watched as the first owners, Rebecca and Mike, learned about all things sailing and the islands.
These two inspired a whole generation of dreamers to get out there and go for it.
It was possible. They were living proof.
We were included in that group of followers (dreamers) and we too sold everything, bought a boat and started our sailing story in 2014.
Fast forward – Zero to Cruise went up for sale. Steve and Darla bought her and the dream of sailing away on the newly christened Zero to Cruise was reignited in the name Forever.
Their happiness and determination was refreshing to follow as their adventures were posted online via Forever’s Facebook page.
Forever’s audience watched as the story of Darla and Steve changed direction with the report of Darla’s cancer.
After some time, sitting unattended, the decision to bring Forever to FLA to sell was made. One thing turned into another and we were happy to help by taking her there.
We completely fell in love with that boat. Our posts, a sort of live advertisement, were meant to help sell her.
They were not hard to write.
She was a fast, safe, friendly little boat that had us experiencing the islands and sailing in a way we never had.
No bells or whistles. She offered a simple but rewarding experience and we LOVED it.
Every minute and everyone could tell.
We made the decision, after much discussion and the threat of a potential buyer, to offer to buy her for ourselves.
Having previously sold our boat, we realized we missed the sailing, the new experiences and that strong, supportive network that comes with it.
We were working through all the how, when, and why’s when this happened.
Now unfortunately, Forever’s end was on us, and the new beginning would never come to be.
But even worse was knowing the pressure that this put on Steve and Darla, who already had a plate full.
So for the next 10 days, from sun up to sun down, we concentrated on nothing but the clean up.
It was us and two others from the towing company.
It was sad and therapeutic in a weird way.
We punched an invisible clock of determination every day.
We were not going to leave Forever in an endless cycle of paperwork and the unknown.
Reports were filed, salvage was completed, and the pristine beach that bore witness to the wreckage was returned to its former serene beauty free of ALL debris.
We stay in touch with all the people who found themselves thrown into this scene.
Words cannot express how grateful we are for the outpouring of support and understanding from everyone, especially Steve and Darla.
We know, they’re just words but words can be powerful and have a far-reaching impact.
Life is fluid, and now as everyone is making plans and moving into different but equally interesting directions, we will nonetheless always share the experience that was Forever, in our own capacities.
A detailed online account and inspiration born from …words.
So thank you to the Mike and Rebecca’s, and the Steve and Darla’s for having the clarity to know what you want, the courage to pursue it and the willingness to share it with everyone.
No matter how hard the subject matter.
Thank you for sharing your words and as a result inspiring so many.