30/31 March

Fri 31 Mar 2006 22:18
Hi everyone

Yesterday was my father funeral. In order to connect with my Dad and family
in West Bromwich on this sad occasion we planned on holding a cermony
on board Fraser's Boat to coincide with the funeral service.
Therefore at 2.30 GMT we stowed oars. Tim and I sat in the foot well area.

It was quite emotional, I chatted to my dad told him what we were doing and
I welcomed him to our Atlantic home, I introduced him to Tim and talked of
our plans to complete our journey in his honour. I had prepared an eulogy
which was to be read by my son Alastair at the funeral, I read this out. Tim
then followed on with a couple of short pieces , an extract from Symberline
by William Shakespeare and a poem Remember Me by Christina Rosetti. To
complete the readings I read out a short poem entitled

A reflection in mourning
which goes as follows:
You can shed tears that he is gone, or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back, or you can open your
eyes and see all he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him, or you can be full of the
love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday, or you can be happy
tomorrow because of yesterday
You can remember him, and only that he has gone, or you can cherish his
and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back, or you can do
what he'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

This was kindly provided by my local parish vicar, Neil Brice and formed a
beautiful closure to the spoken part of the ceremony. We concluded with a
minutes silence to reflect on my dad's life.

During the ceremony the sun shone out of clear blue sky as we drifted to the
tempo of the ocean. It was truly an emotional time and one which I will
remember for ever.

Tim has been superb during the 10 days or so between my dad's death and the
service. He has provided support and advice and is part in the ceremony was
welcomed and appropriate.

Toa ll reader who have sent condolenses and messages of support thank you
very much your sympathy and support have borne me through this difficult

Tim here:-
An inventory of the food has shown that we dont have sufficient foof to last
another month without a drastic reduction in portions..Since we found out
that there had been food lost we were hoping that our daily milage would
incr ease to an extent that the food would last. This is not the case. We
have tried fishing and seem either to be incompetent fishermen or the fish
are wiser here than at home. Either way we have only caught one fish. Not
enough to make up our larder. We have decided to do the following.
1. Split all existing food into 34 portions (time in days in
which we hope to finish)
2. Contact every boat that is near during the day and ask them
if they are able to help provide food without any commercial
inconvenience.(I hope we see more than to present as we have seen only 2)
3. Fish and be lucky.

We have decided that unless conditions change we will not seek any outside
organised resupply of food because a vessel could charge commercial rates
for the time lost ihelping us if instructed by the Coastguard to give us
support. It would not be seen as lives being in immediate danger.

I know I have a tummy to lose but its not the slimming but the fatigue which
bothers us. We use loads of calories just being on the boat because of the
movement and that doesnt include rowing. Its just something else to overcome
which we will. At least we are able to plot some end to things.

Just think how things would change if we caught a fish of some size, were
partly resupplied by a passing boat and found the help of the trade winds
and its assosiated rollers. At least its positive still to be optimistic.

Mick - me less food, there won't be a lot left of me , thank goodness for
all those expense account eveing mealsd in Haarlem prior to our journey I
knew the extra arond the middle would come in useful sometime. Mind you
loooks as if its already gone!