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Date: 23 Jun 2018 17:35:29
Title: Final thoughts.

In a couple of days I'll be back in Scotland. Although I'm obviously very keen to return home after all that has happened, the realisation that NY2SY really is over isn't getting any easier to deal with. The past week has been a very strange time - the frustration of trying to get ashore, reliving the events leading up to my rescue, making new friends amongst those who have helped me, the relief of being safe and getting home and the sadness of what I'm leaving behind.

A small part of me wishes that I had just turned the boat tracking device off so I didn't find myself checking her position each night. She will continue to drift for many weeks, perhaps months. The sea anchor was deployed when I was rescued so this will be another factor in where she ends eventually ends up. Although she is termed as being 'abandoned', I dont intend to just forget about her and will continue to monitor her position in the hope that we can perhaps be reunited one day.

Once again, I'd like to reiterate my gratitude to the crew of the MV DOLFIJNGRACHT for all they did for me. I felt quite emotional leaving the ship and will miss them. As frustrated as I was at the delay in getting ashore, I consider myself lucky given that some of the crew were a month overdue and it will likely be another week or so before they get signed off and are able to return to their families. 

I would still be aboard if it wasn't for the efforts of Monsieur Louis D'Amours. There were several different agencies involved and Louis negotiated with them on my behalf and ensured that the transfer was completed quickly and properly. Louis also invited me to stay with his family that evening, another example of the amazing kindness I have been shown by so many people. Thank you Louis, Linda, Marie-Felixe, Emile-Antoine (and Nikita) for your hospitality. Merci beaucoup.

I must also thank Monsieur Jean Bedard at www.duvetnor.com , Chris and Sylvain on 'Le Petit Lievre', the Canadian Border Service, Pat, Donald, Nicole Boudreau at Fundy Shipping and Jody Beeching at the British High Commission in Ottawa for their roles in getting me ashore and the administration afterwards. 

What now? To be honest, I'm not in a great place mentally and I've really struggled to deal with everything since I had to activate the EPIRB that night. Maybe one day I'll explain properly just why NY2SY means so much to me and why I kept trying. Now, I'll need to practice what I've been preaching and get some help. 

After that, I'll see what can be salvaged from the situation and hopefully something positive can come from the project. I first came up with the idea in 2010 and after all the years of work I would hate for it now just to come to an end like this and be forgotten. I'll speak with the charity and others about what NY2SY might be able to leave in its wake. 

Despite all that has happened recently, I can have no regrets about NY2SY and consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to try it at all. It took a lot of hard work over the years, more than I ever imagined, to get out onto the ocean but I loved every minute and will remember moment out there.

I know that the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) will benefit from all your support and wonderful generosity and as a result, lives will be lived and lives will be saved. Thank you for your donations and I hope that some of you will continue to support SAMH, or a mental health charity locally. 

Finally, a few people have been asking if I'll ever try again. I intimated in my previous blog entry that it's probably all over, for a number of reasons. As I mentioned, my sole focus now is sorting myself out and I can't really think about anything else. It will probably be a good idea to take some time away from the whole thing and I also need to get back to some sort of normality and find work, a place to live and such things, start over again.

It does feel like I've been writing a story and suddenly my pen has been taken from me when there are still some words left to be put down on the page. 

Maybe one day I'll get to finish what I started.

NI

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