One for the Girlies

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Thu 10 Dec 2009 16:40

There hasn't been much of interest for you to read - so here is one for you - received from one the English boats today



As we crossed the Equator yesterday morning on the adventure of a lifetime, Neil picked up the satellite phone and called his girlfriend, Sarah Willan, in her office in Hartlepool. Expecting him to regale her with stories of King Neptune and bore her with details of advanced sail trimming techniques, we were electrified when we overheard Neil say "Will you marry me?" (there's no room for privacy on a yacht). There was an awkward moment as the signal went weak and Neil was saying "Hello - hello - are you there? - can you hear me?" Then, as the signal came back, even without the sat phone we could have heard Sarah's squeals of delight 6,500 miles away. A few minutes later an email came in from Sarah. I couldn't speculate on the content, but the Subject line read "YES-YES-YES!!!" For the second time in less than half an hour, we all had tears in our eyes.

I have been gagging to tell the world this news via the blog, but for obvious reasons a "D" Notice was slapped on the story until midday today to allow an orderly dissemination of the news to those who matter. Can you imagine, for instance, Mr Willan, father of the bride-to-be, innocently tuning into the blog and hearing for the first time that he was just about to acquire Neil as a son-in-law? The shock could kill a man.

Sarah, whom I have known since she was at school with Selina, is the most delightful woman and Neil is an extraordinary (and extraordinarily lucky) man. They were made for each other. Venetia, Peter and I are thrilled for both of them, and we are touched to have witnessed such a momentous occasion.

+++BREAKING NEWS+++ It was announced early today that Neil Thackray will be the first ever, and probably only, recipient of The Platinum Star, created especially for this extraordinary occasion. Golden Boy, eat your heart out. +++BREAKING NEWS