US Land Logs 8, Year 4: Ode to Silvie
Date: Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Weather: Not Important
Location: East Falmouth, Massachusetts
As you sail around the world, the cruisers you meet become like family. Â Some you meet are like distant cousins that you would rather not see too often, but others become like sisters and brothers. Silvie was in theÂ ‘sister’ category for me. She was from Windcastle and I from Windbird. Our paths crossed many times during the first year of our circumnavigation. We met in Balboa, Panama, just after coming through the Panama Canal.Â Silvie was a number of years younger than I, but we immediately bonded. She was from Mexico City sailing around the world with Doug from San Juan Capistrano, California. Last night we received an email from Doug telling us that Silvie died last Saturday evening in Lamen Bay, Epi Island, Vanuatu.Â She died just hours after taking MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution), a product she purchased from a fellow cruiser. Words cannot convey the sadness we feel in our hearts. Silvie brought joy and love to everyone’s she met and it just doesn’t seem possible that life was taken from her so quickly and
needlessly. Our hearts are broken and we so wish we were closer so we could help Doug deal with this tragedy.
We met Doug and Silvie in Balboa at a meeting of cruisers headed across the Pacific. Afterwards we had dinner at a two-for-one pizza restaurant and sat at a table with Silvie and Doug and Patrick and Margaret of Aqua Magic. Silvie gave Mark Spanish lessons while we ate and that was the beginning of our friendship. Silvie, Margaret of Aqua Magic, and I shopped ’til we dropped in Panama City as we provisioned for the trip from Panama to the Galapagos. There are the memories of Silvie dancing in the streets of Panama City during Carnival, sharing my 59th birthday while anchored off Espiritu Santo in the Las Perlas Islands, trying to row our dinghies up the Rio Cacique, and just generally enjoying life from anchorage to anchorage.Â Once we reached the Galapagos, we walked to the top of Mount Crocker, the highest point on Santa Cruz Island together. It was a long, hot climb, but at the top Silvie made us all smile as she opened her arms to the heavens. Â Riding horses to the top of Sierra Negra on Isabella and exploring theÂ volcanic rim together with Doug and Silvie and our daughter Heather and her husband Jed was just a wonderful, unforgettable day. Silvie picked some of the wild flowers growing along the rim to make herself a bouquet and then flung herself down volcanic cinders just to celebrate life. And after sailing the 3,000 miles from the Galapagos to the Marqueses, the first boat we saw in the Bay of Virgins in Fatu Hiva was Windcastle. Months later, we sat together in a little church in Tonga to hear the new King address the people for the first time since his brother’s dealth and then we made the crossing to New Zealand together. The last time we saw Doug and Silvie was in Opua, New Zealand. Our paths have not crossed since then, but we have always stayed in contact via email. We were so looking forward to meeting them in Thailand this next January and crossing the Indian Ocean together. We are certainly going to miss them, and we can’t even imagine what Doug must be going through at this point. Our thoughts areÂ certainly with him.
Silvie’s death is a very abrupt reminder of just how quickly life can slip
away and a rude reminder of just how important it is to live each moment to the fullest. That is what Silvie would want each and every one of us to do. She would want us all to live, love, laugh, and be happy.
Silvie, we love you and will miss you so very much. The world was a happier place with you here, but we can each try to bring joy to the world in your absence.