Trip Reports

A Little Help From Our Friends (27-Jun-2003-08-00):
8:00 AM local time, Friday, June 27 (1500 June 27 UTC). 37 58 NÂ 122 31 W. Temp. 80, Humidity 31%, Cloud Cover 0%. At home in San Rafael.

Greetings from the crew of Maverick.

Because we're tough-as-nails, swashbuckling dudes, it's a little hard to get sensitive and admit that there are a lot of people who helped us get the job done, but there are folks we'd like to thank, just like at the Oscars.

There is Latitude 38 for their inspiration and information, and for their generosity, both in column inches and for Richard Spindler's offer to throw a benefit for Maverick aboard Profligate when we were stuck with the hull repairs in Carriacou. It was a mighty big-hearted offer from someone we've never even met. There are some people on this list, or following the website out in the big world we just returned from, who are among the countless people we met on our travels who helped us get on with it. Some of these were residents of the lands we visited, and some were cruisers. There were so many instances of the kindness of strangers that it makes the argument for believing Blanche Dubois was the smart one after all. The folks at Tyrrel Bay Yacht Haulout in Carriacou that rescued Maverick and got her back in the water; Dave and Ros in Papua, New Guinea; Juan Iglesias in the San Blas Islands; Dee Dee and Bartu in Sri Lanka; Elias, Petros, and Stathis at Bekris shipyard in Greece; and Gilang Albanjari in Borneo are among literally hundreds of folks whose generosity was humbling and heartwarming. And we can't forget Paul and Francis of Okiva, who were always willing to demonstrate just how far it's possible for a sailor to go.

Among our support team at home, I've already mentioned Dr. Frank Mannix in a recent missive. We'd email him with a problem, and were all too often disconcerted when his response began, "When a fella reaches a certain age…" We are glad that we never called on him for anything really serious but we had the reassurance that if we needed medical advice, we'd have gotten the best help there is.

Caroline Fernandes, Terry's wife, is in many ways as responsible for his being here as he is. Many women on this list have commented on the fact that they could never have been as selfless as she and Theresa have been in putting up with this nonsense for the two years of the voyage and the many years of preparation preceding it. Caroline has helped bring parts to foreign lands, and been emotionally, and, when needed, financially supportive. We couldn't have gotten away with this without her help. Caroline's only mandate to Terry was, "You BETTER have a good time." Easy on the eyes, too.

As for our main support team, several of you have corresponded seeking information about operations at® World Headquarters; some have asked if facility tours are available. As one might imagine, due to post 9/11 security concerns, actual visits to the site, the location of which must of course remain secret, are not at this time allowed. We can, however, offer to those of you so interested, a brief glimpse behind the scenes at®. The materials which have yet to be declassified have been edited.


[Pursuant to Title 50 USC 401 et seq. I/we certify that the following material has been found to be in compliance with the US Transportation Security Agency's integrated security program standards and has been approved for public release by the Office of Intellectual Coordination and Regulatory Compliance, Domestic Tranquility Administration, US Department of Homeland Security. A Certificate of Compliance issued by the OIIRC is on file at our home office and it or a facsimile is available for inspection upon proper notice.]

Public Availability Determined by 5 USC 552


Tim Eschliman was the technical brains of the website. Another great bass player like the good doctor, Tim is also a songwriter, singer, bandleader, and CEO of Globe Records. Among other musical projects, every year he regroups the Christmas Jug Band, featuring among others Dan Hicks. At the Sweetwater in Mill Valley they perform nontraditional, to say the least, Yuletide songs to packed houses for several nights during the holidays.

The inspiration for and the author of all the brief summaries, the hyperlinks, and doctored photos that made us look like we REALLY sailed around the world was Jim Mead. Although this is his true calling he also works for the FAA as, in addition to other duties, a weather briefer for pilots and sent us weather information when we were somewhere where it was otherwise unavailable. (It was one of his colleagues that told Bill Graham's pilot NOT to fly on the fateful night his helicopter crashed into a power line in bad weather.) In addition, I enlisted Mead's help to oversee repairs and the delivery of parts in the US when Theresa was too busy. Having old and trusted friends like the ones mentioned here is, so far as I can tell in my declining years, one of the very best things in life.

Theresa Fisher is, like Mr. Mead, an Executive Branch employee of the federal government currently serving as a Contracting Officer with the National Park Service. She has spent a lifetime, so far, doing the less glamorous paperwork part of the job so the rangers can wear their funny hats and take people on mosquito hunts. Despite the fact that this job keeps her at the office for long hours, or so she says, rarely did a day gone by during my absence when she didn't do something to help us in our mission. Aside from monitoring, collating and forwarding emails from you to me and from me to you, the burden fell on her to track down, order, and ship or personally transport innumerable odd bits and essential parts necessary to keep us moving. She also care of hundreds of personal details that were needed to keep the taxes paid and the house from falling down. But hey, that's nothing. She's going to marry me.


As for the stalwart Mr. Shrode: At the beginning of the trip I said him that "Men, I have observed, are never named Faith, or Hope, or Charity. But Terry has all three." These words sound like hyperbole, but Mr. Shrode proven them true again and again these last 27 months. As advertised, he was always ready and willing to tackle the most challenging of tasks, and was never daunted by the reversals we at times faced. The voyage could not have been successful without him. I know many of you wonder what his side of the story is, and many times I've asked him to share his thoughts in a dispatch we could call "Mr. Shrode Speaks!" which would bring in countless millions for the mini-series of the "true story." But he has, unfortunately, declined. His family has received personal stories from Terry but he doesn't wish to make them available to us. Hmmmmm.I wonder why.

Those of you receiving this may not know that our email list started out with about 12 people who expressed interest in the trip early on, plus my brother and sister whom I didn't bother to ask. I didn't even ask a lot of my best friends if they wanted to be sent the dispatches because I didn't want to put them in the awkward position of having to turn down a friend who was offering to spam them. But the list grew and now there are hundreds on it--actually, thousands if you count the people who are forwarded the reports from people on the list. Except for the latter, over whose suffering these last 27 months I have no control, all of these have volunteered for this duty so you can't blame me. Many of you I've never met but hope to some day. When I sat down to write, I always did it the way I started, which is to say I wrote them with my best and oldest friends in mind, trying to imagine what they would think was funny or interesting. If my intelligence reports in regard to their range of interests or sense of humor were faulty, and I have sent you into battle for a cause which turned out to be made up out of whole cloth, I choose, emulating the procedures of the highest and most respected officials, to both oppose an inquiry and to blame my inferiors. I feel it is my duty to our cause to do so.Â

The onboard email system we used only became available a couple of years before we left and as it turns out sending out emails and posting pictures and reports on the website is a technology that is elegantly suited to a purpose of this sort. When you read a book about a voyage, you know the person survived. For our readers the outcome was, until we made our final harbor, undetermined, and perhaps this added to the suspense and amusement as you thought, "These guys are even dumber than I am, so they'll probably die or something cool like that."

But the other side of the coin is that we heard from so many people, whether new friends or old, who sent words of advice or encouragement while we were underway. It is impossible to overstate the positive effect they had, and it never failed to cheer us up when we heard from you. The trip would have greatly suffered in richness had we not been able to receive your letters and so lastly, I thank you all for your thoughts. I hate it when I'm sincere.

Many of you have written to ask whether there will be a book produced based on these writings, and I have no answer for you. I've been too busy so far to undertake the task of editing and seeking out an interested publisher. It wasn't ever my original plan but some folks have encouraged me, and if it happens, we'll let you know.

There will be one more summary dispatch after which we will determine that our mission has been accomplished, if not with dignity, then with…well, just let's say our mission has been accomplished. You that serve in Maverick's Navy are to consider yourselves awarded honorable discharges for a job well done, and left to go back to civilian life and the joys and requirements thereof. We will not take advantage of this list to sell it to our various acquaintances in the real estate, viagra, pornography, or make $$$ at home businesses, but even so, I cannot guarantee that messages of this ilk will not find their way into your inbox. Do not blame the crew of Maverick. Nonetheless, I will reserve the right to contact you once again, should there be an enlistment for another adventure, to which you will all be warmly welcomed back.

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