last week was my captain's final week on the island. he's going back to the states for shoulder surgery in a couple days, and man am i sad to see him go. he was such an integral part of what made our crew so great.
tom wasn't just a captain, he was basically our boat daddy--and he took on the role right away.
he talked us through bad days, like a father... and had us laughing incessantly throughout good ones, like a best friend. he told us stories of his wilder years--hitchhiking on sailboats through central america, partying with hippies in colorado, and starting his own business at a young age. and he encouraged our own wild adventures.
he had a quick, genius fix for any issue on the boat. he taught us how to hold the whole weight of the moving 54ft catamaran with a proper wrap on the cleat. and if we ever messed up, he'd scold us, then forgive us immediately.
he was almost always up for meeting at badass coffee in the mornings before our trips. but if he wasn't up for coffee, he'd have us pick him up from his own sailboat in the dinghy, because it was the shortest commute known to man--directly catty-corner to our catamaran in the harbor.
he'd give us snack bars if we had a quick turn around and forgot to pack a lunch (i never ever packed a lunch). he occasionally brought cookies that his wife made and didn't mind that me and the boys always devoured them before he had the chance to eat one (on those days, cookies were lunch).
i'll miss catching him brushing his teeth while doing engine checks. i'll miss him walking away from the helm after teaching a child how to steer the boat. i'll miss his constantly changing his opening speech, in which he either referred to me as the resident mermaid or the snorkel queen that learned everything i know from vegas. i'll miss him cheering me on while i raised the main sail. i'll miss having beers with him after we got on the mooring ball. i'll miss hearing him thank us for a great day at the end of our trips, even if it wasn't that great of a day (but especially if it was a great one).
i'll miss his goofy laugh and his great sense of humor and his constantly positive attitude.
it certainly won't be the same without him. it's a good thing my time on the boat is coming to an end soon, too.
O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won;
...The ship is anchored safe and sound, it's voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip, the victor ship, comes in with object won...