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Meridian Passages, Volume XIII, Number 26

Central Pacific Edition


Alan Begins Journey Back to Civilization

We were sorry to see Alan depart today on the sailing vessel SauVage, bound for Funafuti, then Fiji, then the Mainland and eventually to Lancaster, PA. It will take him about five sailing days to cover the over 600 nautical miles to the Funafuti atoll south of here, and considerably less time to make it the rest of the way to Pennsylvania.

Unfortunately, owning to timing and short scheduling window of this expedition, Alan was unable to spend the entire search mission on board. However, the ten days he spent with us were a great experience for all. He was able to immerse himself in our operations, catch up with details of the analysis work that underpins our search having all the experts at hand, and dive into the technology of REMUS and our sonar analysis tools. In a few short days he became an integral part of the team and said he enjoyed the camaraderie. Before he left, he thanked the Captain and crew for their hospitality and left us with some words of support and encouragement.

Spence reported feeling separation anxiety in response to losing a shipmate. Doc Pam examined him, expressed only mild concern, and prescribed a dose of Oreos. Pam herself was seen trying to climb over the rail as the sailboat departed, but was restrained by Bryan who slapped a running taut line hitch around her wrist.

The crew of SauVage took on a load of fuel from us, and returned the favor with a swag bag of goodies. Included was a lube oil filter for the Engineer, a SauVage t-shirt, some fancy scarves, a postcard, and three bottles of spirits. Doc Pam immediately took custody of the alcohol, and said she would inventory it in her cabin. She expressed “concern” that it be administered properly. (Did we mention this is a “dry” ship?) After departure, we sent the following message to the Captain and crew of SauVage:

Thank you for your kind gift of nice wines, liqueur and colorful fabrics. These things thrilled our team. Our captain was most pleased at the sight of the fuel filters; our ladies were most excited for the chance to improve fashion around here; and we all are looking wistfully at the wines and liqueur. The vessel owners did not think to provide us any cork pullers. But we have engineers, so don’t worry about us.

We hope you get off to a good start and have a safe trip to Funafuti.

For Alan:

From all of us here we join together to say thank you for sharing time with us and showing your support in so many ways. We all share the passion for discovery, and we’ll pursue the truth wherever the facts lead us until the sea finally gives up her secret. We’re proud to sail for the Eustace Earhart Discovery Expedition. And yours was the most memorable arrival and departure we’ve seen yet.

The Eustace-Earhart Discovery Team

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