It was one of those days when I woke up with a song in my head and immediately had to listen to it. As the playlist continued and breakfast ended, Craig found a news story that was unexpected to say the least.
While in Richmond for a Westsail Rendezvous, we shared the dock with an incredible trimaran and its endearing crew. The skipper and crew were prepping for an attempt to break the record for sailing from San Francisco to Shanghai single-handed. With several records under his belt and the boat’s keel, I was in awe of Guo and the “Qingdao China”. I didn’t understand the physics of a boat that can sail faster than the wind, and I couldn’t comprehend the drive and passion that the entire team must have for sailing. Watching the prep-work on this machine was incredible. There was not a modicum of comfort built into the boat. Everything was designed with speed in mind as the top priority, including the Ferrari captain’s chair. Guo and his team welcomed us aboard and politely didn’t laugh at us as we looked around in amazement and asked a million questions that they likely get asked at every new port. Sharing a dock with them was delightful.
Yesterday the news reported that Guo had been out of communication for 24 hours and that a search was underway. Since then, the US Navy and Coast Guard have found the boat – unattended. The search for Guo has already been suspended.
Certainly, we are not Guo’s family, nor are we his best or lifelong friends. But this hits hard and it hits close to home. Leading up to our passage down the Washington and Oregon coasts we went on a five-week road trip to see friends and family. I kept calling it the Goodbye Tour – just in case something happened at sea. Because it does happen. And it happens to incredibly talented and experienced sailors. And sometimes, we don’t even get to know what actually happened. And every time, everyone with a boat who has dreams/plans/hopes of deep blue sailing gives pause. If it could happen to someone like Guo…
The bike ride to work would certainly be a bit somber despite trying to maintain hope. I put my headphones on and started with the song stuck in my head. Oof.
Our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and fellow crew. He was delightful to know, even for such a short time.