Part 22. Tears It turns out that captains aren’t the only grown men who cry. As we awoke aboard Sparky on the final day of our journey, much of the morning’s talk centered on the events of the day before. When we got within cellphone distance of shore, Fred called his wife and daughters, who were still under the impression that he was out for a leisurely sail with old friends.
“I don’t know what it is,” said the man on whose physical strength we had so heavily relied. “I can talk about what happened with everyone here, but when I try to describe it to my family, I start crying.”
The next morning David and I drove back to Maine. We stopped at the Kennebunk Service Plaza, where a young and very nervous trainee took our orders under the watchful eye of her mentor.
“Explain this to me,” said David, as we downed our 486-calorie breakfast sandwiches with 11 grams of saturated fat and 1,037 milligrams of sodium. “I wanted to encourage her, but when I tried to tell her what a good job she was doing, I burst into tears.”
As for me, I held out until I read this comment on my website a month later:
“I'm glad four of my oldest friends (and Dave) are finally safe, very sad about George's beautiful Restive. A wonderful story of seamanship and friendship.
"’It would be difficult to describe the subtle brotherhood of men that was here established on the seas.’*
“But you did.”
*From Stephen Crane’s The Open Boat.