2002 – 2003

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Ocean Planet in the Around Alone – Update
Friday, February 28, 2003
Position: Near Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, South Atlantic.


Postcard from “Al Terego” on vacation….;-)

Hi folks! Thought we should drop you a postcard from the luxury race ship Ocean Planet. We would have sent one sooner, but you know how life is on vacation as it sometimes takes forever to get around to finding a post office…

Anyway, the jury is still out. We’re not sure we’d recommend this vacation for you and your family as there have been several differences between the brochure literature and the actual experience. Much has been exactly as promised or better, such as the “stunning natural scenery and wildlife.” The whales, birds and furious waves have been astounding, but somewhat monotonous after many weeks of unrelenting grandeur. “See mother nature up close and personal” and “exciting white-water thrills” were quite true (putting it mildly), to say the least.

Some of the disappointments: “cute and cozy accommodations” should have said “dark and cramped.” “Varied worldwide cuisine” turns out to be the skipper/cook using different spicing strategies on otherwise bland freeze dried camping food. As a result, the ship’s supply of energy bars called “Prometan Bars” have been very popular and they keep strangely disappearing at all hours of the night.

“Competitive ocean racing thrills” gets a mixed review as, although this wonderful ship seems quite fast in most conditions, it is apparently not quite finished and is a bit off the pace when “reaching,” whatever that means. Also, in this ocean racing biz you rarely, if ever, see the competition aside from the little dots on the skipper’s computer screens. Kind of like trying to box by mail…. Generally speaking, however, it IS more exciting than watching America’s Cup boats on TV.

The ship’s performance on the racing side has also evidently been hampered by what the skipper calls “mild setbacks,” although twice breaking that thing he calls the boom hardly seemed mild at all when the breakage occurs! “Excessively exciting” would be an apt description.

“Enjoy the world’s colorful ocean racing ports” could be more accurately described as comparing the world’s boatyards, as that’s where the ship and skipper immediately go at each landfall until it is time to start racing again.

Despite the difficulties and misleading advertising, perhaps the most amazing thing is this: wherever the ship Ocean Planet visits in the world, there has been an inexplicable outpouring of support of locals, volunteers, and friends of the skipper, etc, to keep the ship going on her voyage. People all over the world seem to really want her and the skipper to make it (or at least get out of their town). He has told us that there is no way he could pull this off without all their help and could never possibly repay all the favors he has received.

As you get this card, we’ll be pulling into Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands, near the tip of South America to fix that “boom” thing. The skipper says he wants me to send his love and thanks to all of his supporters!

Below: The onboard entertainment, “The Ocean Serenaders.” For some reason the rest of the band never shows up….

Al Terego (alter ego)
Ocean Planet


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