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Monday, September 01, 2008

Memories of Terry

Terry holding Secret o' Life in his palm above the anchorage at San Evaristo, Baja with Linda, Stan, and MJ (5/27/2005)

We gathered at Saiananda yesterday afternoon to share our memories and stories about Terry. Jean brought copies of the lyrics to the James Taylor song, "Secret o' Life," Eric read a poem by Emily Dickinson, John made a music CD, Maureen read a piece about sailing, Marcie made toasted oat cookies, Diane made Terry's favorite curry rice dish, and Gisela made a German version of cinnamon rolls that she'd promised to bake for Terry when he returned to Bahia. While not everyone knew Terry personally the crews of Batwing, Blew Moon, Che Bella, M/V Diesel Duck, Encore, Jubilee, Linda Lea, Mita Kuuluu, Nakia, Nine of Cups, Sarana, Shared Dreams, Taremaro, and Yohelah, along with our host and friend, Alfredo Harmsen, honored Terry's memory by describing just a few of the things that some of us will always remember about him.

That he was a fine sailor who wouldn't use his engine until he had exhausted his entire sail inventory.

That he had more sailing experience than the average cruiser on the eastern Pacific coast, and was a Commodore in the Seven Seas Cruising Association. He was happy to share his knowledge and wouldn't hesitate to mentor new cruisers when asked. But he was modest about his accomplishments and never lectured about the "right" way to do things or kept the spotlight on himself in conversation.

That he took everything that came his way and always saw the positive side of each experience. (Even when he brought up the minor failings of something like an inland trip, it was still always "great!")

That he cared deeply for his sailing and travel partner, Tammy Woodmansee, calling or emailing her every day that they spent apart.

That he took pride in his great uncle, Hiram Bingham III (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiram_Bingham_III), and had looked forward with eager anticipation to visiting Machu Picchu with members of his family this month.

That he was happy to drop everything and lend a hand with someone else's boat project or repair.

That he could tell you more about tequila than anyone else we knew, and that he also appreciated fine red wine and good dark chocolate in moderation.

And finally, that he was a cruiser who made it almost a mission to live life to the fullest on a modest budget. We all joked with Terry about how frugal he was, even to the rest of us budget-minded cruisers, but he always insisted that it was possible to live well on a fixed income and took satisfaction in doing so.

Terry was an inspiration to us all, and a role model for what it takes to be a cherished and respected member of the cruising community. I think Alfredo expressed it best when he said that Terry lives on in all our hearts and is with us wherever we go.

Linda and John