A mighty fine man, the man who taught me to sail, passed on to the next life yesterday. Telly there at the pearly gates to greet, Moreton Bay Porridge (rum & milk) in hand, a rum chaser with a whiff of coke for the new arrival. Sailor’s tipple. Essential when plotting a course to embrace the high seas of the next journey. Mono-hull of course, Catamarans mere Yachts with trainer wheels. Trevor at the helm, this mighty fine man wouldn’t have it any other way.
Strong, proud, straight shooting, a man fiercely protective of family, defiant in the face of injustice and able to face entrepreneurial challenges most would balk at with calm panache. I admired, respected and feared him in equal measure, particularly his sailing prowess.
‘Mobile ballast’ duties topside with fellow wives while the boys screamed profanities bow and stern. Boat club counting bruises, soothing sun-burnt knees while the boys relived every sail luff, every tack error with blatant disregard for the technical perfectionism of sailor speak, the Yacht’s stern the blunt end, bow the pointy end to the chagrin of fellow Yachties. Reveling in victory, commiserating losses, supping rum after rum, each crew member imagining himself helmsman with chutzpah that only Trev could pull off. Fear replaced with awe. Leadership at it’s best.
The man’s tutelage prepared us for a Lady Skippers race. The fear of his barked instructions, the ocean’s unpredictability, a tricky jibe maneuver and we won (on handicap) despite ourselves. That day, the fearsome Mon Capitaine (our official nickname) morphed into a proud, gruff teddy-bear. Awe replaced with love and respect. A mighty fine man indeed.
In the years of knowing Trevor, his family and his buddies, I identified five valuable life lessons:
• Never bust something on a yacht, the maintenance equivalent to ripping up $100 bills in the shower.
• When the best laid plans go awry, dust yourself off, learn the lesson, get back on the horse and try something different.
• Love your family and friends unconditionally, they’re kin, they need you, you need them – no matter how irritatingly annoying they might be.
•Ask questions, draw on other people’s subject matter expertise, learn and grow.
• Don’t want to do something? Then don’t. It’s OK to say no.
Oui Mon Capitaine, thank you for sharing so many parts of your life with us. Enjoy the high seas in the next life knowing you’ll be forever in the hearts of those in this one.