The enduring soul of Chocobo

We knew when we bought our boat that we had big shoes to fill. The previous owners, Danielle and Roger not only sailed around the world but were famous in cruising circles for leading a convoy of boats that dared to sail through the pirate infested waters off Somalia and into the Red Sea, a passage that used to be commonplace but is now rare because of the danger of boarding, kidnapping or worse. You can read about the passage here and here.

Chocobo was a distinctly recognizable boat, with yellow canvas and cushions and a Chocobo, a big yellow bird, on each bow. We worked hard to make her our boat, removing the bird and most of the yellow, and of course, renaming her Escape Velocity. Despite the changes, our 1998 Manta catamaran is still recognized as Chocobo and we still run into people who know Danielle and Roger.

Not long ago we looked up a brunch companion’s blog as we sat enjoying a late morning chat in Prickly Bay. I bookmarked the site and glanced at the “blogs I follow” column.

“Hey, Chocobo!” I blurted. “That’s our boat!”

“You used to own that boat?” He asked.

“No! It’s our boat now; it’s Escape Velocity!”

It turns out he had crossed the Pacific in company with Chocobo and knew Danielle and Roger well. Small world, we were thinking.

Then just last week we were about to raise anchor in Carriacou when I noticed a boat that was heading out of the harbor suddenly turn around and come right towards us.

“Jack, I think this guy’s going to hit us!” Jack ran upstairs and we both watched anxiously as the boat pulled alongside.

“I’ve known that boat since it was Chocobo!” Jack and I stood there agape, wondering how anyone could recognize Escape Velocity as Chocobo. Turns out he’s one of the readers of Chocobo’s blog that continue to follow the adventures of the boat, even when the name and the owners have changed.

We’re proud to be the caretakers of this fine vessel, and we’re happy to know that Danielle and Roger left happy memories with so many people along their path. We think that means we’ll be welcome wherever we go because the spirit of Chocobo will pave the way.


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