(This blog is about my experiences working and living aboard a 220’ treasure hunting ship, the M/V Sea Hunter)
It’s hard to believe it’s been three years since the crew of the M/V Sea Hunter (with help by many) solicited, loaded and delivered over 200 tons of aid to Haiti after a devastating earthquake. Having written about this experience this past month on my blog, it brings back so many wonderful memories that it almost feels like yesterday.
Of course, like most people, when I first saw the images and heard about the earthquake, I felt horrible for the Haitians, especially the children. Then when I was told of Greg’s plan to raise awareness and solicit aid and have the crew deliver it, it became truly real.
From the day we left the dock in East Boston, hit those major storms off Delaware Bay and got held up for weeks in Miami, I never lost faith that we would see this mission to completion. I knew it was going to be rough once we hit Haiti and came face to face with all their problems, but I didn’t realize how much it would stay in my conscious. The things I would see hear and smell stay with me to this day. It’s not that I think about it on a continual basis, but when I see a specific image or a certain smell or even an accent…it brings all those memories back (some bad, but mostly good). As I said before, I wouldn’t change one single thing about my time in Haiti, and I am especially grateful for all the wonderful people I had the pleasure of meeting:
Father Marc Boisvert, a true servant of God and the children of Haiti. Felix, one of Greg’s longtime Haitian friends and our interpreter, so ready to help and always with a smile. Young Jerome, so happy to see the return of his good friend Capt. Gary Esper, hardly left his side and so proud to wear his new clothes and sunglasses. Manuel, a DJ from Haiti who spent time with us and shared his country’s story and struggles. He wrote a wonderful poem about the crew. Jack was a more educated street savvy Haitian that helped us through some rough areas. Gary Nelson and his crew from the International Police who helped keep us safe. We shared lunch and a few stories over our days together. There are others that their names escape me, but none the less, left a deep impression on me. And of course, the children of Hope Village, they will forever be in my thoughts and prayers.
The first young boy to board the ship in Haiti. He loved it.
Manuel and I in the galley
Three friends at the orphanage “Hope Village”
Gary & Jerome (RIP my young friend)
(If you want to learn more about Hope Village or feel inclined to help in any way, please check out their website at http://www.freethekids.org)