Some sobering news today. One of my Chief Engineers passed away in Antarctica earlier this week.
Rikki was the first Chief who had been younger than me although you would not know it. He had a penchant for wearing some extravagant shirts. His knowledge of birds was second to none.
As an Engineer, Rikki was a fantastic Chief. A calm temperament, great knowledge and he actually got me doing watches underway and changing fuel filters. No small feat. He was also very good with morale. We had regular bonding sessions around a youtube campfire where libations may have been consumed.
We had a great day last year doing a 4×4 excursion in La Paz. I learned a great deal I am not sure he learned much from me.
On our last crossing together we spent many an hour in the Jacuzzi after work bemoaning the lack of alcohol listening to my music with Rikki punctuating with names of birds, migratory habits and diets. He really did know a lot about birds.
When we got to Antibes he started passing himself off as a yacht broker. He really did have some terrible shirts.
Rikki left us July of last year. He joined an expedition boat and was in Antarctica.
We still maintained a healthy amount of banter. On January the 2nd Thomas and I made this video for him.
Link Warning contains profanity, smoke and a rough accent.
Life is fleeting, I’ve always felt I will go out on my own terms but this is very sad. Rikki was just 33 years old. Choosing a life at sea does have an inherent risk. I think the saddest thing is if something goes wrong you may be very far away from your life at home.
I won’t get into details on Rikki’s passing. It doesn’t seem real and we are all hurting in our own way. I am very sad for his young family and for everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.
What I am happy about is that Rikki was loving Antarctica and the unique fauna.
Goodbye Rikki we shall be drinking out of box 222 for you later.
I am convinced the pain the world is in at the moment is the last death throws of 2019 and a 12-year astrological cycle. The new Chinese new year and 12-year procession will begin on the 25th of January. My birthday. Hang in there.