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We once met a couple who told us that they only posted the good things about cruising on their blog. Although that might make for 100% enjoyable reading, it doesn’t really paint the picture very realistically. The truth is, there are always very significant sacrifices that have to be made in order to do what we are doing, not the least of which is ending up extremely removed from family and friends. Yesterday, this sacrifice was really driven home for us when we received news of Rebecca‘s mother’s untimely passing after she was in a bad car accident.

Although we playfully butted heads on occasion, almost all of the things that I love about my wife I could see directly in her mom Pat. She had energy to no end, almost to the point of our joking about her being hyperactive. She was extremely athletic, even in her later years, taking up the challenge of learning to snowboard at the age of 55. Never afraid to try new things, we would frequently hear reports of her attempting new sports and being involved with new activities and fitness classes. Always caring, she was the first to offer help whenever it was needed. If anyone ever lived life to its fullest, it was Pat, and it shocks us all that she was taken so suddenly.

Sitting on a boat as we are, thousands of miles away from family, and receiving news like this first via a Facebook message and then subsequently via Skype, is obviously very hard. Rebecca felt very helpless last night, unable to run to the side of her grieving father and daughter. We are still, at this early stage, unaware of what will happen next but hope that we can somehow send our strength back home to Rebecca‘s dad Malcolm, our daughter Cass and the remainder of Harvey family.

RIP Pat Harvey

Four generations of Harvey women.

Rebecca and her mom enjoying time together on our boat.


  1. Wow. So, so, so sorry to hear that. Our thoughts are with you. My grandfather passed while were were out here so I can *somewhat* relate. Our deepest condolences. xxoo

  2. So sorry. The distance thing really sucks at times like this.

    All strength to you, Rebecca and your family in this time.

  3. Very sorry to hear that Rebecca and Mike. My thoughts and sympathies go out to you both and your families….

  4. So sorry Rebecca and Mike. I enjoy reading your blog almost every morning but not so much today.

    Be strong Rebecca!

  5. Our hearts are with you guys. -Bill, Val, KJ, Dy

  6. Rebecca – thinking of you and knowing that great memories with your Mom will bring you and your family thru this hard time. Mike – your posting is great under the circumstances.
    Take care of your girls!!

  7. Very sad. I am sorry.
    You never know.

  8. Oh Rebecca, I am sick in my heart for you. I lost my mom just a couple of weeks before casting off. And though it wasn’t a sudden thing, I can say that cruising was the best therapy for helping me cope with the loss. I was so grateful to have the time and space to grieve rather than be in a day-to-day grind where everyone was expecting things from me while I was processing the loss. Love and hugs to you and your family. I am so sorry.

  9. Rebecca,
    I’m so sorry about your Mother’s sudden death, there’s not much words can say at this point except that you and Mike are in our prayers as I know this must be an extremely difficult time in your lives.

  10. My thoughts and prayers are with you Rebecca, Mike and your family! God Bless

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my dad way to early to cancer a year ago and still miss him every day. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  12. Rebecca, I am so sorry to hear about your Mother’s passing. If I can help with getting you back to Canada let me know. My airline does not fly out of the Bahamas but I can offer you standby buddy passes on United out of Miami, Orlando, or Jacksonville if you get to any of those places. Shoot me an email if I can help.

  13. So sorry for your loss, she sounds like one awesome lady

  14. This is very sad news and I feel deeply sorry for your loss. This is my only fear about going longterm cruising – not the possibility of bad weather or daily sacrifices, but the risk of loosing loved ones while being away.
    My spouse believes, that sailing can cure al kinds of heartaches – I just hope for you that ti includes the kind of grief you’ll have to deal with now.
    Lots of warm thoughts from Denmark <3

  15. Rebecca, I once heard a great speech of comfort that you can take
    a sure hope on, Your Mother ” Slipped the Surely Bonds of Earth
    to Touch the Face of GOD” and The peace and joy that passeth
    all understanding is guarding her heart and mind for all of eternity.

  16. Wow. What a terrible shock. I am so very sorry, Rebecca – and Mike. I can only imagine how immensely helpless you are feeling. My thoughts are with you. xo

  17. Rebecca and Mike,

    We love you. Whatever we can do, just let us know. We are here to help in any way. Love and prayers coming to you from Nova Scotia.


  18. We are so sad for your loss. Being so far from loved ones is truly the thing that sucks most about cruising. We’re keeping you in our thoughts.
    Laura, Patrick, Jack and Rudy on s/v Just a Minute

  19. I’ve been meaning to write to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your posts, as I’ve been lurking all this time. So I felt now would be an appropriate time as you have become friends.

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom’s passing. I hope that your memories of her help pull you through this very sad time. I hope you find some peace with this as soon as you can.

    Finally, a Catamaran named Begonia should be pulling in any time. They are good friends of mine, he’s very experienced, if you need anything, or to say hello, they are Sebastian & Karla.

    Take care, Alex

  20. Words can not convey how sorry we are to hear about Rebecca’s mom. Although we’ve never met ya’ll, we’ve come to know a lot about you through your blog and our hearts are heavy for your loss.

  21. Rebecca, I am so, so sorry to hear of your mother’s sudden passing. I am currently watching my mother slip away more each time I see her due to dementia and other assorted health problems. It’s not the distance that counts, it’s the closeness in your heart. Your beautiful pictures show that closeness.

    Mike, that was a beautiful and touching post. It hurt to read it, but thanks for including us.

  22. Kristinn Soffanias Runarsson

    Dear sailors.

    My deepest condolences.

  23. Sincere condolences.

  24. Very sad for your loss you two.

  25. I’m so sorry to hear that.

    A death in the immediate family while I’m remote is probably my second biggest fear of cruising (the first being losing Carol or myself overboard).

  26. I’m so sorry for your loss Rebecca, bless your heart.

  27. Oh, Rebacca, I’m SO sad to hear of the loss of your mother. I can’t imagine a world without my mother, so I really feel for you. Mike, you have written a lovely tribute to your mother in law. And I know Cass will miss her grandmother. I wish there were a way to help you through your pain. Hang in there and comfort each other. I hope you can find a way to fly home for the funeral, at least. Good thoughts coming your way!

  28. My Deepest condolences, on the passing of your mother, Best tribute is to continue to seize the day! Sincerely Mark H.

  29. DearRebecca We have never met and most likely never will meet. I have followed your blog, mainly in retrospect, as I only recently found you, over the last few week,s with great interest.
    I am so sad to hear that you have lost your mother, I lost my father last year (he was 90 and I am 64) and my heart goes out to you in that you are so far in physical distance from your family. There is little I can say that will bring comfort to you other than your friends, those known to you and those only known via the internet, from around the world will be praying for you on your behalf to whichever God they hold dear.
    I have shown some of your photos etc, to my wife and I trust that the physical and mental toughness you have demonstrated in your martial arts sports will sustain you in this very difficult time.

    Yours sincerely John Lockwood

    (From the middle of England, as far from the sea as you can get in this country)

  30. Sorry to hear of your loss while being so far from home. A very tough part of the cruising life.

  31. Sincere condolences.

  32. So sorry for your loss guys .

  33. We are so sorry for your loss, there’s not much we can say at this point except that you and Mike are in our prayers. Wish we could help you in your time of need.

  34. Mike,

    Well written, you gave me what can only be the briefest of a view into Pat Harvey’s life. Thank you.


    Of course I am saddened to hear of your loss. Anything I say will be cliche, but truly your mom lives on through you and your daughter Cass. Greive. Cry. Laugh in remembrance.

    Fair Winds,

  35. We are so sorry for your loss. It was eight years ago today that I had a funeral for my wife of 31 years. I pray that you will have the strength to endure and to give comfort to your family. The loss is never forgotten and the wonderful memories live on.

  36. My prayers and deepest sympathy for your loss. Rebecca may you find peace.

  37. Anneke and I are so sorry for you loss, Rebecca. Our Sincere condolences to you both.


  38. andy & sonja cru-zinacatamaran

    Our condolences go out to you, & time is the only healer for the loss, just cherish those memories.

  39. Dear Rebecca & Mike,

    Such sad news. There is nothing to say but prayers for all.

    Wishing & praying for better days for all of you,

  40. Sorry to hear of your loss! Everyday I check for updates afrom you guys and I am loving the journey… Take care!

  41. I always look forward to your posts but this was an awful one to read. I can’t even begin to imagine what Rebecca’s going through and my heart just goes out to both of you.

  42. When I began to write my sailing guidebook, my long-time climbing partner and writer advised it would only be a worthwhile effort if I wrote about everything and about how I felt about it all. He was right.

    Life is to be shared and your blog reflects that. So do the many kind responses to your loss. I am sorry.

  43. We are so deeply saddened by your loss.

    S/V Nomad

  44. Basil - Tisha - Lyris - Cordell

    Rebecca…that is just horrible news. Our prayers are with you and your family. I met your Mom at the wedding and she is a sweet woman. God bless her.

  45. I REALLY enjoy your website and I am very sorry for your loss. Rebecca , your mother sounds like an amazing woman and I can see where you get your zest for life. Much love and admiration for your journey from Woodstock,On.

  46. Jamie, Janis and Matt Thomas

    Rebecca when we first heard the news on cbc radio we hoped it wasn’t so…so sorry for your loss. I’ll always remember how you described your Mom, so full of energy. The apple never falls far from the tree:) Our sincere condolences. Jamie, Janis & Matt

  47. Just catching up to this sad news. Donna and I are keeping you in out thoughts and prayers.

    Day is ended, dim my eyes,
    but journey long before me lies.
    Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
    The ship’s beside the stony wall.
    Foam is white and waves are grey;
    beyond the sunset leads my way.
    Foam is salt, the wind is free;
    I hear the rising of the Sea.

    Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
    the wind is east, the moorings fret.
    Shadows long before me lie,
    beneath the ever-bending sky,
    but islands lie behind the Sun
    that I shall raise ere all is done;
    lands there are to west of West,
    where night is quiet and sleep is rest.

    Guided by the Lonely Star,
    beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
    I’ll find the heavens fair and free,
    and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
    Ship, my ship! I seek the West,
    and fields and mountains ever blest.
    Farewell to Middle-earth at last.
    I see the Star above my mast!

    “Bilbo’s Last Song”
    — J. R. R. Tolkein (1892 – 1973)

  48. Very sorry for your loss.

  49. Rebecca,

    Devon and I are so very sorry to hear of your mom’s passing. I don’t know what else to say except we wish you strength during this difficult time.

  50. Thank you so much everyone! I figured I would just reply once as there are so many comments. My mom was an amazing woman and when I received the news, I was absolutely devastated. Reading everyone’s comments here knowing there are so many people who care has helped ease the pain so again I thank you all. This tragedy has only emphasized why it is so important to live life to its fullest everyday because you just never know what will happen. I’ll be going back to Canada to be with my family in a few days then when I return to the Bahamas we should be ready to continue on our journey south.

  51. Dear Rebecca and Mike,
    Family,friends, dreams,(living those dreams), and each other, are the most important. You are two courageous souls, you will find a way through this difficult time.
    Our sincerest condolences

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