Friday, August 20, 2010

A Letter from Laoag

Facebook friends may have seen the reply Norman himself gave to James Martin after James’ translation of the Der Spiegel article but because there are also many followers of the Blog and/or Twitter who don’t have access to the Facebook page Norman has requested that his message to James be repeated here for the benefit of everyone.

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I am indebted to you and your father in law! I spent about 1hr 30m on the phone in a Laoag coffee shop - (you know, as you do - free WiFi - nice Cappuccino...etc. felt just like home really!) doing the interview for this piece so it's nice to see it is being well received and now translated for a wider readership - many thanks indeed.

I often think, especially on those big sea transits, about the generosity you and others have extended to me en route, simply, no fuss, done in the spirit of adventure that we must all surely recognise in ourselves and in others. I helped a couple who were kayaking around Ireland many years ago - they just happened to land on the beach near our house - we took them in, fed them, they showered and we organised local transport for them and their equipment to the friends they were due to meet later in the day. It was fascinating to hear of some of their adventures along the way and I suppose I am now on the receiving end of that connection, that meeting of minds.

It seems a long time since I was in Abu Dhabi, but here we are today carrying on the conversations we had back then - it is a small world. The transponder trouble and solution we had back then (you might remember, I was generously lent a replacement) was a further proof of this kindred spirit, this passion to help someone achieve a difficult goal - I am only too sad that the replacement Garmin didn't survive, like a lot of the electronics, its first (and last) swimming lesson in the Nong Prue Lake....a matter I will have to put right at the end of the trip...

We have to hope now that the same spirit of adventure is alive and well in the Japanese aviation authorities’ minds as they continue to deliberate my next section of the route.... Best regards Jim and I hope to catch up with you again on my second lap!! (This may be done a bit faster and by slightly more conventional means...!)



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