Log Entry 2, Omaha, Nebraska
The following is a blog post I started about the ship’s captain. It wasn’t finished, but I’ve included it just as well.
After sharing my interest in Alvei’s (all-vay) work, with the captain, but the lack of a trust fund to fuel my every adventure, he could tell I really wanted to crew on his boat. So, he shared how his sailing life began. About 30 years ago, a friend pointed out an ad looking for people to join the crew of a tall ship in Southern California. Living near San Francisco, the captain, Evan, as he prefers to be called, went to look at this boat. He must have been about 30 at the time because he’s 61 now. He returned home, and sold his car, motorcycle, and record collection, purchased an airline ticket for $10, and began learning to sail tall ships.
Evan said that seeing that boat was like finding his real life and self. He’s sailed ever since. Some years ago, he purchased Alvei in Norway. She was a motor operated cargo ship refit into a schooner. He set to work adding the masts she has today, removing the stack, spending the next eight years transforming Alvei in to a tall ship. I don’t have all the details on Alvei’s history yet, but will write more about her over time. For now, her name is Norwegian meaning one who goes everywhere.
She is Evan’s opus magnum, and he’s lived on her for 25 years. She does cost money though. To keep her afloat, Evan allows crew to come aboard to learn to sail and help with aid projects, sort of like an eco vacation for a nominal weekly fee. To earn the real money it takes to keep Alvei going, Evan works in a variety of industries during the “off season” including the fishing industry. There’s a possibility I may work on the cray fish boat since it’s more pay in less time. Evan is also an educator, both on this ship and off. He’s taught art to children whom he adores because of their excitement and curiosity about the world. Evan saw, in me, someone whose motivation to sail and be involved in humanitarian work fit the mission of Alvei and his own personal priorities. As an instructor, I’ve always said that educators long to have students who share their love of the subject matter. That’s why he’s my teacher.
As apprentices go, Evan speaks of one who stayed on for four years, and became his right hand. She, Cat, has gone on to engineering school, back home in Germany, but remains Evan’s prize student.
Today, Evan considers the South Pacific his home, and has no plans to return to the U.S. Who can blame him? He has everything he needs to be content.