It is the time of year when we all should find things we are grateful for, like the love of family and friends, I find myself overly grateful for the new friends ( oh well more like extended family now) that I have come to know due to Hurricane Joaquin. While the Storm that decimated parts of the Bahamas was horrible, it brought out the best in many people.
The last day the storm was still ravaging the islands, by chance, a man named Adrian Cartwright and I found ourselves on Facebook searching for any news out of the islands. We messaged back and forth and we kind of just bonded on that day. I had met him before on San Sal, but I really got to know the man over the next few days and weeks.
In the days after the storm, plans began to take shape and we began to realize that Adrian and I needed to concentrate on one island each, Adrian took Long Island and I took San Sal. The Bahamas should be proud to call him one of their own. He put so much time and effort into the relief efforts of the islands, especially Long Island. Like anyone that lent their time to help, he did not do it for recognition, he did it because it was the right thing to do. Adrian you are a true hero my brother.
Another person that I have to mention is Capt Richard (Bric) Peoples. Richard spends a lot of time in the Bahamas and put forth countless hours gathering rebuilding supplies. The monetary value on his efforts was staggering. The amount is irrelevant. The time that he selflessly put into the effort was mind boggling. Towards the end we ended up combining our efforts and I am proud to have worked with a man with such integrity. (he paid me to say that last part)
|Capt Richard Peoples|
|Dhardra Blake, Eric Dahler and myself at the Bucs game|
Early on in the process, Adam Foster from Blue Haven Marina in the Turks and Caicos called me and put me in touch with a wonderful woman named Dhardra Blake. She works with Yacht aid Global. YAG Uses the resources of the yachting community to deliver disaster relief and aid. Now I had no idea what I was doing when I started to put together a relief effort for San Salvador nor did I have any idea what an undertaking it would be. But, after talking to Dhardra, she made it a lot easier. She is so knowledgable and had so many suggestions for our efforts. That is one driven woman! I was glad to have had her on our team. Yacht Aid Global is an organization that I hope to work hand in had with in the future.
Seldom do you hear much good about any politicians. More than that how about one that answers the phone. I was fortunate enough to be put in touch with a man named Micheal Pintard. Mr. Pintard is a senator in the Bahamas. I called him many times and he was so supportive. He has helped to keep the relief supplies duty free as we push every boat heading south this season to Stop Off And Drop Off rebuilding supplies. From what I have seen in his efforts, Mr. Pintard is a very honorable man and truly cares about the people of the Bahamas. I thank Mr. Pintard for all of his continued support. The Bahamian government needs more politicians like him.
|Senator Micheal Pintard|
There is no possible way I could have continued the efforts I have made with out Capt. Barb Evans. She asked if she could help out in any way. Boy did she ever step up. I asked her if she could facilitate the Stop Off And Drop Off program. Little did I know that she would take it so far. Her endless work that she has put in on line and on the phone has made the SODO program what it is. Dozens of boats have already dropped off supplies and countless more boats plan to drop off as they head south due to her efforts. Capt Barb is like the every ready Bunny. She just keeps going and going and....
As I mentioned at the beginning of this, I have made so many acquaintances in trying to help out our friends in the Bahamas. They have become friends and kind of a small family. People like Bianca Major that has headed up relief efforts for Long Island and Tim Newman who has lent so much support. There are countless others that I need to thank and just because your names are not here, that does not mean you are not valued. Locksly Cartwright, Kim Griffin, Michelle Williams, Paterson.... I could go on for days. So many people have come together.
When I started the Go Fund Me page, It blew me away how much support was put forth. I can not list all of the donors names as there were hundreds. I thank you all!
I have already said this, but none of the people that I have named here gave their time because they were asked. They all did it because IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. Thanks from myself and the people of the islands effected by Joaquin.
Originally published by Captain Ed Thompson