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Vaikobi 2019 - Leaderboard 3

In praise of the Suzie Too OCC Rally organizers, Suzanne and David Chappell

by Jeff Cohen 7 Apr 08:49 UTC

Sailing the Western Caribbean with what were a group of complete strangers has been very eye opening.

Great week anchored off Guanaja. The six hour sail to Roatan (very light breeze) has given me time to contemplate the last five months.

In the last three years J-Squared has visited 30 plus countries and islands on three different continents and, although the visits were mostly pleasant, the hospitality cannot compare to what J-Squared has experienced on the Suzie Too OCC Rally.

We arrive and depart from the scheduled anchorages and countries en mass, mostly with ease, due to Suzie's unsung hard work behind the scenes, making new and utilizing old contacts as well as her unbridled enthusiasm for research and uncanny ability in making things happen!

What amazes me at each new place we visit is the welcoming smiles and "open arms" attitude of residents - from governing officials to fuel dock attendants - that accompany each new stay. "Bienvenido!" "Buenos!" "Akwaaba!" "Welcome!!". We on J-Squared attribute this solely to due diligence and seemingly inexhaustible energy of both our Rally Leaders on S/V Suzie Too, Suzie and David. I'm not sure J2 would have ever visited some of these countries without this Rally.

With every new anchorage, the Rally experience continues to overwhelm our senses. From the spontaneous and organized group outings (dives, snorkeling, hikes, noodling, yoga, wine and rum tasting, book clubs, off road adventures, dingy floats, Suzie Too Sunday's "BOB"s, never ending surprise birthday parties ??), to the quieter nights of sharing meaningful "get to know you" times with newfound friends, to awarding of bracelets for those that work to be inclusive and improve our Rally in meaningful ways - this has become (dare I say it) an extended family.

What I realized is that this Rally has brought together quite a few triple type A personalities. People used to not only looking out for number one, but making decisions that were primarily focused on the "me" rather than the "we", including myself. But I have come to realize that this Rally was more than an "about me" experience. It has been a chance to meet different people, to meet Exceptional people, to be a part of something so much bigger than the "me". And hopefully Give as much - if not more - than J-Squared has received. There is love and great value in the WE.

Suzie and David, I know the journey has multiple stops left and we on J-Squared are looking forward to each and every one of them. However, I just wanted to say that Thank You does not convey well enough our gratitude for both your organizational and marketing skills, and your patience with and inclusion of us all. After all is said and done, your joint leadership on this Rally is a living testament to sharing your love for sailing, your passion of exploring quintessentially uncharted territories for groups, and keeping a focus on the "We" and on giving back - as well as paying it forward.

Thank you to all on this Rally for the friendship and love you have provided; but mostly a big heartfelt hug to Suzie and David for sharing a piece of yourselves with all of us.

This article has been provided by the courtesy of Ocean Cruising Club.

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