Please select your home edition
Pantaenius EU 728x90

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.

Related Articles

OCC Southern New England Cruise in Bristol Harbour
Thousands of people attended the 234th annual Independence Day Parade in Bristol Members enjoyed a BBQ at the lovely home of Jill Westcott and John Bell followed by a parade and fireworks in the historic town. Posted on 7 Jul
OCC Lifetime Cruising Award for Pardeys
Lin and Larry are legendary North American sailors Past Commodore Anne Hammick arranged for Lin to accept the award on behalf of herself and Larry Pardey while on a visit to the UK. Posted on 5 Jul
Circumnavigating the Americas on Novara
Steve Brown set off from Camden, Maine and returned 5 years later Rambler Award-winning adventure sailor Steve Brown departed Camden in the summer of 2014, sailed around the Americas via the Northwest Passage and Antarctica, climbed a few mountains along the way, and returned to Camden 5 years later. Posted on 28 Jun
Announcing the OCC Challenge Grant
A Challenge Grant to encourage challenging oceangoing adventures The OCC has established a Challenge Grant to encourage ambitious expeditions for environmental conservation or challenging oceangoing adventures. Posted on 22 Jun
OCC Regional Rear Commodores' report for GB
A busy season so far with visits from several members Bill and Laurie Balme did a great job of organising this fun event which was the first 'on the water' joint event with the RWYC since they offered us a reciprocity arrangement. Posted on 14 Jun
OCC report from NE USA
A number of exciting events scheduled for this sailing season Although it might say we have reached spring according to the calendar, the northern part of our region is still caught in winter's grip while the southern area is seeing temperatures in the 60s. Posted on 13 Jun
NOAA released for 2019 hurricane season
2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially gets under way today As the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season officially gets under way June 1, NOAA forecasters say that El Nino and a warmer-than-average Atlantic will shape this season's storm frequency and intensity. Posted on 1 Jun
The Western Caribbean Cookbook
What do you get when you mix a rally of Ocean Cruising Club members? What do you get when you mix a rally of Ocean Cruising Club members, their boats, and the waters of the Western Caribbean? Well, a cookbook of course! Posted on 28 May
Scottish Open House Weekend 2019
Boats from all directions converged with the Celtic Rally Boats from all directions, as well as members arriving by land, converged with the Celtic Rally at Commodore Simon & Sally Currin's home in Traighuain. Posted on 22 May
OCC RoRC report - West Coast of North America
Winter pause Our 2018 cruising season ended with the advent of November and arrival in Blaine. People have asked us "Why Blaine?" After our long haul across the North Pacific a goal was to park Spruce, travel east and visit family and friends in the UK. Posted on 29 Apr
Marine Resources 2019 - FooterGrapefruit Graphics 2019 - FooterSailing Holidays 2019 - BOTTOM