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SEA GEM LOG:October 20, 2002 - The Trip is Over, Memories Last Forever

We are attempting to wind up the material for the web site. Going over logs and photos brings memories into a sharp focus again. These experiences will be part of things we learned and ways in which we grew as human beings.

From the time we left the boat in Man O' War Cay in the Bahamas in early April our lives have been focused strongly on family. We shared the elation with our son, John, and daughter-in-law, Stacey, at the birth of their fourth child, and first son, John Charles McNeil Gray, III. This happy event occurred on July 7, 2002.

My brother Jerome Hagood, was able to see young John when he was just a few weeks old, and it meant a lot to him to meet the youngest member of the family before his death on October 6, 2002. Jerome suffered a painful illness, but one pleasure that would always bring a smile was visiting with, or hearing about the young ones in the family. Two of our grandchildren were born during the period of our circumnavigation and three adult family members died. Our trip was meaningful to each of our family and we had many good times talking with Charlie's Aunt Faire, and my brother, Jerome, about our experiences.

Sea Gem is back in Titusville. We have officially circumnavigated the earth. She is getting some R&R to put her back into tip top shape. We will see what the future holds.

We have a little magnet on our refrigerator with the slogan:

"Life is uncertain, eat dessert first."

For all those that are trying to make a decision about whether to do something, we both urge you to "Go for it." We are thankful we circumnavigated when we did. Our travels have given us better perspective of some other cultures, yet we only touched their surface. The hope for peace in the world lies in understanding, and the best understanding is person to person.
Our gratitude for this opportunity is deep. Most of our trip was before the heightened awareness of terrorism in the world.

We prepare for the next adventure with eager anticipation. We are off loading excess items. If you didn't use it in more than three years while sailing around the world, chances are . . . you don't need it. There is so much we want to see. Perhaps we will stay closer to home for a while and visit places in the United States we have not seen.

The following quotation from Marcel Proust sums up a lot of my feelings:
"The true voyage of discovery consists, not in going to new places, but in seeing with new eyes."

From Sea Gem, back in the home waters of the Indian River Lagoon, until later . . .