Honolulu Star Bulletin 03/30/02)
By Ray Pendleton
With Water Ways' ninth anniversary coming up on Monday, I was reminiscing over past columns and was reminded of a sailor I had meant to keep reporting on.
His name is Jim Sullivan and three years ago he had sailed into Oahu's Ala Wai harbor from California, via the Big Island, on the first leg of what he hoped would be a circumnavigation of the world on his 30-foot sloop Elusive.
Such a voyage on a rather small boat is noteworthy in itself. But this time it was not the usual "man-against-nature" sailing epic, but rather a humanistic journey designed to establish worldwide friendships.
"Ocean Friends - the Voyage," as Sullivan described his adventure, "has one simple goal: to meet new ocean friends around the world and spend quality time with hospitalized children, school children, and the elderly, and to share our love of the ocean and sailing ..."
The day I met him, Sullivan was taking a group of kids who were ambulatory patients from the Honolulu Shriners Hospital and the Kapiolani Medical Center for a short sail.
During his six-week stay in Honolulu, he made numerous visitations and slide shows at schools throughout Honolulu.
Before leaving Hawaii, Sullivan invited all of his new-found friends to join him vicariously by visiting his Internet Web site at www.oceanfriends.org as cyber-sailors aboard Elusive.
Sullivan promised to post his log entries and action photos of his adventure, and to answer e-mail messages from his friends and supporters.
His next major port of call was Pago Pago, American Samoa, some 2,260 miles away. He arrived there May 9, 1999, and quickly began making friends.
In less than a month, he had visited with more than 1,400 school children.
"I feel like the luckiest person in the world because these kids have treated me like a dignitary," Sullivan reported.
AT THIS POINT though, Sullivan's Web site reports begin to get somewhat muddled. First he states he will be departing for Fiji by the end of June, but then a log entry tells of sailing twice as far -- 1,300 miles -- to Port Villa, Vanuatu.
While there, Sullivan visited at least six schools, a hospital, a Vanuatu nursing school and assisted in an on-the-water adventure for children.
"It was really an awesome experience to arrange for 200 Vanuatu kids, who have never sailed in their lives, to go sailing on boats donated by Action Water Sports," he noted.
On March 20, 2000, Sullivan reported departing Vanuatu five months earlier and having "arrived safely in Brisbane, Australia after a very sunny 10-day passage from Port Villa."
Then, in July, 2000 Sullivan spoke of being ready to depart on a nonstop, 7,000-mile voyage to Durban, South Africa.
But, his next -- and last -- posting, dated November 18, 2001, tells of a "slight change" and that his next landfall would be Guam "by Christmas."
Where he is now, I can't say. E-mail to him has brought no response.
My hope is he is so busy making friends along the way (Micronesia, perhaps?) that he just hasn't had time to give us an update.
HoloHolo Hawai`i Ocean Sports News