Twenty years ago, give or take a matter of days, I sat in the back of a ballroom in a Norfolk waterfront hotel and listened as Webb Chiles gave a talk about his life, his boats and his circumnavigations. He concluded the talk by saying he would raise a glass to us all, to our dreams and to the passion to pursue them. I did not meet Webb in person that evening, but I have carried that toast with me during all of my sailing.
A few years ago, because of this blog, I received an email from Webb. Since then we have carried on an occasional email conversation, a rambling discussion about boats, sailing, art, books and just about everything else.
And then, for reasons beyond his control, Webb had to cancel his trip.
We won't meet this coming week, but someday I do hope we cross paths.
Twenty years and counting.