We met Evi in Annapolis in 2000. We had just started cruising, and were in a chandlery looking for a part ... how unusual. They didn't have the part and the clerk suggested looking for it at Bacon's Consignment Store, but it was a bit of hike if were walking. A woman standing nearby said that she had overheard our conversation and was heading that way if we wanted a lift.
As we chatted on our way over to Bacon's, we learned we had quite a bit in common. Like us, she was new to this wonderful cruising lifestyle. She had been a professor of computer sciences at the University of Colorado, David's old alma mater, and we discovered we had several friends in common. As so often happens in the cruising community, we quickly became friends.
Our paths crossed several times over the next few months, and we shared many a meal aboard either Evi's sailboat Wonderland or aboard Nine of Cups. She was a singlehander, but usually took on crew for her passages, and had a number of great stories about some of the more eccentric folks who'd sailed with her.
When we headed for South America and points south, the wind blew Wonderland in a different direction, and we didn't see her for a few years. We were close a few times – we just missed her in Panama one year, and she was just sailing to Patagonia as we were leaving. It wasn't until we were in New Zealand the second time that we met again. We looked out one day to see her sailing into Opua. We helped her with her lines, lent a hand making repairs, and renewed our friendship.
It now appears certain that our friend Evi has been lost at sea. She was helping sail the American schooner, Nina, across the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to Australia when the sailboat apparently went down with all hands.
One of the articles written about her stated that there is some comfort in knowing that she died doing something she loved. We'd like to think so, but during the occasions we had to weather a storm at sea, we weren't doing what we loved. Our emotions ranged from intense unease to sheer terror as we watched the next huge wave coming at us and thinking that there was no way we would survive it. So far, Cups always has. Poor Nina did not.
We have lost a number of friends and acquaintances in the past few years. Most were due to health reasons, a few were lost to acts of piracy and some to the vagaries of the sea. While we were greatly saddened by the loss of each these wonderful people, Evi's death seems particularly close.
We'll raise a cup to you tonight, dear friend.