One must be very mindful of Poseidon when re-naming a boat. There is absolutely no one better than Matt Rutherford to take part in a boat name-changing ceremony, and that's Matt pictured above introducing Poseidon to Bel Sito, formerly known as 'Sunshine Tyger'. Here he is giving the Greek God his sip of the bubbly to make friends with the newly named vessel about to embark on Poseidon's territory (the sea).
In May of this year, Matt completed a 309 day voyage in a 27' boat, circumnavigating the Americas. Trust me. This is huge. Historic. He did it all by himself, non-stop, in a boat most folks wouldn't spend ONE night on, let alone 300+.
We first learned of Matt through Tom Harkin who got caught up with the Quixotic odyssey when Matt was just a few weeks away from the finish line in Annapolis. Tom thought it would be good to have some folks greet Matt upon his arrival, and so he wanted to make sure I knew about it, being a part-time Annapolitan and sailor. The Harkin connection is at least two-fold: Matt's doing something akin to what Tom dreamed of doing before getting sucked into politics, PLUS, Matt did this crazy thing to draw attention to a tiny non-profit in Annapolis that provides sailing opportunities for people with disabilities. The handful of people who will read this blog probably know, so may this serve just as a reminder: Harkin was the lead sponsor/driver of The Americans With Disabilities Act, and is keenly aware of the importance of providing work and recreational opportunities for the disabled. CRAB does just that here in the Annapolis area.
Here's a speech Tom made on the Senate floor that got us, and hundreds of others, glued to Matt's trip:
And here's a link to Matt's blog about his journey: http://www.solotheamericas.org
By the time Matt got home, this previously unknown young man, got a huge welcome ...fire boats, big speeches, lots of media and a flotilla of family and fans to greet him...
So, Matt gets back to Annapolis and is, well, homeless. We took him in over the summer and he lived in our efficiency apartment in the lower level of our home. He's moving back to his boat in a couple of weeks as we're putting our house on the market, but we'll stay in touch. He has an extraordinary adventure planned. Here's Matt's website: http://oceanresearchproject.org
Our trip to Nantucket will be an adventure to us, but in the big scheme of things it is truly NOTHING compared to what Matt has experienced. All of our electronics are state-of-the-art, we have a refrigerator, nice showers, ice-maker and air-conditioning! Plus, we won't be going more than a few miles offshore. But most importantly, Matt has told Poseidon to protect Bel Sito, and that's about as good as it gets.
Here's Matt doing a TED talk this month: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHQUjguIVHk
Matt's news clips: Washington Post Article (Feb, 2012)