This past long weekend I received some very tragic news. My friend Travis had been involved in a scuba diving accident and lost his life.
Many of you actually know of Travis. He was known to you through my blog posts as “Turnagain Travis,” the skipper who convinced me to join him on his boat delivery from Hawaii to Victoria in 2018. We sailed his boat Turnagain to Canada after he successfully completed another Vic-Maui International Yacht Race.
I met Travis in Vancouver a little over 3 years ago when I recertified my Basic Cruising Instructor level. We quickly hit it off having a similar sense of humour and a love for all things water. I quickly realized that Travis was a vault of knowledge and he had a character and passion for business that I needed in my life.
Travis was a very successful business owner, having recently sold his company Xprt Integration, and he took great interest in my plans to start a small sailing school in Nelson. He was always willing to chat about some of the hair-brained ways I was thinking of introducing sailing to new people. I asked him once why he was always willing to help me, and he said “because I love sailing and I love small businesses.” That seemed like a good enough reason to me!
And so, I asked Travis if he would be my “official” mentor and I could pay him something, to which he declined and said his advice was always available, and free, for me.
Travis was the kind of sailor I want to eventually be. He was confident, but not cocky. Knowledgeable, but humble. A leader, but kind and patient. We had recently planned for him to come to Nelson in April to teach an Intro to Racing seminar. I was also planning an offshore sailing pub night for him to share his offshore sailing knowledge, as that married two of his passions: sailing and beer.
He has gone too soon and I was not ready. I am still not ready. But I am comforted with the times we did have together and the mark he has left on me to become a better sailor, and a better person.
Fair winds my friend, and may you find your safe harbour.