Originally Posted by boatman61
Well Folks... its been fun but its over...
Thanks again for all your support... it meant more than you'll ever know... the $'s proved very useful but the real boost came from the surge of moral support from around the world... even my Lawyers decided its a Pro-Bono case... good old CocksMacnish of Perth. WA..............
Originally Posted by boatman61
But the real credit for the 'Win' should go to 'Wotname'... without whom none of this would have been possible... Geoff..
Long Post Alert; but I ask that friends of Phil to read it all as he is worth it
Congratulations Mr Boatman, you have safely taken a large boat that was somewhat less than seaworthy
half way around the world with (in some cases) less than significant crew only to arrive in a strange (and expensive) port broke and got a finger in the air for your skill and troubles. Oh, I forgot, there was an airline ticket for you available but only for that night.
My first thoughts were that you were "f@*k^d and friendless and far from home". But I was wrong, you weren't friendless and that was the beginning of your new journey
Allow me to expand on the back story.
After the CF community was notified of your situation that first day, support rolled in like a winter storm; fast, strong and overwhelming. I remember you saying to me on the phone
(even before I meet you in person) that you found the moral CF support "humbling", but hey that was only the tip of the ice-berg
I remember picking you and Steve (crew) on that warm afternoon from a truck cafe in the port of Fremantle. You were looking pretty washed out from the strain of hand steering
the last week or two after a 7 month voyage with far more lows than highs coupled with the emotional beating of being cheated. One could only see "survival" in your eyes; no joy, elation or whatever one should feel after completing a long tough job well.
After a feed, beer
and sleep, the next day was spent getting a phone
and calling up the legal
beagles. The general consensus from all of them was if you want "admiralty law", then the best in town was Cocks Macnish but they won't come cheap
. It turns out that these guys are considered one of the best in Australia
On the morning of the third day, you and I are sitting in the somewhat expensive looking waiting room of their offices. The look of "just survive" has gone from you and has been replaced with "very tired, but hopeful". After a while, we get to see Mr Tim Cocks - one of the head
honchos himself. We weren't to know at this stage that this man was going to go into bat for you in very significant way. He listened to your story and was shocked (gob smacked is a better description). He was incredulous that the owners had treated you so badly after what you had achieved for them. He also explained why it would be difficult to get any justice through the courts; that it could cost tens of thousands to get started and maybe hundreds of thousands and several years to get a result.
Of course he asked "how are you going to pay for that". We had no satisfactory answer
but we could say that enough people had promised some donations that we could get the ball rolling in a smaller way. He suggested that it might be better to forget it and chalk it up as a bad experience and move on. He also explained that they did not take on "recreational boat" cases.
He promised to read all your documentation
and give a opinion on the various opinions and that he would try to keep his initial costs to a minimum - whatever that meant
. I left feeling that I had not met a "lawyer"; rather I had met a highly intelligent and principled man who was highly skilled in the legal business.
You and I retired to drink coffee, look at the West Perth women and talk about "stuff". I remember the women that day did seem "very watch-able" although I think you were side-tracked by the events
and also coming to terms with the price
of coffee in this town
The rest of the week was spent "surviving" the mental aspects of knowing what was the "right way" to respond to the avalanche of both moral and financial support that started to pour in - in earnest.
Without giving away any confidences, I can say that many many of you gave money
(in small and not so small amounts); in some cases I strongly suspect - money
that you could not really afford to give away - but you did anyway.
Many many many more of you offered unquestioned moral support and I know that lifted Phil up and back into life again. He stared to become a full person again - the "shipwrecked" feeling was being washed away with this emotional support (and with the money which put food
, coffee, smokes and rum back into his diet again).
The one recurring theme during this period was "thank you, your moral support means everything, if you do give money, give only what you can afford to lose".
Tim Cocks starts the legal ball rolling with just a promise that he will continue to try to keep his costs down. We counted our pennies and wondered what the outcome would be
. The theme then was "hurry up and wait - the hands of the justice clock can move very slowly".
Fast forward a few more weeks and while we wait; we prepare my plywood
40 year old 31' boat for a long trip from Fremantle to Hobart, 2,000 nm across the Great Australian Bight which has an unforgiving lee shore with no safe havens and a reputation for being "difficult" and having unpredictable weather
pushed up from the deep Southern Ocean in the high southern latitudes. Phil has very kindly agreed to deliver Blue Moon II
for me while he waits for the possibility of a settlement.
We also cook, talk, eat, meet friends and become friends ourselves rather than just CF cyber buddies.
Well you now know the outcome, Phil has a settlement and can start afresh in the New Year with his supply of coffee, rum and smokes assured
and Tim Cocks
has finally let on that he did the whole legal thing Pro Bono.
In my book, that makes him the real hero as without his input, none of the above would have come to pass.
I encourage all of you to take the time and effort and send a "thank you" note or card to Tim Cocks; his address is in the quote above. He did not need to do what he did and there was no business reason to do it - he simply used his skills and did the right thing for someone in need. Don't clog his server with instant email
messages, let's instead clog his letterbox with hard copies of "thank you for looking after our brother of the sea". He might even still collect stamps of far off countries
. OK, I know he probably doesn't
. - but posting
a card would be significant way to thank this man
I challenge everyone who supported Phil to take one final step and finish the game
by sending Tim a card. Imagine what it would be like to receive hundreds of cards all with the same message from all around the world.
My part was much more simple - I just had the opportunity to give Mr Boaty a safe haven and respite from mental fatigue when he needed it most - when he was f@*k^d and far from home; You guys did the rest - you provided him with friendship
when he needed it the most and perhaps more importantly, did it without ever meeting the man. I do however, remain deeply appreciative of all the thanks that has flowed in my direction.
to you all.
Phil may not thank me for telling some of the detail - he is modest
- despite what some mods think
but it deserves telling - I think.
Now back to much shorter posts