I started throwing the idea around in early December, and I’m incredibly lucky that by early January six of my friends were asking me when they should book their tickets.

I’ll now admit to being quite surprised that anyone would want to use their precious vacations to follow this crazy plan. It’s a big leap of faith for them and also a big responsibility for me. We have not only our holiday, but our lives riding on the viability of this idea.

As Oliver once said, “I don’t know if I’m following a madman, or I’m one of the mad men.”

Oliver has the ultimate resume for this trip. He practically grew up in the small boat shop at the SF Maritime Museum and learned almost everything there is to know about traditional sailing and rigging on the tall ship Niagara. He’s a former second mate on container ships, quite probably the most resourceful guy at fixing things I’ve ever met, and debonair and suave to boot!

Oliver

Jonathan and Marissa are long time adventure friends. We’ve kayaked into Canyons in Utah, cycled and crewed regularly on Pip for me. Over the last year they’ve both surpassed their former skipper, and last summer were out chartering their own boat and friends around Maine.

JT & Marissa

Megan & Chris are fellow dolphin club members. Megan swims like a fish, and Chris is the guy you want keeping an eye out for sharks. These are folks who get up at 5am snowshoe to the top of a mountain, while I lie in and wait for coffee and breakfast.

Megan & Chris

Fortunately, the best trait this group has is flexibility. We have our expectations set very low, and I think we know that even if we never find a boat, or if the trip falls apart, or if there is no treasure to be found, we’re going to have a fun holiday with great people together in the Philippines.

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