Voyager Patrick Childress, a regular contributor to Ocean Navigator and the author of a series of superb videos on voyaging, sadly lost his battle against COVID-19 this week, passing away on June 8 in Cape Town. Yesterday, Rebecca posted thoughts on her husband's death, thanking the many contributors and friends for the outpouring of support, and writing of his great influence on and love for her. She started by addressing his final resting place.
"Patrick will be cremated this week, and I will keep his ashes on board with me. Someday soon, when and if I finish my circumnavigation, I will scatter his ashes far far out to sea where Patrick was always happiest."
Rebecca further wrote of Patrick's immense impact on her — how, with his help, she grew and matured as a voyager.
"Patrick has always taken care of me from the first week we met, and has always helped me achieve every dream and desire I’ve ever had. I wasn’t sure I would ever achieve my life desire to live the cruising lifestyle, but he helped me make it happen … for nearly 13 years now!!! He made me a competent and (almost) equal partner … I gained so much strength and confidence in my life because of him, and I will be forever indebted to him for his incredible love and devotion to me."
A voyaging couple is a team, and when one half of the team is suddenly gone, the change is devastating. As for her future plans, Rebecca honestly admits that she is unsure what course she will steer.
"As far as future plans go for me … no idea at all. The only place that feels like home is Brick House, at least for now. … I’m not ready for any quick decisions yet, and luckily lockdown for the next few months will not let me make any quick decisions anyways. I know for sure that Patrick wants me to be happy and fulfilled … all he has ever wanted for me … so I will try not to disappoint him … I will try to find happiness and fulfillment again."
Below, the late Patrick Childress checking the oil aboard their Valiant 40, Brick House, assisted by the ship's cat Lily.