Bubbles Crew

May 30, 2016
Solomon Rust
Brother on the Ground

While I had many unforgettable adventures with many of the Bubbles family, I can never forget my 3 year experience as the support from home. Working alone from a phone or computer. Arranging official documents for friends and complete strangers. Trying to interpret cryptic messages while stuck in the doldrums. Meeting random people at random places to hand off head lamps, waterproof cameras, and even a full dinghy! Enjoying the story of his latest adventure, only to find out what all that adventure broke – and needed to be fixed immediately! As the trip progressed, I was able to see his impact grow into something amazing. It was only appropriate that I helped him across the finish line by towing him with a dinghy. Alex’s journey shaped me in ways I never thought possible, even after his sudden, peaceful end in a sacred Hindu city…so I leave you with this Hindu proverb: Help your brother’s boat across and your own will reach the shore.

Marta Lrk Lrk

BUUUUBLLEEEESSSSSSSS¡ The live is good in Republica Dominicana but …I prefere the pirate life¡¡¡ ..the bubbleess lifeee¡¡¡ Muaaaaa crew!

Doug Oberbeck
aka Dougie Fresh

I was part of the crew that sailed from Cartagena (Colombia) up to and across the Panama Canal. We undocked and set sail a little too late in the evening, but no worries, the waters were the roughest they have ever been. I was brand new to sailing, but that didn´t stop Alex from handing me the GPS (yeah, handheld unit) and saying “”Dougie, it´s time you learned how to sail.”” He gave me a few basic instructions on where to point the boat and what the jib sail was, and went to the captains quarters to sleep.

A few hours later, I decided to wake him up by flooding his room with water. I nearly flipped Bubbles, not on purpose of course. I´ll never forget the sight of Alex running out of the room, soaked, asking if we were all still alive and if the boat was upside down.

Love you and miss your brother,

Dougie Fresh

Isaac Patrick Smith
The Alaskan

Of the few months that I was blessed to spend with Alex I’d like to share two moments, one from near the beginning of his voyage while still in the Caribbean, and the other from the South Pacific. Those being the two times I was on board.

After being detained in Cuba, choosing to race an approaching cold front, with the finish line in sight (the isla) Mujeres. We were neck and neck with the storm. The sail was wet from heeling, and we were flying across the waves. When lightning began to strike! First off to starboard bow. It was electric in more than one sense.

Suddenly lightning was striking on every side. I recalled a story my mother told me of her friends father dying in a boat due to lightning. We were out in the relative flat with a 63’ metal pole up in the air! As casually as I could I asked Alex what would happen if we got hit by lightning. He said there was a “Lightning rod” in the mast which would channel the energy to the keel and out the bottom. My fears alieved, we sailed on to as safe an anchorage as could be found. It wasn’t until Alex visited me in Hudson years later that I found out there was no such thing on board.

The other time was when we caught a large Barracuda, miles off shore, during a long crossing from UreParaPara to Guadalcanal. After days of eating canned meat, we cooked and ate the sweet fresh meat. The next morning Alex was in an exceptional state. He was happy that we were all alive and okay. For some reason, after eating the Cuda, he felt compelled to look it up. In many areas it’s safe to eat. But where we were it could be deadly due to Chingaterra! He had bore the burden all day looking for symptoms! There was nothing else that could been done, as there’s no cure. Plus we were miles and miles at sea.

Both of these speak to me of Alex’s innate ability to lead; keeping calm and order under duress. The also reveal the true magnitude of what he accomplished. Even in this age of ever shrinking world that so connected and advanced, it remains that the sea is not tamed, no piece of tech can make it safe. Living life remains risky, but isn’t it the risks that give value to the rewards? In my eyes and mind Alex was always pressing in, pressing on, to the very edge of his possibilities.
He would not have allowed himself to give anything less. And so he achieved so much in so short a time and shared that with so many.

Mag 10, out.

Nicola Morton
Wench - Nic the Brit

I was responsible (apparently) for the engine failing in the Indian Ocean (I wasn’t even on board) due to dragging the engineer off to watch the royal wedding and getting him drunk whilst fitting it(Matt Claycamp )! many memories of being on Bubbles but mostly Alex trying to pet a crocodile! I stopped saying things like “I bet we could climb that!” after a week of being on the boat, realizing that Alex would look and make us climb it. Loved sitting on the leeward side of the boat with my legs in the water watching the phosphorescence dance about my legs. Still in awe of the people I continue to meet as a result of this chance encounter. Below my all time fave photo, as it captures the spirit of Bubbles, the fun and how hard I laughed every day whilst I was with Alex and his crew….

Jim Ramirez

I journeyed on Bubbles twice, first in Mexico and second in the south Pacific. What can I say? We followed our catchphrase “Gettin’ after it” to the fullest. We stormed the beaches of ancient temples in Mexico, learned how to look cool while running aground in the Cook Islands, drank pirate rum in Tonga that could probably fuel a 747, breakdanced in traditional sulu attire at the Fijian nightclubs, stood on the rim of erupting volcanoes in Vanuatu, and became fathers (metaphorically and physically).

Anders Sverdvik
Radar

After missing out on all of the sailing adventures . I decided to surprise Alex and show up to bring Bubbles to the finish line in Nanny Cay BVI`s. Arriving on Goast ship (another sail boat) and wearing a Chinese wrestling mask so he would not recognize me. Alex fired a flare gun at us just half a foot above my head and that’s how the festivities started. I have a hard time describing the shear joy of these 2 weeks so I`ll leave it there. While he was sailing I had just missed Alex on a euro trip, but we meet up again later to run with the bulls in Pamplona and he graced me with a visit to Norway before we went to Berlin for the unbelievable bachelor party to give Dave away. He`s story is still to great to believe. One of the first times I meet Alex at university in Australia, he said “Anders I`m going to hike across the Australian desert today” “ You want to come?”…. I thought he was joking but next things I knew his was already gone hiking. Nothing could stop him, he grabbed every chance life gave him to make the most of every moment, place and experience . Which he shared it with as many people along the way as possible. His passion, love, warmth, friendship, intelligence, charm and charisma in bucket loads made him the one in a billion friend I was lucky enough to have.

Ben Bradley

I have met many really great people in my life, but I have a hard time naming anyone with more hurricane-force sheer awesomeness than Alex Rust. I jumped on the sailboat with Solomon right after we graduated college, and we bounced around the Caribbean for three weeks right before Alex took Bubbles through the Panama canal. Those three weeks are unlike anything I had experienced before, and I constantly think about how lucky I was to be a part of Alex’s incredible globe trotting adventure. We partied in Cancun for New Years, sailed down the Mexican coast, explored ancient ruins, narrowly avoided jail once or twice, went ashore on tiny Belize islands, jumped from the mast from into the beautiful blue ocean, caught dinner and cooked it under sail, and survived strong storms and enjoyed calm starry nights. I journaled the entire trip, wanting to capture the times we picked up random new friends in hostels, fixed the boat in marinas, boarded expats’ boats for rum and conversation, and every little adventure in between. I shake my head in disbelief while reading the entries years later, knowing Alex lived that life daily as he sailed around the planet. Three weeks on the boat blew my young mind, and I regret not staying longer. It is a trip I will never forget.

Brita Tree
Tree

I sailed with captain rust and bubbles at the beginning. from jamaica to cuba to mexico, then sailed again from solomon islands to apaua new guinea, met up with bubbles again in philippines twice!, then sailed from south africa to namibia. then met up with bubbles again in Brazil. my heart breaks that i couldnt make it to Tortola….but i KNOW my adventures with Bubbles arent over!!

Budi Budi Island in Solomon Islands! Incredible tiny village (2-3 families) live there and the chief was so kind to us! Took us night lobster hunting in the ocean, and the village cooked up a feast before we parted- because we took the local boys diving in the reef with our scuba gear on Bubbles! Captain Rust had a way of win in over everyone he encountered!

KC Gunn
Gunner

I met Alex and his crew where I used to live in Cebu, Philippines at the yacht club… that night we had a redneck BBQ bc we missed American food so much .. it was nice meeting a fellow Hoosier on the opposite side of the world. I joined him on his sail from Thailand to Malaysia before he crossed the south Indian sea, and then again on the sail in the BVIs on the round the world party.
I’ll never forget his calmness in a stressful situation, he told me stories of how he’d bake bread during nights of cold relentless seas, so his crew had the warmth and comfort of the smell of fresh bread when they were down below seasick and shivering. He was a true captain, as if he’s been doing it for many lifetimes.
I’m glad I was at the right place at the right time that day in Cebu… He changed my life forever.
This photo was taken the first day I arrived in Thailand to the boat.. after taking out the old engine… a day I will never forget.

Evan Tangman

I flew over Fukushima with Matt Claycamp and arrived in Phuket just in time for the Thai New Year Celebration. Soon after, ‘The Leg Crusher’ broke Kirk’s leg and bailed Alex out after that “special breed of invincibility that everyone seemed to experience” (except Kirk, I guess) took us out beyond the Bay of Broken Leg and out into the wild nights.

After shipping Kirk off to find some more ladies to sign his cast, we sailed south along the beautiful coast. Stopping one night at a national water reserve, we were surprised when the crew of a French vessel, whose captain was reading Alex’s sail blog, poked up their heads port-side and posed the most pertinent question, “Bubbles?”

Fireworks were the only way to celebrate! As we sailed back to Phuket, a tornado near a West Virginia engine plant would change fate and the replacement engine had to be arranged to be picked up in Bangkok. We were hurtling back toward the airport before I knew it on a Thai freeway in a race to the finish against a bloke who was afraid to break as many rules as The Captain. SAIL ON!

Erica Ross

Hola hola!! Erica here, from beautiful little The Hague in Holland. still dreaming about these blue seas, white beaches and palm trees in the Carribean… was that really true? And did I really jump off that mast? if there is ever a repeat trip, COUNT ME IN!!!

Chris Donnelly
aka Tex

Sailed from Langkawi down the coast of Sumatra + around the world party.

Langkawi was the last big stop before crossing the Indian Ocean so Alex wanted to load up on everything- meaning the v-berth was filled with 30 flats of beer. Despite having all the essential supplies, the propane stove was decommissioned [like 50% of everything else on Bubbles] so we ate canned corn and kidney beans w/ crackers for a week. After puking for 3 days straight I was able to hold down some food and this meal is ingrained in my memory as one of the best I’ve ever had.

Favorite Memory: Hollywood and I went for a run… 90*F and humid so we went shirtless and in short shorts. As the Muslim call to prayer blasted throughout a small village a group of kids stared at us like they were looking at ghosts. The locals may have been leery of the nearly naked white men on Bubbles but Alex had a way of making the best possible situation unfold and before long the children were playing on and jumping off Bubbles while the police chief let us hold and play with his pistol.
Forever grateful to Alex & Bubbles for showing me the right way to experience life.

Lindsie Wallenfang

Recently the story of sailing from San Cristobal to Isabela (Galapagos) and waking up to the pod of dolphins at the bow has been coming up in conversation….still some of the craziest stars I’ve ever seen 🙂 And my my, the company……:))) Capitán!!! I’m a mere 3.5 hours North of you, my good fellow….in Green Lake, Wisconsin. Location of the deepest inland lake in the state 😉 And as they say down south, mi casa es su casa! :))

Johanna Davidsson

I met Alex in South Africa and spent only a couple of weeks with him and the people on Bubbles. Even if it was a short time Alex made such an impression and I will never forget him and his ability to have no fear with people and talk himself in and out situations. There was some good parties, foam-party, dressout-party and a roof party that should of been impossible to enter, but with Alex…no worries!

My dad came and visit me in Cape Town so Alex invited both me and my dad to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. My dad who is a farmer had never been in a sailing boat and had a pretty special first experience. Alex seem to be a very including person and had such a big heart. There are not many like him. He was one of a kind.
I am very sorry for his loss. But man, he has really lived!!

Marios Georgiou

Hi. I am Captain Marios Georgiou of Bubbles ship crew of 2011 sailing the crew safely from Thailand to Malaysia (I also serving as head Chef, Lead Mechanic, Chief Navigator, First Officer, and Cabin Consultant/Philosopher, for those that knew me).
I am now located in London town, Uk, for the time being.

Chris Cabell

I first met Alex in Nassau Bahamas when he was just learning to sail the Flying Sea monkey. I was navigating through the Anchorage in a dinghy when I passed a little red sailboat. In the back of that sailboat were Alex and Vanessa drinking rum out of a brown paper bag. I said to myself “those look like my type of people”. As luck would have it, Alex was going in the same direction as my crew and we embarked on an epic pirate adventure through the Exuma islands. The climax of that trip was the Great Iguana Incident of 2009.
Several months later I got a call from Alex telling me he was in Puerto Rico and had just bought a new boat but he had no idea how to sail it. I reminded him that I wasn’t a very skilled sailor myself to which he replied “We’ll just get her out into the water and figure it out”.
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Trevor Frauhiger
Sergeant at Arms

I first joined Bubbles in Phucket Thailand just after the engine was blown and had to be replaced. Once the engine was changed out we then sailed down to Langkawi Malaysia. I also sailed on the final sail across the finish line in Nanny Cay BVI’s. Each memory on bubbles is a special one from watching the stars, drinking beers, and telling stories with Alex late at night. To watching Alex being chased like a scene in Scooby Doo by a gang of Tuk-Tuk taxi drivers dodging lady boys in Thailand. My Bubbles name was Trev-Dude but I also reported in as Sergeant at Arms. I was also known for being Alex Facebook Fiance for over 6 years and the entire time he was sailing on Bubbles. This caused many new sailors some confusion and is source of my other great stories.

Magnus Ogrady
Captain of Balena

Bubbles crews ahoy….. some friends and I sailed in company with Bubbles from Niue to Fiji…. unfortunately in Fiji we had to go separate ways, BUT Now Baleana continues on her way and in the next few months we will be cruising through Vanuatu, the Solomons and Papua New Guinea, if any of you folk have some spots we must visit, Messages you want delivered or general stories to tell of your time there I’d love to hear them…. Meeting and sailing with Alex is something that will always be precious for me and all those that spent time in his company and I look forward to feeling his spirit again by visiting some of the same places once more! Peace out happy people!

Drew Royalty

I joined Bubbles in the south pacific and then sailed the last leg in the Caribbean. I am about to start my last year in college in the good ol state of Indiana.

Bonjour baby girl!

LaRue Agresti
Captain of Monty (formerly Bubbles)

She is moored in Coral Bay. Had engine problems not cooling she will need some more attention, She sailed beautifully even in rough seas. We found a large tarp on board we are thinking it was a rain catcher? Anyone know. Also found Alex’s hand written notes from the first week he owned the boat.

She is back in the water we sail her to St John today. Auto pilot went on by itself again as soon as she got in the water. Thanks for all the support.

Joe Rust
Brother Joe

I first joined Bubbles right before I started my freshman year at Purdue University. Needless to say, it gave me some insane stories for my first college parties! For me, Alex’s trip was about testing the limits and bringing along as many people as possible. I experienced these limits down in the South Pacific. Alex, Jim, and I pillaged a banana race on Bora Bora, ran aground in the Cook Islands, and took on gale force winds (without a functioning motor!) on the way to the Kingdom of Tonga. Two years later I joined Bubbles again at Nanny Cay in the BVI’s. Alex captained 30 outrageous crew members (without a prop!) across the finish line of his circumnavigation.

Today, I live and work in Indianapolis. I do my best to push myself beyond my personal limits and engage others just as Alex would. He was my older brother, a wild friend, and a step-in father. But Alex will forever be my captain, pushing me to go faster, further, higher, and to bring along as many people as possible.

Sail on, Alex
-Joebro

Barbara Snieders

I’m currently enjoying the Amsterdam Summer, which finally takes off with some sun. Will be in a boat along the canals this afternoon and on the beach tomorrow (wat a life :-).

I’m still searching for a nice project to spend my time in September – October -November and will cross from Spain to St Lucia (carib) half november (on a 45ft yacht). Anyone has some ideas or references that I could ask to spend some time around spain upfront? (sept-1/2 nov?). Please let me know! I’m open for sailing, surfing, volunteering, working, speak spanish a little already. Would be great if something would come up! Thanx

Adam Hill

I was lucky to smash through samatra on Bubbles with hollywood and tex. in some ways i mean this quite literally, as the engine shit itself, and a few days before that Bubbles nearly wrecked from high winds while dragging the moor in a bay. and the Capt’n wasn’t even there to see his crack team of pollywogs save his ship! i’m in sydney now and about to headed back to the US after 2 years abroad. I’m hoping i can capitalize on a trans-oceanic crossing sometime in the next year, which is something i wanted to do with bubbles but wasn’t ready to leave oceania at the time. seeing pictures of the crew in amazing places with amazing people has been inspiring and tantalizing!

Ryan Donaghy
Irish

I was privileged to have taken my maiden voyage with Bubbles and Piggy (the captain) in Thailand through to Malaysia.

*As I sit here writing this in another airport terminal, probably the 20th one this month, I look back at the very reason my life has been so filled with adventure this last 15 years… And it stemmed from a great man that moment we first met in Sydney all those moons ago.

You see Bubbles isn’t just a boat… If it was it would be just be like any other wooden structure on the sea. Bubbles was the very soul that brought, what can only be described as an eternal family together, and at heart of bubbles was Alex, not only the great captain, but also the inspiration that many of us needed to find a better purpose in life, a more fulfilling adventure in the short time we have on this earth, we were the blood that Kept Bubbles alive.

We were not a perfect family, we were dysfunctional at best… But that was the beauty of it. Bubbles was a wreck most of the time… In fact in Thailand I didn’t even get out to see for 2 weeks as we waited for a new motor to come from the US…. But we all saw the grandeur that it bestowed… If you wiped away the layers of oil, piss and general grime! But the good times had on land, with Piggy crippled and in a wheelchair, was more than enough to make up for it.

*When we did get to sea… There was only one way to describe it… Calm…. And let me tell you, the sea was far from calm! But what it did for me sitting at the back of that boat, beer in hand and the huge mass of water beneath, was take a weight off my shoulders and bring me real clarity… Simple and pure serenity.
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Stephen Sexton

I met bubbles and company down in Belém Brazil at the mouth of the Amazon, and sailed with her up the amazon to a city called Fordlandia. If you haven’t heard the story of the city, you should google it. I am back in Austin Texas working, going to school, and dominating danger can. Believe it or not, I learned to fly while sailing with bubbles in St. Maarten. Had a little help from an Air France jet engine tho…

Keep the flame burning!
-Sarge

Paul Eagle
Turc

Bubbles was a disaster when I boarded in the Philippines. Autopilot broken, fridge broken, piss all over the floor in the restroom, no air conditioning, bugs everywhere, and a rat living on board. But I think all of the crew members would agree that regardless of how you felt about Bubbles when you boarded, it felt like home by the time you left – and when it came time to leave, you didn’t want to go. In that sense, Bubbles completely embodied the personality of its Captain. -Paul “Grandpa” Turc

Pauno Aalto

I’m seeing bubbles… i hear bubbles, bubbles everywhere! This world is going up in bubbles… bubbles. There is no fake bubbles. There is no trouble bubbles.. only bubblesssss!!

Reed Whiting

Spending a couple months on the Bubbles crew in Papua New Guinea and South Africa was easily one of the best experiences of my life, but still paled in comparison to just getting to call Alex one of my best friends for a short 10 years of my life. The moment you met him you just knew he had the ability to change your life. He opened my eyes up to a different lifestyle and a way to see the world that I never even knew existed. He just had a magical way with how he embraced the world and those around him and was a magnet for love and adventure everywhere he went. He always lived on the edge of life and brought you onto that edge with him whether you liked it or not.

The craziest moment we shared on Bubbles was a 200 miles trip up the Sepik River in central Papua New Guinea which is one most remote areas on earth. We befriended a police officer and tribesman in a small village along the route and came to find out they were planning on robbing the boat. We were all pretty scared especially since the police officer was living on our boat as a guide. We pulled a late night departure from the area and all was saved, but the feeling of being somewhere in jeopardy with absolutely no one to call or help when your life may be in danger was a scary deal. Alex always had a way of getting out of tough situations like this as he was a professional at finding them in the first place.

Sometimes I still dream about my experiences with Alex , and am so happy to wake up and realize that dream actually was reality.

Lara Ortiz Decker

Hi all, I didn’t sail on Bubbles, but I spent some time there, and had the fortune of meeting Diego, Ross and Alex in The Marquesas as we made our way to NZ. Living ashore now in Auckland, heading back Stateside in about a year, then onto buying a boat and getting out again. Would live to stay in touch and see some of the crew out in a few years.

Peter Dee

Alex was a charismatic fellow, for sure. I liked him.

The only time I didn’t like him that much was when he wouldn’t give back a Pirate’s mobile phone while we were anchored off a little volcanic island in Papua New Guinea.

It was about a dozen men in a banana boat vs me, Benito, Alex and Reed. It would have been messy. It was close. Too close!

A story to tell your grandchildren:

Did I tell you about that time Captain Alex nearly got me killed by Pirates??

Mélanie Poppins

Hey guys, I’m one of the ‘survivor’ of the bubbles indian ocean trip and i might say i will never forget it ! im currently in india, eating curry and drinking beer, hoping to go sailing again at the end of the year to Caribbean 🙂

Sheila Cabell

I met Alex in Colon, Panama.. from there we sailed through the San Blas islands, a beautiful archipelago with 365 islands inhabited by a primitive tribe of people called the Kuna Linga … Almost all islands had no electricity.. and this group of people are second smallest in size to the Pygmies. Needless to say they embraced his and my spirits and each day was a new adventure. Too many stories to tell really. We landed in Cartagena, Colombia after a few weeks .. then explored Columbia. Featured is a photo of us at carnival in Barranquilla, Columbia… after that we sailed right back through the San Blas and I assisted in the Panama canal crossing… Every moment spent with him were the best memories of my life.. I’ll never forget you Alex and you will always be missed. The best bonus is that in 2010 he introduced me to the man who would later become my husband and father of two beautiful boys.. he was able to meet our first born son in Chicago.. love you always and forever.. xx

Jefferson Pereira

BOM DIA! Did not sail together, but met the boat while he was still “grey wolf” in the caribean…then after crossing the Panama Channel, he became “BUBBLES”! met them again at Marquises, then Tahiti, Moorea… always similar routes. Perfect crew (huge heart Alex, Diego surfer/free soul, Pauno soul surfer wanderer, Ross – shoots deers from his car window…), perfect boat! AHOY and other nautical expressions! love to all, see you somewhere beautiful around the world. I see only smiles from the people that come accross this boat, so keep it going! What are the next destinations? IHAAAA!

Roland Stevens
aka "Kirk"

Metropolitan Shanghai is hot and muggy in the summer with out the ocean breeze. but i am gaining a appreciation for the sedentary life style. i know a lot of you ladies in this group own me a dance, so come to shanghai we’ll get a IPA at the brewery and get some foot work in.

Roi Krispin

I met the crew in, Bogota Colombia, where they helped us reach the San Blas islands safe, sound drunk and happy! I’m currently working on my BA in biology back in Israel..

Dave Rust
Brother Dave

“Once in a lifetime experience”

As most of the “crew” that sailed on Bubbles can attest to; a once in a lifetime experience with Alex turned out to be made up of many amazing experiences. My time aboard Bubbles, sailing the rain forest rivers of Brazil, were just that. I crewed Bubbles with great people, Alex(Captain Alex/Captain Rust), Celesta(pirate killer), Diego, Molly(molls), Elias(eli), Rebecca, Cristiano(The Mayor), and Stephen(danger steve). The locals we encountered called me “Grande Don”, aka Big One. We sailed from Belém do Pará down to São Domingos do Capim, to celebrate the Festival da Pororoca. I have countless stories from that trip alone; nearly drowning, dinner at the Mayor’s house, a festival in the jungle, playing chicken with a bridge in the dark, exploring a city on the Amazon River, and swimming in candiru/snake/piranha invested waters. I’ll never forget the adventures, and I am forever thankful for the times with Alex!!

Chris Law

YOW!!! I loved me time on bubbles… been trying to relive the experience ever since, never the same. I’m from Australia but in Trinidad now and working my way to Mexico try out some English teaching! If any fellow crew are around would be great to have some beers!

Fondo Ngummy

Halo Sailors, it was a wonderful time with Bubbles. I sailed from Capetown to Sadanna Bay West Coast of South Africa. A lovely moment ever with Awesome Captain Alex, and with interesting crew members alias Diego, Joe, Brita, and Marios.Can’t wait for another trip throughout Africa.

Ayack Wanderer

Well!! all these beautiful people! quite an adventure it was for sure!! I met alex, diego and bubbles in Morea for a fantastic party… where we kinda competed for the same girl! I am not sorry i won!! 🙂 and then i spent some time on bubbles for a little bit of love and care…. unfortunately i cannot say i actually sailed… just a bit of motor-sailing to get to new anchorages… 🙁 one day…
Love to all

Christine Gordon
Communications Officer

After meeting Alex in Palau, I joined Bubbles in Singapore for the SE Asia leg. i quickly slid into the role of “Communications Officer” (though briefly earned the title of ‘the Leg Crusher’ after breaking Kirk’s leg in Phuket). I rejoined on Mauritius only to see Bubbles’ engine in 1000+ pieces. my 3rd leg began on Reunion where we finally set off to explore the wilds of Madagascar & beyond!!

During my time on Bubbles, I’d never been so reckless, yet felt so completely safe at the same time; a special breed of invincibility that everyone seemed to experience aboard… in my eyes, it was truly the mark of a unique & skilled cap’t in that he could activate this polarity within all of us with such ease & humility.

Bubbles’ Love Forever!!

Ross Gerber
Spiderman

I met Alex at a party shortly after we both moved to Chicago and before we’d left the party we’d planned a trip to Cuba together. It was a fitting beginning to a hell of a friendship. I first started sailing with Alex on the Wild Sea Monkey (the boat that preceded Bubbles). My experience sailing as a child with my father a few times made me the resident expert on the boat and I taught Alex everything that I knew…as little as it was. I spent a few weeks on the Wild Sea Monkey and caught the bug…it was like real exploring bouncing through the islands on our own time. When Alex insisted that I cross the Pacific with him, I just couldn’t say “No” as crazy as I knew it was.

I ended up spending around 6 months total sailing with Alex…and I still regret not being on the boat longer. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I’d have the chance to do half of the things that this trip afforded me. From the tiny people of the San Blas Islands who arrested me immediately upon landing on the island…to experiencing the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal and nearly crashing into the walls of the locks…to the insane creatures in the Galapagos and putting on a giant tortoise shell…to the extreme solitude of the 20 day Pacific crossing…to the beautiful islands of French Polynesia and the secluded islands of Madagascar. I’ll forever be indebted to Alex for this incredible adventure.

Jack Magruder

I first met Alex when I joined Bubbles in Southern Africa. I crossed the Atlantic on Bubbles, and rejoined in the Caribbean for the celebration. I’m at a loss for words…but one thing that I’m certain of is that Alex changed my life immensely. The Bubbles adventures, for me, broke through whatever mental barriers there are that hinder people from following their dreams. That was my first trip outside the USA, and life hasn’t been the same since then. I’ve traveled all over the world; lived in South Africa, Europe, wandered all over visiting new places. I now sail professionally in Spain… and to think, it all started with a random email almost 5 years ago. I miss the Bubbles family and our Captain Alex. He remains a massive inspiration to me, and I always try to remember to “Live Like Alex.” Much love to you all. I hope to see you again.

-Jack