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.