Friday, November 30, 2007

III. The Transit

What sets this project apart from others from the search and exploration perspective is how multi-faceted it is. The obvious sides are it's financial philanthropy and technological application, which is what is predominantly reported on (and rightfully so). The other side which isn't so obvious or easily stated on camera is it's emotional and even spiritual aspects. It is impossible to describe the variety and intensity of emotions and feelings each member of the team experience, even while we gear-up. I suppose the collective mood can be summed up as "heavy".

Dockside, the R/V Persistence also heavy, rests laden with fuel and supplies before it sets sail on it's approximate 1,700 mile journey to Aruba. It is midnight. The crew sleeps as I lay in the top bunk of the berth, awake. My mind stirs and torments me as I struggle to find rest, replaying the things of the day. Lists of to-dos and should-have-dones dance through my mind as incomplete bits of information collide. The din of thought is so loud I can almost hear it over the gentle distant hum of the Persistence's Diesel generator propagating through the steel hull. I know I am not alone in my insomnia tonight. Hours tick by while I wait to get up to catch the 6am out of New Orleans. I will head north to my home in New Jersey and the Persistence, south to Aruba. This will be the last posting on board until we reunite in the tarnished paradise about 9 days from now. Struggling to quiet my mind enough to grab a couple hours of sleep just makes me think more of how I am not sleeping. Frustrated by lulling in and out of a half-sleep, ready to abandon the attempt... my mind is suddenly stilled. So much was my mind silenced that it draws my full attention. I am listening. Almost as a whisper or a mist, the words of an old Longfellow poem come pouring into my mind in an image: "Come... wander with me she said, into regions yet untrod, and read with me what is still unread in the manuscripts of God".

It's clear to me that we are again being beckoned into regions of the unknown. We all have our hopes and expectations on what will happen and what we will find. All of us replay slightly differing scenarios through our minds as we lay awake tonight. There is one common thread however that permeates all of us. We know that God has us here for a purpose, and that purpose is being achieved and revealed to us one word of the manuscript at a time.

Transit Route - Approx. 1700 miles, Louisiana to Mexico, to Grand Cayman Is., to Aruba


nonesuche said...

Thank you so much for your efforts and commitment and your generosity. So many of us wish for justice for Natalee Holloway and closure for her parents, brother, and extended family. She was a bright shining light that was robbed of her life. Godspeed to you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Kyle,

Issaquah, WA here (just east of Seattle). I can't sleep either. My husband and I think about Natalee in a cage in deep waters alone and so far from home. We realize her spirit is with God but there is something very unsettling about her on the ocean floor all alone.

I think you will find her. God will reward your good heart and persistence. Don't give up and remember the mustard seed story in the bible. You can do it but you must have faith!

You are also an excellent writer! Thanks for the blog!

Observer said...

God Speed to all of you that are making this tremendous effort in searching for Natalee. Special thanks to all of you that made this possible.


Anonymous said...

Are you going to operate in international waters off the northern part of Aruba? Do you have a permit issued by the Aruban government just in case Persistence drifts into the Aruban sea teritory. The Arubans are getting very angry with you trying to undo their coverup and crimes. The ALE have speedboats, and they can ram and torpedo Persistence.

Anonymous said...

The Persistence project has caught the imaginations of many highschools across America. My science class students have built a big electronic white board to track and educate the kids about this state of the art sea search for Natalee. Some kids are doing the simulation of the sonar scanner navigations on the PCs.

Anonymous said...

I hope you have planned carefully for your security needs. The equipment you are carrying sounds like it is very sensitive with calibration etc. It would not take much for the bad guys to mess things up for you. Remember, in Aruba they let all the bad guys out of jail so the roam the streets.

Anonymous said...

OMG. Thank you Mr. Shaefer and everyone puting in such a tremendous effort to bring Natalee home. The Persistence is an amazing vessel. I wish I was going with you. God bless all of you. Thank you so much for this blog. Great writting!!!

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