Wednesday 23 June 2010

The Giant Octopus revisited

This is a post from Ben’s partner Mónica.

A year ago Ben was on his trip to Ibiza. In his words he was ‘fighting a giant octopus’ that symbolised his fears. Over the past two months he has been fighting another giant octopus.

Tonight the summer solstice is celebrated in Spain. It is the eve of San Juan. It is a fire festival with bonfires and fireworks. I will be lighting a fire on the beach for Ben and many of his friends who have followed his adventures and his illness will be joining me.
I would like to invite everyone who knows Ben through this blog to join me tonight in wishing him all our love, strength and confidence. Together we can do it. 

Thank you, Mónica.


Bob Easton said...

From his last post, we knew only that Ben was facing some sort of challenge. He did not reveal what kind.

I'm very saddened to hear that it is an illness.

May that fire shine bright enough to chase away the giant octopus. Convey all of my hopes and best wishes to Ben. He has been incredibly tough thus far, and from that I can see him overcoming this challenge. I'm looking forward to his success and a return to his boat and the sea.

Best wishes Ben and Mónica!

Anonymous said...

Foc a la bèstia! Aquest és el crit que fem quan en un correfoc volem empaitar el drac que escup foc. Avui crido fort per tal que el foc d'aquesta nit màgica s'endugui lluny el malson que ens entristeix a tots els amics d'en Ben. Foc!

doryman said...

I can only echo Bob's sentiments. Ben has given us so much. Please give him my best, Mónica.
Foc a la bèstia!

Bursledon Blogger said...

Monica, Ben, best wishes, Dylan Thomas says it all - let the fires of the solstace fire your rage and fight away that octopus.

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Dylan Thomas, 1951 or 1952

Osbert Lancaster said...

Dear Ben and Monica

No fine words or poetry, just my best wishes to you both and your families at this difficult time.


PS For others - the 'word verification' didn't show for me until I clicked 'publish your comment'!

Ben said...

Thank you so much everyone for all your best wishes. We only have an online relationship, but to me it is an important one none the less and I consider you friends.

I have a mantle cell lymphoma (don’t look it up on the wikipedia) with complications.

I’m feeling confident and strong within myself, partly no doubt because I have such a fantastic circle of supportive family, friends and bloggers. Though physically I feel like I am rowing the Magellan straits, I know that I have the strength to endure until the Pacific and in time I’ll rest up at Valparaiso or on Juan Fernandez.

bowsprite said...

Courage, Ben! I row with you.
warmth & friendship christina

Geoff_D said...

Ben, I hope that all will be well. My own boat-building plans have been put on hold for the past year as I, too, have been fighting my 'giant octopus'. With the help of my haematologist-oncologist and the marvels of modern medicine, we beat it soundly and send it packing. Never give up.

Best wishes to you both, and may many more miles slide under your keel in the years to come.


Geoff_D said...

Oh, and Ben, for what it is worth, mine was Angioimmunoblastic T-Cell Lymphoma.

Gavin Atkin said...

I've been away dealing with some family stuff so I missed this. We both hope you all - and especially Ben - had a great, great night to remember always. With love, Julie and Gav

Unknown said...

Vaig veure en Ben la tarda abans de la nit de Sant Joan. El vaig trobar animat, valent i amb forces per lluitar contra aquest mal tràngol que està passant. Havia tornar a escriure, decidit a viure a fons aquesta experiència i a superar el nou repte a què l'ha enfrontat la vida, com ell mateix ens explica més amunt.

No deixis de vogar, company; i si en algun moment et fallen les forces, sàpigues que en aquesta travessia som molts els que et seguim i unim els nostres desigs per què arribis a port.

Una abraçada molt forta!

escenavegant said...

Benvolgut Ben,
Sé, perquè tu mateix m'ho vas dir fa poc menys d'una setmana, que ja estàs preparant una nova aventura marítima. Ara ets al bell mig d'un tràngol. Amb la mateixa força mental i muscular que vas ser capaç de travessar el nostre mar, estic segur que arribaràs al bon port de la Salut. N'estic segur i ho desitjo de tot cor. Aviat ens hem de veure de nou amb les mans a l'arjau, travessant les ones i empesos pels vents.
Et faig avinent l'estimació de molts amics que et recorden i que desitgen comptar-te de nou entre ells. Compartint bells moments d'alegria, de gaudi i de salut sobre els nostres bells bastiments.
Una forta abraçada i... SALUT!

EyeInHand said...

Following the course of your adventures, and honest fears, has been a high point of this past year. Truly, the octopus has many tentacles and a long reach. This challenge may be an adventure all it's own, but I can't wait for your speedy return to the waterborne variety. Good cheer, good luck, and keep us posted.


Graham Neil said...

Ben, We all know you have the strength and courage to beat this thing.
You are in our thoughts, come back soon and enjoy more adventures, the blisters on your bum must have healed by now.

C.C.O'H. said...

After a period of not keeping up with your blog – I was fighting a much smaller octopus – it was upsetting to come across this latest news. Your adventures and your writing, which are among the most consistently interesting in the blogosphere of boats, have been both an inspiration and an education. My sincerest best wishes for your recovery – and maybe Monica might keep us updated.

Andrew Crawshaw said...

Hi Ben

I chatted with your mum today. Isn't she great. Thinking lots of you here in Mevagissey, Cornwall, and wishing you well. Chemo these days is pretty devastating to NHL - it's improving all the time. We always think of you whenever we see a gaff-rigged wooden boat with a rust-brown sail. But I see you have a mizzen as well. Have just got back to Cornwall after a sail up to Plymouth, Salcombe & Dartmouth. Unusually, the weather was great. All very very best wishes - Andrew (Your dad's cousin)

Far de la Banya said...

Molta força i a continuar vencent els pops gegants dels nostres abismes.


Anonymous said...

Hello Ben,
Hope things are going better for you and your... Ben I have a book about small boats I would like to send you what is your post number .. I could even send it to you General Delivery to collect at the Post Office I think that you would enjoy it and it would help get your thoughts on nice things and not The Giant Octopus...


Manontheriver said...

Dear Ben and Monica,
I Received from Michael the new about this "unexpected
and unexplored sailing territory" that you are visiting.

If there is anything I can do I will do it. Just ask me please.

You are not alone, even if when you are in the storm, and everything goes wrong and it looks like hell.
Ant then, then are allways new territories to discover.
Upstream rowing is hard. If sick harder.

Please do not hesitate to call me

Giacomo De Stefano

from Man on the river

lucia simona said...

Large amount of love, strength and confidence to Ben!
I wish him Light in his heart to get over this hard piece of life.
Forza Ben!

bowsprite said...

oh! hello to Mónica! And thank you thank you!