Vickie Neighbour (SC, '96), SIBF Chair-Elect, and husband Pete were on a Silversea Expeditions trip to the Galapagos in October 2017, and took part in a long-time tradition.
Since the 18th Century, the Galapagos Islands has had a unique mail service. In the days before smartphones, sailors spent years away from home with little communication and so invented their own. They would leave letters, addressed but with no stamp, in a barrel on Floreana Island and hope that others passing through would take them home and mail them to the recipient or hand deliver them.
Vickie wrote on a Silversea Expeditions postcard and put it in the barrel. It was addressed “Bill Sharp, Jane Shivers, Zurich, Telluride, Tampa, Atlanta, San Francisco”. The message read, “Dear Bill and Jane, we thought you two might be our only chance!, Love, Vickie and Pete Neighbour.”
Last year a woman from Tampa was talking to her friend Becky Rauenhorst, wife of SIBF member Neil, and she showed her the postcard that she had fished out of the barrel when she visited the Galapagos and asked Becky if she knew Bill or Jane. Becky said yes and that she would take responsibility for delivery. Fast forward to this past Christmas holiday in Telluride, Colorado, when Becky presented the postcard at a holiday party she and Neil hosted. Bill was delighted to tell Becky and Neil the story of being the “Best Man” at Vickie and Pete’s wedding on an SIBF trip to China.
Another great story of the reach of the SIBF network and great friendships.
- Jane Shivers (FL, '92)