It happened! I spoke for the elite group of explorers at the Explorer’s Club of Manhattan on November 15. And…I didn’t have to wear a mermaid’s outfit to get their attention! My talk, “Surviving the Andrea Doria Shipwreck: An Up-close and Personal Account” was well-received. Upon uttering my last words, the audience actually clapped heartily. Then, I heard someone blurt out, “phenomenal”…followed by more clapping. Whew!
An audience of about 100 came to hear me and some very distinguished scientists tell their “Sea Stories”, also the name of the program. Topics explored the world of dolphins, saving the bluefish tuna, traveling from the Antarctic to New Guinea, and investigating Mayan caves.
During my talk, I felt comfort, yet even more accountability knowing that I had my own special ‘entourage’: nine divers of the Andrea Doria (three are close friends), the Italian Consul General of Italy, Andrea Doria survivor and legendary songwriter Mike Stoller, and my dear friend Vince Lionti, who plays viola in the MET.
The Explorer’s Club offered more bonuses for me: a historical building of their own filled with mementos from great expeditions, my own book signing, and an invitation to return in the future. This message from the co-chairman of “Sea Stories”, Will Roseman, warmed my heart:
I started reading your book this weekend and could not put it down! I finished it before the weekend was over. Rarely do I hear people talking about a lecture with such excitement as I heard people talking about yours. It made me very proud to have met you. Please know that you always have a home and many, many fans at the Explorers Club.”
When I return, I hope to meet some of the great explorers and past speakers: astronaut Buzz Aldrin, aviator Chuck Yeager (the first man to break the sound barrier), and Col. Matthew Bogdanos, who led the recovery of looted antiquities in Baghdad, among a few legends in our lifetime.
You may want to check out their fascinating website: www.explorers.org.