The world lost Cal White this past Friday. It is a loss most folks will not mark, nor feel, nor understand. Nevertheless Cal is gone and the world is now short one of its best people.
I met Cal at the marina. I kept my sailboat Solitaire in the slip next to his boat, Sea Pumpkin. We quickly discovered we were both amateur radio operators, but he was far more advanced and more active than I was. He shared his knowledge and passion with me, and pressed me into getting my extra-class license, and joining the Texas DX Society.
When I sailed across the gulf to Cape Canaveral for the NASA Morpheus mission, Cal kept in touch with me both coming and going, and ran phone patches so I could talk to my wife, Dee Ann. Hearing his voice was a tremendous comfort to me. Having sailed across the Atlantic himself he understood my communications needs and limitations better than I did. You can read about his sailing adventure, The Penguin here.
Cal traveled to more countries than I ever will, and set up a radio station in many of them. We had plans to do a DXpedition, and do some more sailing, but we didn’t get around to them in time. Cal did manage to sucker Dee Ann into getting her amateur radio license (KG5EUB). She is now studying for her general class so we can continue to talk without Cal’s assistance when I’m offshore.
So here’s to you Cal. I guess I’ll hold my nose and drink a non-alcoholic beer in your honor. Maybe I’ll finally learn Morse Code too. And maybe I can try to be a friend and mentor to some unfortunate dreamer that pulls his boat in next to mine someday. I won’t be as good as you though. Fair winds my friend. KD5TIO, QRT.