Book by Phil and Nancy Rink. Courtesy Image
By LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
“You have to be independent and be careful,” advised Phil and Nancy Rink as they spoke. to Rotarians on August 10 about their five years aboard Bright Water, a sailor adventure that started in 2012.
Their presentation explained how they rebuilt their 46 ‘ motor sailboat; describes their route sailing along the Pacific coast from Washington State to Mexico; detailed their plans, preparations and equipment; and describes the vast and empty beaches they explored along the Sea of Cortez, its abundant marine life and camaraderie among the other sailors they met on their travels.
Despite encountering an unmarked reef on the maps, a broken coast and a painful encounter with a big hook, Phil and Nancy both assured us with a smile, “No one is dead.”
As they talked about their years on the water, they shared some amazing photos they took underwater and on land. It was a program perfectly suited to summer reveries.
Phil, who was born and raised in Los Alamos, graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1978.
He and Nancy both earned mechanical engineering degrees from the University of New Mexico. In 1985 they left White Rock, but recently returned to their neighborhoods.
As entrepreneurs, the Ice Rinks have worked for themselves, for large and small electronics companies, and for nuclear and aerospace companies. In the 1990s, they developed the FISHEYE Underwater video camera, the first product of its kind in the industry.
In 2001, the Rinks embarked on a year-long cruise to the Bahamas and the Caribbean Islands. with their children, Lena and Pender. Their story is told in detail in Mermaid: Our Family. in Paradise. The book not only tells the story of the Rink family at sea, but provides equipment lists, planning calendars, anchors and tips for families who would like to consider a long cruise. A video of the mermaid’s journey can be viewed here.
In addition to being avid boaters, the rinks have trained both soccer and swimming and have organized science fair competitions.
For over 10 years, the Rinks have been writing and publishing Jimi & Isaac books for children – “short, quick and easy to read realistic fiction books, a genre forgotten by the publishing industry.
During a presentation in 2019 at the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, the ice rinks spoke about this series of books, the importance of storytelling and how Jimi and Isaac books teach problem solving. The books are aimed at college students, in particular boys and “children who don’t like to read”. They are written in the ‘tradition of Tom Swift and the Mad Scientist Club series. The Jimi and Isaac and Mermaid: Our Family in Paradise series can be purchased from local booksellers, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos meets in person from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays in the community hall at Cottonwood on the golf course greens. A Zoom option is available by contacting Rotary Vice President Linda Hull at 505.662.7950. Hull is also happy to provide information on the Club and its humanitarian service.