Yesterday news spread around the world quickly of the tragic and untimely death of Antiguan superstar Francis Gobinet. Francis had been such a big part in the lives of so many people that this news is hitting many of us very hard. Reports are that he was at work over the side cleaning the boat bottom in the BVI and didn't come up. His brother Serge was doing the same thing on Ocean Nomad at exactly the same time with me here in Antigua. Anyway, this lead many to think he suffered a shallow water blackout which seems to be more and more common these days. If you like to snorkel of free dive you should read up on it on the link above.
There wasn't anything that he couldn't do and all who knew Francis will have almost unbelievable stories about him.
The thing about Francis is that when he was with you he was part of your life and you felt a close friendship. What is more is that your life was usually uplifted in some way. He had an amazing quality to brighten spirits and give you some extra kick to what would have otherwise been just another day. When people describe someone as being larger than life they are speaking about people like Francis.
Over the past 24 hours that particular blog entry has been getting hundreds of hits. According to my private web tracker hundreds of search engine searches for "Francis Gobinet" were directed to the page from Italy, Germany, Holland, Spain, the UK, France, Australia, all over the US, Antigua and many other areas. People all over the world heard the very sad news and wanted to find out if it was true. My phone didn't stop ringing all day yesterday with calls from people wanting to find out if it was really true. Someone so young and so much larger than life couldn't possibly be dead could they?