It’s hard to describe to those who aren’t….and those who are know right away what I’m talking about. Boat People. I guess you could say my husband and I are boat people. Sailboat People mostly if we’re being specific. I’m not sure exactly how it happens, or how it happened for us but I think I have an idea. I grew up in Coastal Alaska, in a fishing village in Prince William Sound. While my family weren’t specifically fishermen; boats and boat life were a GIANT part of my childhood. From the harbor that sits front and center of my sweet town to the many friends who helped on their parents fishing boats to the endless ferry rides as my little town had no road. Boats were a working part of my life.
I do remember that sailboats were a bit more of a mystery in my harbor. My fabulous fifth grade teacher ( and friend of my mom’s as is everyone in town) lived on one in the harbor which was totally cool. Alaska is ridiculously beautiful and awesome and Prince William Sound is one of it’s Crown Jewel’s if you ask me so it was not unusual for a giant yacht to pull into town. Word would spread through town about which celebrity owned it etc. But I remember well one year a sailboat yacht came to town and it was so beautiful my mom brought me down to the harbor to see it. The Tabasco it was named and it was shiny red and gorgeous, it turns out I’ve since learned my mom is a sailboat person too. But back then that was about all I knew on the sailboat front.
Years later, I was 17, enter my husband, a young guy from Vermont, just entered the Coast Guard and sent to a cutter in a small isolated town in Alaska. There is a story there for another day but let’s just leave it to say that over the winter our friendship blossomed and as I got to know this guy, one thing I quickly learned was….he was a boat guy. He told me of his dreams to buy a sailboat and travel and I’ll say it, I was impressed, although slightly cynical, I was going to be the next woman president or something you know.. He was relentless though, enticing me with books such as Maiden Voyage by Tania Abai and Following Seas by Beth Leonard
Two years later he was transferred to the small boat harbor in Rockland Maine, just about the most perfect place for a sailboat person.
The next time we spoke the first thing he said was, “I bought a sail boat and I’m living on it in Rockland Harbor”. Well I’ll be darned, he wasn’t jokin’! He’d bought his first boat. A twin keeled Westerly 25′. We sailed around Penobscot Bay and the Coast of Maine for two summers on that sweet little boat. He worked 2 days on 3 days off then 3 days on, 2 days off shifts at the USCG small boat station which left plenty of time for sailing and exploring little islands and harbors and oh the fun. I didn’t realize it then but I was becoming a boat person too.