We became free room
and board for friends and family who wanted to get away from the north. That is as long as they were willing to sleep in a
bunk bed, forego privacy, tolerate the motion and bring only one suitcase the size of a lunch box. Apparently and thankfully,
none was deterred by the less than luxurious accommodations. It gave us the opportunity to prove to many of them that yes
- we do know how to sail.
Every visit brought with it many memorable moments. My daughter Genevieve and her boyfriend John
were the first to see dolphins riding our bow wave. Don and John had a thrilling time riding the dinghy in 4 foot chop to
drop a second anchor in the middle of the night. We finally got to take my mom Cal and dad Laddie out for a "Thanks
for all the help" sail, when we got a visit from manatees. I could see the call of the sea in dad's face on that day.
Don's dad Roger finally caught one worth keeping - after taking quite a ribbing for the 3" minnow he snagged on a 3 1/4"
hook. Don got to be 'Most Envied Man in the Bay' on the sunny day he took three blonds, a brunette and a red head out for
a cruise. Then he got to be the 'Least Envied Man in the Bay' when we all took him shopping at St. Armands afterwards. We
discovered 6 year old Erin is fearless on rollercoasters and 4 year old Camryn can eat a chocolate covered ice cream bar in
the middle of a hot July day without getting a drop on her. Don's mom Linda happily took the helm and unwittingly took us
way off course. But she couldn't be blamed as she was also the only one on board who didn't succumb to an afternoon snooze.
At the end of our first year as live-aboards, we felt like the most popular people as almost every one of our close friends
and family got a little taste of our new life. Many have come for subsequent visits and we manage to keep the experiences
fresh because we are always in a new location when they return.