How did you hear about the educational tall ship Matthew Turner?
I saw the giant educational tall ship construction tent in Sausalito, California. I stopped by one day because I have always been interested in traditional boats. In fact, my first son was born on a 1928 100-foot schooner! Since May 2018, I have been part of the sewing team. We’re working on designing the sail covers for Matthew Turner.
Where do you come from and were you always involved with boats?
I was raised in Miami and my family spent a lot of time on boats in the Bahamas. My first experience was crossing the gulfstream on a 27’ O’Day sloop. My first job at the age of 15 was on a boat. I drove a small dive boat for the spear fishermen who supplied lobster and fish for a club in the Bahamas. By the time I was in my 20s I was working on sail charters in the Caribbean. From 1989-2002 I circumnavigated 1.25 times with my husband and two boys. The adventure took place on a catamaran that we spent most of a year rebuilding in Sables D’Olonne, France. We stopped and worked as opportunities came our way. The longest stop was three and half years in New Zealand, where I was a resident artist, at The Quarry in Whangarei. We then took 12 years to journey from France to Thailand, then six months getting from Thailand back to Miami…. boats are my life!
What is your favorite task working on Matthew Turner, boat building or otherwise?
Contributing here is a pleasure more than a task. I love being on board Matthew Turner, to go around and see the various projects underway, and the maritime arts being practiced here.
Is there anything specific you have learned while volunteering here?
I have learned a lot by observing how others approach their tasks. I have seen wooden blocks and belay pins being made by hand, incredible metal work that fabricated the hanks for the headsails, and of course, new-to-me knots!
Do you plan to continue working on building other boats after Matthew Turner is complete?
Yes, as opportunity comes my way. My husband and I have always made our living in the maritime world. He is a marine engineer and project manager who now works mostly on large powered yachts… what he calls “big white boats.” At heart, he is still a sailor, but is happy to get offshore when an opportunity comes his way. I sometimes join him on deliveries. We’re based here in Marin, where I spend time painting, mostly beautiful landscapes. I recently participated in the Marin Open Studios event last May.
What is the next adventure for you? Do you have any sailing or travel plans?
If they were planned, they might not really be adventures. We love Northern California and are looking for a spot to build a home. We built an island home in the Bahamas for a British client in 2003. A house need neither float nor go to weather and hat!