My first ship was the HM Bark Endeavour, when she was on her first world tour in 1999. I sailed her for 3 months up the west coast of the US and Canada. I sailed for a day on Lady Washington when we went to Grays Harbor, and also sailed her longboat, which has its own little cannon.
I came back to the east coast and got a job at a bookstore, until my father found the HMS Bounty when she was being rehulled in Maine. After I dropped him off and saw the ship, I knew it was just a matter of time before I'd be sailing again. I quit my job and joined her crew in September of 2002. I sailed her for over a year, down the east coast, through the Gulf of Mexico, and up the Mississippi to Baton Rouge.
We wintered in Florida and headed back up north to spend the summer in the Great Lakes, where I took on the duties of 3rd mate. I met my husband when he boarded in Bay City, Michigan and was placed on my watch.
I took the opportunity to sail Larinda when both ships were sailing from Miramachi to Summerside, PEI one night. Bounty went on to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, where she had been built. Larinda opted for Halifax. We both meant to weather out hurricane Juan and continue after the storm passed. Bounty did just that, but Larinda was struck by another nearby moored vessel and sunk at the pier.
The waves the next day were indeed high as we finally got back into the Atlantic. A lot of the crew was feeling not so hot, and we did shake loose a few things that obviously needed better stowing, but I certainly had fun.
I finally left in Freeport, New York, but my sister joined the crew and kept me informed of all the goings-on, until Bounty sank in hurricane Sandy in 2012. It was quite a blow for my family and our many sailing friends.
It gives me an empathetic spirit when I come across my shipwrecked or lost-at-sea relatives from the past. The most tragic, I think, is Rufus Warren Rich, who was only 24. He had one daughter, who was born about the same year he was wrecked on Brenton Reef, Newport, Rhode Island. She grew up, obviously never knowing her father. Her grandfather was also lost at sea, and then her husband died abroad as well. Still, she seems pretty happy in the photos I have of her.