Sailing and writing - what more is there to life?

Ariel tacking for position at the race start.

Ariel tacking for position at the race start.

Although I've always loved the water, I didn't learn how to sail until I was an adult. When we moved to Rhode Island my husband insisted we needed a sailboat, as if it were a requirement to live here.  (I don’t get the logic either, but there you have it.) We started with a J-22 named Equilibrium, and I found that on board I did find a sense of balance and escape from the rat race as we zipped across Narragansett Bay. I was hooked.

We moved up to bigger boats for longer off-shore cruises and met tons of wonderful people. By and large, boat people are good people, willing to lend a hand, share some expertise along with a good yarn, and pour you a shot of rum at 7 in the morning after a harrowing trip.

Best of all, we met a great group of people and boats in Barrington, RI, that needed crew to help deliver boats from here to the Caribbean, or bring them back from Bermuda after a race. I’m forever grateful to Bob Anderson, captain of Ariel, and her incredible crew - the racers, the onshore support crew, and fellow delivery crew - for all the experiences we shared. These are friendships that will last a lifetime.

From squalls on the Gulf Stream to breaking the boom to hand steering 600 miles, I learned I could push the envelope outside my comfort zone ­– and it was exhilarating. Plus, there’s no better time to dream up nefarious characters and mysterious murders than when you're on midnight watch. Ocean Effect, which I hope to publish soon, is a direct result of those trips as I saw how being at sea in a closed environment affected people's behavior. Rest assured, I will keep sailing and writing!