First off, I’m no literary scholar. My education has been in the public school system of New York State and on to a community college. Nothing compared to the rest of the family with high degrees. A lot of my education has come from the school of hard knocks or more accurately, from my own determination and self-study.
After leaving college, I worked long hours in a hospital as a Radiologic Technologist. Later when ultrasound technology was introduced I began to work toward that goal. Happily I ended my career with numerous qualifications and registries which enabled us to pay for those high priced degrees that our children now have.
Ted needs to be credited for most of our ability to afford a house, a boat and college payments. He sweated through years in the engine room. Having endured those hot dirty jobs away from home on a coal ship makes the idea that we can now journey to tropical islands all the more sweeter.
Koukla is an amazing boat, and the amount of work we’ve done to resurrect her is incredible. Koukla was constructed from Far Eastern exotic woods. She was built for a man who grew up in Greece watching boats which looked like butterflies on the ocean. When we found Koukla in Port Washington, New York she looked like a 100 year old derelict. Stripped of all her paint with sails falling on the deck it was hard to see the beauty which lay beneath. I didn’t see it at first, but Ted did. Having searched for several years for a cruising boat together, I thought he wouldn’t want this one , as we walked down the dock. Ted was thinking just the opposite. “THIS IS IT”.
Captain Ted, the engineer, has made this trip possible on a fine boat which we are all very proud of. Captain Horatio IV (Scott) must be credited for the varnish work and many excellent designs such as our new cockpit table. It can be sat on, slept on and/ or used as a table. Molly and Scott graduated from UMO last spring with degrees in Mechanical Engineering. Isaac is also a mechanical engineer graduating from Carnegie Mellon in 2004.
Having 4 engineers aboard isn’t bad, though 3 Captains can be interesting. We got our license’s last summer but we usually give the honor of Captain to Ted.
When I think back to the first time we sailed Koukla to the Caribbean 12 years ago. I am really proud of the adults the kids have become. Sometimes I explain to other parents that when you take your kids on a boat and they throw up for three days everything afterward is all good. One time while off shore we heard a bang and the fore gaff came down in the middle of the night. Without anyone saying a word, the four of us proceeded to find the problem, fix it and hoist the gaff back up.
Character building is what one cruiser calls it. You find within yourself qualities that life on shore doesn’t challenge. Hard work followed by the gratification that you can accomplish more that you thought you could.
We wait for the right weather to leave to go off shore. With any luck we won’t be throwing up this time but I’m sure we’ll all be better off for making the journey together.