tional sailing. I worked my way ashore after
that — first as a shipwright, later as a journalist and teacher — and I still have trouble
putting into words what, exactly, I got out of
Ann Costlow is better at it, but then,
she has more concrete goals. For 16 years,
Costlow was a stockbroker, working in an
office overlooking Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
She’d sit looking out the window as the
Pride of Baltimore II came in and think to
herself, “I’d so much rather be down there.”
In 2000, she left her desk, where she’d been
watching the boat through a pair of binocu-
lars, and marched down to apply for a job as
a cook. She remembers the interview going
something like this:
“Do you have any experience as a cook?”
“Do you have any experience sailing?”
She wasn’t hired. Six months later, when
the boat emerged from its winter cover, she
tried again. Still no dice. Then the phone
rang. The ship’s cook had quit, via e-mail, at
the last minute, and they needed someone
to fill in for six weeks, starting immediately.
FOR A LIFE BEFORE THE MAST
THE CREW HANDBOOK FOR THE U.S. BRIG NIAGARA contained the following unat- tributed quote: “He who would go to sea by choice would go to hell for recreation.” Still interested? Tall Ships America (formerly the American Sail Training Association)
serves as a clearinghouse for all things related to a life before the mast, whether you’re
looking for a couple of days as a guest aboard the Pride of Baltimore II, a semester on the
Harvey Gamage, or a 14-month circumnavigation aboard the Picton Castle (and everything
in between). Executive Director Bert Rogers suggests checking out their website
( www.sailtraining.org) and contacting them if you need any advice.
Capt. Dan Moreland calls Art “Skipper” Kimberly “the last of the old Turks.” For more
about Skipper, his wife Gloria, and the Brigantine Romance, check out this movie trailer on
Was she still interested?
Costlow brought her boss the binoculars
and pointed at the harbor. “You see that
boat down there?” she started. “I have a
chance to go sailing on that boat.” The boss,
it turned out, had spent time as a teenager
working on an Alaskan oil pipeline, and
still looked back fondly on the adventure.
Costlow lined up someone to cover, and
“It completely shifted my priorities,” she
says. “Everything I thought was so impor-
tant — money — just had no value. I went
back to work as a broker for six months, but
felt like a caged wild animal.” Costlow has
sailed on the Pride since; she’s even on their
board of directors now, but she didn’t leave
her job for the sailing life. She had a differ-
ent dream. As she talks, her employees are
getting ready for the lunch rush at one of the
two restaurants she now owns. She opened
the first one in 2003, and she recently began
franchising the business, Sofi’s Crepes. For
Costlow, sailing “took away so many obsta-
cles,” she says. “It showed me there’s noth-
ing you can’t try or do.”
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