Read “How I Met Your Mother,” part 1
of this two-part feature, about how Tom
wooed Mel, when the two were young
whippersnappers. Visit this story on
“We can’t wait for the day,” but after spending all of our time in such close quarters, Mel
and I were just the opposite. Even as they
made us proud, we missed them immensely.
With two fewer people onboard, Mel and
I needed an easier boat to operate, so we
bought our latest, an old Gulfstar 53 motor
sailer, also called Chez Nous. She still carries
us safely today.
Last spring we survived a tornado in our
new Chez Nous, huddling at the base of the
companionway as we had survived one many
years before in our prior Chez Nous. This boat
dwarfs my first little ship, but Mel and I love
being aboard. There’s room for Melanie and
Carolyn to return with their husbands in tow,
and now, each with a child. And yes, our new
Chez Nous has eyes.
We also have the Tranquillizer, a 20-foot
1985 Mako. This name once graced a schooner and an early-80s Mako 22, owned by our
THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD
WE HEARD THAT OUR OLD GULFSTAR 47 DIED when two back-to-back hur- ricanes devastated the Fort Pierce City Marina where she lay. She survived the first, despite the fact that most of the marina and boats around her were
destroyed. But the second one sank her when a huge steel barge rolled over her. For
several years, we’d see her, sitting up with the other “hurricane
boats” in the salvage yard on the
edge of the ICW, as we passed
by in our current Chez Nous.
Mel would always cry. Melanie
made a long detour to the yard
one day while driving on I- 95.
Sneaking in past the “Keep Out”
signs, she took a picture of the
boat’s in-hull bow light, around
which the girls had long ago
painted eyelashes. Rust running
down from the light made the
eyes look like she was crying.
close friends Herm and Helen Wenzel, on
which we spent many days in the Bahamas,
fishing, diving, and carrying supplies. Our
Mako is of the same vintage. She reminds us
of the past while speeding us into the future.
Mel and I love to spend quiet evenings slowly
running up and down a river, sometimes just
drifting or, when we feel like it, opening her
up to go fast. She can make 43 knots. Fast
or slow, or in between, it’s a boat, and we’re
on the water together. Now we want a faster,
smaller cruising boat. Our daughters and
their families live south, and we’d like to get
Tom has owned more than 25 boats since the early
1950s. He and Mel continue to live aboard, have
spent 19 winters in the Bahamas, and have traveled the ICW several times a year for the past 27.
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The Icom logo is a registered trademark of Icom Inc. 20578
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