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A Sailing Marriage, with all the Highs and Lows of Pitching Seas

John and Susan's marriage aboard Phaedrus, Stamford Harbor, Connecticut, 1978



John and I got married in 1978 on Phaedrus, a 50-ton Norwegian sailboat that was almost too heavy to sail, in the harbor at Stamford, Connecticut, where we lived aboard at the time. The boat had a nine-foot draft and on our wedding day, we ran aground on the edge of the channel. John hurried below, changed into his Speedo, and dove overboard to see if he could figure a way to get us off, but we were stuck hard aground. 


We held the ceremony there. It was a great harbinger of the years to come: follow our hearts, and when things don't go our way, deal with it the best way we can.




I'm thrilled to share a terrific review from Julia Jones of Yachting Monthly that came out today:


A sailing marriage, with all the highs and lows of pitching seas.


This is the record of a marriage more than an account of a cruise; yet sailing couples will understand how the two become intertwined.

Susan met her husband John in 1969 when they were both working in a creative, hippy-ish company in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Their backgrounds were quite different: John having sailed since the age of four and having spent significant periods of his life in Africa.

Susan from a landlocked Jewish immigrant family in Ohio. Both were then married to other people.

Susan tells the story of their first 15 years as liveaboards in Long Island Sound, rowing ashore in the mornings to change into business clothes in the bushes.

Anyone who has grappled with the dying years of ancient wooden boats will know from the day their transom fell off on their first outing, that weeks, months, years of joint hard work is only postponing the inevitable.

Their first home – a 1903 former ferry boat – sunk and they lost everything... Read more


I hope that you're all enjoying gorgeous spring weather, as we are today in New Orleans!

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