May 25, 2020 2 min read

It's all about the dream.

Why did I leave my job in the nursing field, and why did Matt cut short his IT career to rebuild his grandfather's knot business?

Who infected our minds with dreams of freedom and travel?  A biker turned sailor seeking the freedom of the open ocean rather than the freedom of the open road.  It took time to meet him, but Bob Bitchin' kindled a spark in us both to take the path less traveled.

This blog is not directly about knot working or Mystic this time. This is about a dream that is slowly becoming a reality that started around the same time we took the knotworking business seriously.

Matt was always talking about getting a boat, he grew up on the water. I had a weird childhood dream of living on a boat, but grew up inland. One day about 15 years ago, I picked up a magazine called Latitudes  and Attitudes.

 I had looked at other boating magazines, but this one caught my imagination like no other. People living on their sailboats and traveling the world? I didn't know such a thing was possible, and I became obsessed.

We started looking at sailboats, and purchased our first boat, a Grampian 26.

 

Our first boat, unnamed sailboat, Grampian 26

grampian 26 unnamed sailboat

Here is me at the helm, learning to use a tiller.

Me sitting on the bow as we head down the Mystic River.

 

We had lots of adventures on our Grampian. We had all the firsts - groundings, losing the halyard up the mast, trying to navigate somewhere after realizing we forgot our charts at home after hours at sea, etc.

At the same time, I was reading every Latitudes and Attitudes I could get my hands on. I wanted that lifestyle! The creator of Latitudes and Attitudes, Bob Bitchin, hosted cruisers parties at the boat shows. Cruisers parties involved free beer and pizza, as well as trop rock music and dancing, with other people sharing the dream.

I looked longingly at those pictures, wanting to be there. Then they came to the Newport, RI boat show!

That first party was just a magical as I imagined it would be. I apologize for the quality of the pictures!

Free beer and pizza at the Newport Boat Show!

I was so excited to be there!

Eric Stone played at all the parties, I was starstruck!

Matt and Bob Bitchin. We were always tying bracelets wherever we went.

Me with my bag of bracelet string heading for the party.

Fast forward to the present. Because of Latitudes and Attitudes, we have been living aboard our 2nd sailboat, a Gulfstar 37, for the last 6 years. We wanted to be cruising by now, but the universe had other plans for us, growing our business and taking all our focus.

Now we are finally getting on track, trying to live the dream.

Our Gulfstar 37, Sagitta II, ready to sail the world.

gulfstar 37 Sagitta II

 

A more current picture of me at the Helm. Now I have a wheel instead of a tiller.

My story wouldn't be complete without a picture of Betsy Mongrel. She loves sailboat living.

 

Jill Beaudoin
Jill Beaudoin


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