Don't call it a Comeback: After 18 months, we sail again!
Chief Mate "Tripp"
Well, for me, I never realized how big a part of my life sailing was until I wasn't surrounded by it all the time. I grew up a stone's throw from Newport RI, self-styled capitol of the (yachting) universe and spent plenty of time on boats but never even considered working on them until I moved to Vermont and tried working in an office.
In a matter of months I was a deckhand working on a friendship sloop (a Maine expat!) on Lake Champlain and from there I quickly moved on to big traditional sailing ships. The people were interesting and I loved being part of a team and moving around big heavy pieces - sails, spars, anchors. No surprise I eventually ended up on the schooner with the biggest team and the biggest pieces
When I'm not getting paid to sail I spend money on to sail my own boat! If it seems silly then you're thinking too hard about it... I bought a 28' sailboat in Florida and sailed it solo from there to RI during the height of covid. Feeling much like Kevin Costner in the movie Water World by the end of that trip.
I try to cultivate non-sailing hobbies to limited success. They include crossword puzzles, drinking coffee and writing things that no one but me will ever read.
Where you can find me on the Chimes: if I'm not calling sail or back aft with the captain I'm probably fixing something, check the bilges.
Second Mate: James Rogers
Growing up sailing is easy when you live on Narragansett Bay. Of course it doesn't hurt when your parents are tall ship sailors themselves. From Opties and Herreshoff sloops to big wooden schooners, most of my earliest memories are under sail. I'll never forget being Seven years old and sea sick for the first (and last) time on the schooner Harvey Gamage sailing out of Boston.
By the time I was in high school I'd sailed as a trainee and volunteered on a multitude of different sailing vessels, both schooner and square-rigged. I actually graduated early to join a square rigger, the barque Picton Castle, bound around the world. I stayed with that ship for nearly two years. It was there on that hot deck under a cloudless sky, staring at an unfathomably deep blue ocean, that I came to realize that was where I was meant to be.
On the Chimes, if I'm not handling sail or working in the rigging, chances are I'm running the Yawl Boat, keeping her fueled and in good shape in case we need that extra push
Kate Fournier: Deckhand
Hello there! My name is Kate Fournier, and I am here on VICTORY CHIMES as a deckhand for the 2021 season.
I was born in Stuttgart, Germany, and grew up in the UK and moving around the United States. I’ve not been to school - ever -I was taught at home. Growing up I liked climbing trees, ripping around via unicycle,and playing sandlot baseball. I read Braille, and took fencing for 3 years.
I started sailing 6 years ago, and have since sailed the east coast,west coast, Gulf coast and Great Lakes on several tall ships. Sometime I’d like to cross an ocean, or go around the world, perhaps.
Besides sailing, I enjoy writing and receiving letters, playing banjo to myself, drawing, cooking for others, knitting and reading - my favorite subjects being steam trains and traditional logging in the Pacific Northwest. I like small trucks, small rowboats, and big dogs. I have an appreciation for the things of by-gone days, and have been described as “the youngest old person you’ll ever meet.”
And, while I enjoy sailing and certainly intend to continue doing so throughout my life, ultimately I should like to build myself a little tin-roofed house and finally open up my dinor - “Kate’s Greasy Spoon,” it’s called - I love to talk about it to just about anyone who’ll listen. It’s going to be a cash-only, real friendly kind of establishment - maybe I’ll see you there.
Hudson always had a love for the water. He grew up about 20 minutes away from the Hudson River, in the Hudson River valley in New York. Whether it was family vacations camping near the ocean or swimming in the lake in his back yard, he always was around water.
In high school he had a lot of interest in marine biology so he decided to find a school that had a great marine bio program. That’s when he found Eckerd college in St. Pete Florida. He applied and got in, eventually changing his major and graduating with a degree in environmental studies.
Eckerd is really where he got his start in the maritime industry. While at Eckerd he became a member of the schools maritime search and rescue team. Part of the training was learning how to sail. Over a two day, crash course, he learned the basics but was left with wanting to learn more. He was taught to think that sailors were weird and had weird names for things (all true by the way).
After graduating from school he lived in Florida for another 2 years, but decided to leave because all his job prospects were drying up.
After moving back in with his parents for a few months he decided to try and find a job on a sail boat. So he started looking around and found a schooner out of bivalve New Jersey, the AJ Meerwald, and sent in his resume. About a week later he got the job. He’s been sailing ever since.
He’s been sailing professionally since 2016. He has sailed all up and down the east coast of the states and the Great Lakes. He’s sailed as far north as port hawksberry, Nova Scotia, as far south as Cartagena Columbia, and as Far East as the Netherlands.
Eva Keyes: Deckhand
I was introduced to sailing a bit later in life. I grew up swimming and going to the beach in the summer but I was exposed to sailing when I participated in a SEA Semester on the Robert C Seamans. I had had never spent more than an afternoon on the water but I soon discovered that sailing was something I loved.
After SEA I went back to regular school at Eckerd College for environmental studies and coastal management. Half way through the semester COVID came along and everything switched to online. I quickly learned that online classes were not for me, but I finished the semester. And that summer I joined the schooner Harvey Gamage as a deckhand and that is where I stayed for almost a year. I did a yard period and two semester program as a teacher, deckhand, and eventually third mate.
When I’m off the ship I go to school (when it’s not online) hike, and go sailing on smaller vessels as much as possible.
There are folks that come to help for a weekend or a few weeks, but not long enough to submit a bio. If you see a picture of someone not listed above, that's them! This year we had Gabe, Shanan, Sherman & Yoko just to name a few.
As the captain will seldom say, you don’t choose to work on this vessel; the vessel, in fact, chooses you.
That’s exactly how this life started for me. As a Sous chef I was surrounded by thick steam and loud well-dressed patrons enjoying a sleek meal in a fancy open kitchen dining room. I'd try to catch my breathe to escape the weekend chaos by staring through the large elongated windows that overlooked the Woodshole port.
I was working at a local restaurant surrounded by what seemed to be a playground for scientist fisherman and hippies. The only commonality these people had with each other were there opinions about berkenstocks, the presidency, and beer, but like the '95 bulls, they too had a hard time seeing eye to eye.
There I was caught in the smack dab middle of this melting pot of culture. A wanderer with a light pack. enough money to see through the month and a plan that could barely stretch to my next day off, if I was lucky enough to have one. I, 26 and entranced by the blood sweat and tears that some call “culinary arts.”
Now you're probably wondering how one gets by with such little effort to care of existence, but it’s easy. I was dominated by fear, fear of success. Romantically involved with being momentarily content, and sacrificially drowned by the excitement of that one thing we know all too well, that night on the town.
That special time when you just let it all go.
Mostly what I was doing though was waiting. Waiting for the right opportunity to arise so I could leave what little I had behind and never look back.
That’s exactly what happened one night I stumbled upon a schooner in that port that sat stoically at the foot of the restaurant. I simply sat next to that boat one night after work. Staring at it, imagining myself living and surviving, maybe even cooking upon such a beautiful vessel.
It would be my tour bus, my Route 66.
To me this ship was an existing theme I could look at everyday and remind myself where I wanted to go. It gave me hope.
Finally one day, when I had moved into a new place, the women that rented to me granted me the key to this manifestation and asked me if I wanted to work on that boat. She’s been working with the company for years. I packed up the little that I had and embarked on a journey with no destination. I started cooking for little hippies and soon to be scientists and simply worked on my craft while we sailed systematically from one port to the next, ultimately making our way south.
To sum it up, I stumbled through the Caribbean, dreamt of opening a restaurant in Puerto Rico, and cooked for some of the finest corporate ho-haw jerks on the their yachts in Miami. It all led me to where I am today.
As I reluctantly write because I know I’ve already said too much I’m proud to say that, at the moment, this crew is my family, my recipes have never been more close to my heart and, for the moment I suppose, I’ll share them with you because the little time we have can go a long way.
Katie Christianson: Sous Chef
I have always moved through the world working with my hands. From carpentry and wood working, to creating art, cooking, and sailing.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, constantly surrounded by water. I identified with the ocean, lakes, rivers, and little creeks all around me. I was constantly exploring and always searching for new adventures. However, It wasn’t until college that I finally found sailing. I spent 6 weeks on a tall ship in New Zealand and fell in love.
I started working on a tall ship based out of Cape Cod as a steward. As part of that community, we sailed the entire Eastern seaboard twice, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and around the Gulf of Mexico. And now I’m here as a galley hand/sous chef working with one of my best friends. I love cooking, and I consider it a gift to be able to bring people together everyday around the table.
When I’m not sailing, I’m looking for another boat to sail on. I love to read, write plays, and carve spoons. One day I hope to start an artist residency program onboard a sailboat for artists to come together and work on their craft, whatever it may be.