KATIE & JESSIE

aboard lovely Louise…


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Goodbye. Again.

Coast-34The feeling I get when leaving, is starting to become dangerous. By dangerous I mean great. I get so excited. Thrilled by uncertainty. A sense of awareness, verifying the control I have over my life. I am free. The satisfaction of putting plans into action when no one really believes you… better yet, never really telling anyone the plan and just quietly slipping away. I remained unattached, to everything in life but Louise. On this occasion (sailing away from Key West), I assure you, Katie and I both felt a heightened freedom. We didn’t need to talk about it, but we were both happy. The problem here, is that “leaving” always feels right, it never feels wrong.  Will it ever go away? Will either of us ever stop?

Again, we fall into our roles. Katie and Reggie kayak to shore, she hauls up the anchor, she eats her cookies, gets out the books, the highlighters, and the trip advisor is in action. I check the oil, and start the engine. Followed by placing everything in the cockpit that I will need for the day. French press, water, ginger chews, sunscreen, sunglasses, a white shirt to cover the areas of skin I feel burning, hat, chap stick, a banana (bad luck on a boat, oops) I create a comfy spot on my new folding West Marine chair (Thank you Ellen!) and spend the day keeping us on course. Suddenly 10 hours have passed. We still haven’t changed out of our bra and underwear. We listen to the same playlist over and over. (We call this game, “Have you ever heard this song?”) Crank up the volume and obnoxiously singing louder with each round.  Katie has figured out our plan for the day/night, as well as having Reggie completely groomed. I am still glued in my chair, making sure to deliver us to the days destination without running aground.

We spent 40 miles sailing on the outside (Atlantic side) to Marathon. What? Yes. SAILING. For those of you who have kept up with our adventure, know that we are not die-hard sailors. We are die-hard motor-sailors. We get shit for this. Neither of us care. We have our own way of doing things. You have yours. Don’t worry about ours. Sorry, I may have some pent-up aggression on this subject. Anyways… we were more than happy to have such an incredible sailing day. A consistent 17 knots, gusts up to 22, (Thank you Dave and Renee for our new hand-held, mechanical wind reader, we are obsessed with it. Life changing!) had us sideways for nearly 8 hours. The engine off operation is a beautiful thing, and you could tell Louise was smiling, she was in her prime. Katie and I were even smiling as well, but it did reiterate our reasons for not being die-hard sailors.

It took every muscle in our bodies to keep pressure on the tiller, proping our bodies in the a sturdy place, to stay on course. Whoever wasn’t steering, was also using all muscles to keep themselves in one location. Louise is little, she is light, she gets pushed and shoved by the wind and waves forcing you to put up a fight. Normally, I have no problem driving 6  to 8 hours straight, on this day, Katie and I had to switch every hour. I can’t work out for that long. There was no chance of us going down below. Neither of us ate the entire day. Going to the bathroom off the stern was a challenge. Reggie was stressed out. Our rub rail fell off on the leeward side from being dragged in the water all day.  Everything that was “stowed away” was no longer stowed away. Our home now looked like it had barely survived a tornado. By the time we dropped the hook, we were exhausted. You get the point here. Don’t get me wrong, we were thankful mother nature provided us with a great sail. But when we laid down that night, we agreed, that tomorrows 50 mile day would consist of remaining somewhat vertical.

Part of Katie’s journey, consists of something mine does not. Taking care of a living being besides herself. Keeping Reggie healthy, and happy. Meaning multiple times a day, no matter where we are, she somehow has to get him to land. For those of you who are new to this blog, Reggie is Katie’s dog of 7 years, and he refuses to go to the bathroom on the boat. I have seen this girl kayak Reggie to land in high winds, heavy rain, frost-bit mornings, and pitch black nights. She never once, has asked me for help. No matter what kind of land mass or terrain, (even when it looks impossible) she finds a way to make it possible. After anchoring in Boot Key harbor, the three of us, mounted our single person kayak,”Darbie”. It was after this long day of sailing… we were hot, hungry, and tired, and rather far from land. In search of an abandoned yard to let Reggie use as facilities, the three of us inefficiently headed for the shore.

Not too far out, was a concrete slab slanting into the harbor, that looked like it had street access. A perfect Reggie ramp. When we got closer, we noticed an old mans eyes glaring at us from his yard.  The distance between us and him was getting smaller, his devilish eyes growing larger. We had a bag to pick up Reggie’s business, and rope on the kayak we could use as a leash. All we intended, was to tie off the kayak, and walk around the neighborhood with Reggie. We drift up behind some bushes…incognito… but the ornery old man knows what we are up too. Reggie hops off and excitedly starts running around. We attempt to be quiet, and respectful.

“Don’t you dare shit in my yard! I will kill you! Get your dog off my f*&$ing property! GIT!”

Katie, yells for Reggie. Reggie responds to her tone of voice and jumps back on Darbie immediately. We struggle to remain stable and up right between the three of us trying to quickly paddle away, aboard a kayak made for one. I take responsibility because I was encouraging this location in the first place.

“I’m sorry sir. We are just looking for street access to walk our dog, we have full intentions to take care of it”. Fearing Reg would take a crap in his yard. Secretly wishing Reg did, take a crap on his feet.

“Tourists! Are you tourists? God damn tourists. Get off my property! Where’d you come from anyway?”

” Were on that boat out there in the anchorage, the dog has been at sea all day, this looked like our best option. We will find somewhere else.”

By this point his wife comes out of the house. Both of them pointing fingers, screaming “Tourists!!!” they were incredibly mean, cruel, and passionately angry. I was sure one of them was going to fall to their death after exerting so much intensity towards us “tourists”. It was insane. I could not believe the words that were coming out of their mouths. If it were an episode of “The Real World” the entire scene would have been bleeped out from the cursing. I responded in silence. and from the bottom of my heart, I flicked them the bird while Katie paddled us down the next canal. I’ve never flicked someone off with so much zeal. In fact, I don’t think I have ever flicked anyone off in a serious manner in my entire life (except on the toll roads in Florida… when you drive through those cameras and they take a picture of your vehicle…and then send you a bill in the mail for driving on their roads…mmmm government… those cameras may have seen my middle finger on occasion. Like every occasion.) My middle finger was standing tall, flexed, fingers tightly crunched. It stayed that way until we were out of their line of sight.

I was thankful I went with Katie and Reggie that day. She would have been the only one to get yelled at. I would have assumed she was being dramatic, and embellished the story. But it all would have really taken place. I will never forget them. And surely, they will never forget us. If you are ever in Boot Key Harbor, and have to row a dog to shore…be careful, or at least be prepared to exercise the middle finger method.

Okay, I have a lot more to write about, but that is all for now. We continue to head north. It’s looking like we are northbound for the next 2 months at least. Until we stumble upon the Hudson River… and take a left -ish. The photos below, are from a day sail we took aboard our dear friend Claude’s stunning sailboat. He was a great neighbor at Stock Island Marina. I already miss everyone that entered our lives in the Keys. A day to never be forgotten. Thanks Claude! Cheers to great friends. Coast-18

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www.jessietakespictures.com


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The List.

In my world, the creation of a list usually happens when life is about to drastically change. Decisions to up and leave may be rash, but that doesn’t mean the list of things that must be done before leaving is. Since Katie and I have a habit of packing up and running whenever we please, the list has begun. Throughout this journey, we’ve refused to find ourselves too comfortable, in fear that we would never leave that zone of comfort. We have a long road ahead, it’s time to make moves. Goodbye to the comfort of a floating dock. Goodbye air conditioning. Goodbye fridge. Goodbye beautiful laundry facility. Good bye shower. Goodbye nights well slept. Goodbye to making money. Hello to the opposite of all those categories. Hello to dirty, scared, and broke. The decision to leave has been made. But the shopping list, and projects have just begun. Hence, THE LIST:

  • hose clamps
  • white electric tape
  • oil SAE 40
  • oil filters
  • type A tranny fluid (drain/replace transmission fluid)
  • fuel filters (change fuel filter)
  • new auxiliary cord (I would prefer to hear out of both of our speakers instead of one)
  • shop rags
  • exchange broken hose (it recently blew up in Katie’s face)
  • box fan (our fan is a hot mess)
  • 12 volt thing for cockpit (Replace. Current one got wet, fried, and melted)
  • impeller (check current/buy spare)
  • alternator belt (tighten, and buy spare)
  • distilled water (top off batteries)
  • tighten loose wires on batteries
  • lithium batteries (for our Spot locator… keep our families happy)
  • two 3/4” pieces of plywood (new outboard mount)
  • fix broom handle tiller extension (surprised it’s still exists)
  • tighten stays
  • re-attach solar anchor light
  • replace rubber bootie things where stays cross over spreaders.
  • finish scraping Louise’s belly!!!
  • replace zinc

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Belly of Louise.

It is easiest to forget the unseen. There has been several occasions where particular areas, nooks, and crannies have been ignored aboard our humble abode. The reason being – fear of what lies beneath. I stated in my last post, there is not much that truly scares me. Amongst my fear of commitment, mayonnaise, and the dislocation of fingers, there are areas of Louise I can hardly bring my eyes to meet… God forbid I witness what is really there. I’m too scared.

Where the old, weak bladder connected to our toilet wiggles underneath the couch on Katie’s side. The possibility of urine leaks where I connected the hoses. The rusty storage shed underneath Reggie’s bed… where water collects as it rains. That one Bird box (cat box) compartment on my side, where we used to keep Bird’s litter, soggy bits of litter still reside. The deep, dark bilge, reeking of diesel, oil, and dirty hair. These little nightmares, remain unkept. What you don’t know, won’t hurt you. No one wants to breathe mold, smell sewage, get an old piece of litter stuck under their fingernail, have a spider crawl up their shorts, eat an aunt, or more recently have a lizard jump at your face. Do you understand what I am saying? No need to attend to these areas. Unless it is an emergency.

Lets not forget about the entire part of our house that faces the sea floor. Louise’s belly. This large area, has been lacking attention for longer than it takes to bare a child. Sure, we were attentive to this region as we traveled the Bahamas. The water clarity was that of air. It was nothing but entertainment to keep her belly clean as we cruised from island to island. It was like we were snorkeling, working out, and making our home more efficient all at once. Win, win, win. Well, it’s been awhile since either of us have seen what it looks like down there… Why? Again – fear of what lies beneath. Recently, I insisted on facing the facts (Katie wasn’t as excited about this plan as I) With snorkel gear on, I ungracefully flopped into the marina, to witness the coral reef we dragged down from Fort Lauderdale. Let’s just say if Louise were a plane, there would be no flight.

I scrubbed, scraped, scrubbed, and scraped some more. The amount of living things I removed from Louise was slightly disturbing. The dead fish floating around me in the marina…comforting. Mini shrimpy things squirming all over my skin when I got out of the water, even more pleasing. Katie worked on the bottom of Madbob (dinghy) and Darbie (kayak) while making sure the tarpon twice my size, were not seeking me as an appetizer. A morning well spent. Minus the fact that I only finished a fraction of the job, and I suck at holding my breath. Oh well, it’s start.

Thank the lord we don’t have a bigger house. Thank you Katie for cold beer and moral support. Thank you Reggie for keeping your eyes on me at all times and protecting me from vicious sea life. Thank you George and Donna for rewarding us with delicious bbq pulled pork sandwiches.


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Coast.

Coast-61“I don’t know what they do in there, but I want to be friends with them” Katie curiously states.

“Oh yeah. Those Boys. I got a ride home from one of them on a motor-bike the other day. We should definitely be friends with them” I come back.

“You got on a bike with one of them? A total stranger? Smart, Jessie. Real smart.”

“Figured it was better than walking. His name is Turner. He is from Nashville. He lives in that thing back there that looks like an ice cream truck”

Stock Island, has a reputation for not being the nicest area…the shady island… where the bums reside in the park, the trash washes ashore only to be smelled but never picked up. No place to be walking around at night. Close to Key West, but not Key West. Affordable. Kind of. A place where you can’t distinguish the homeless from the rest. Everyone weathered, heavy creases in their faces when telling stories or laughing, ripped clothing, salty, dirty fingernailed, drunk, and probably a missing tooth. We pretty much fit right in.

Katie and I have been banned from walking to and from work around here, by our co-workers who insist it’s not the smartest idea. Usually I ignore these suggestions. Not very many people or places scare me. Call me naive. Thats fine. Little does anyone know I turn into purebred ninja when in a sticky situation. That is a totally different subject. BUT because we did both walk instead of drive for some time, we discovered something beautiful along the way. A place welcoming mellow folk, like minded personalities, artists, woodworkers, sailors, and dreamers. Right there across from the trailer park, Coast Projects‘ inhabited compound, where creativity is created.

Over the days we kept meeting these guys… one at at time… each one equally handsome as they are kind. Why yes, these should be our new friends. Eventually we were introduced to this hidden studio, and it’s projects. From boat building, to jewelry making, screen printing, welding, fiberglassing, skateboard painting, music making, this bearded and rugged group is really something else. Billy Kearins, founder and creative director of Coast Projects, was equally as enthusiastic about our sailing adventure, as we were about our new friends. He asked us if we would be interested in bartending for their upcoming event. YUP.

It was the most fun money we have ever made. Surrounded by live music, the scent of Jamaican jerk chicken, cute little kids running around in suspenders, friendly dogs and a bright blue parrot. Not to mention bread pudding to die for, and even more creative/out there people. Thank you Billy, for inviting us. Take the time to check out their website and current projects. Buy a shirt while your at it. These guys are cool.

SIDE NOTES:

If you live on a small Island, people talk. People talk everywhere, but tend to talk more when your stuck on a rock. Here are the current rumors; Katie and jessie on a boat is a lesbian pornography site. Katie is sleeping with our French Canadian neighbor. Since I’m the one without a boyfriend, I am secretly in love with Katie and am jealous. Our daddies bought our boat for us and are paying for us to be on this trip. Oh, and we don’t have any electronics aboard Louise and we navigated by the stars. Gotta love small towns. These people must really be bored.

On St. Patty’s day, we went to a bar called “Garden of Eden” where clothing is optional. I had not had nearly enough drinks to witness the body parts I did. Welcome to Key West, eh?

We set a date to leave this here rock. I am not going to tell you when that is, but its soon. Can’t get too comfortable. Plus, I don’t know how many more rumors we can handle.

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Routine.

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Interesting how easy it is to fall into some kind of routine. Whatever we are doing, wherever we are, routine always finds a way to sneak in. Typically, I am not one for “routine.” In fact I am pretty certain  I have lived my life on the opposite side of the spectrum… let’s go ahead and call it… unconventional. What I am finding, is that naturally, I am very routine.

Here in the Marina, if I did not make it clear in my recent posts… we are very comfortable. Happy. Pleased. More smiles than frowns. There is really nothing to complain about. But if there was something to complain about, it is how far we have to walk to go to the bathroom of course. I don’t really know where I am going with this story, except that when I was walking to the bathroom this morning, the thought of “routine” came to me. Yes, we all go to the little girl’s room or the little boy’s room regularly, and often the sign on the door doesn’t matter if you are desperate. At this marina, we have so many lovely neighbors and friends, that it can be challenging to make it all the way to the little girl’s room without getting yourself into 7 conversations before arriving. As sweet as it is that everyone is chipper and chatty, we have discovered that if you walk the sidewalk on the opposite side of the walkway, you are less likely to get stopped. So here we have created a system… walking the sidewalk near the boats says “I have time to chat” and walking the sidewalk on the opposite side says “Please don’t talk to me, I am secretly galloping to the toilet”

Lady like, I know. But there you have it, a new routine. That was all really random. I think there is more to this post than bathroom talk. Katie is gone all week, visiting her family in Fort Myers Beach. It’s just me and Reg. At first, I was really looking forward to a week alone. Katie and I have a lonnnnng way to go still, so any chance we get to do things on our own is healthy. Right? Well, it’s been a couple of days, and it’s so quiet around this house it’s creeping me out. I think I have said this before, and I will say it again… it’s typical that Katie and I don’t really talk much during the day, we just do our own thing. But by the time we are done with work, or just relaxing on the boat after dark, by routine we talk each other’s ear off. Sometimes I just listen, sometimes I talk, but whatever it may be, Katie’s voice is very much part of my day. This house ain’t the same without ya, Katie girl. Not gonna lie, I’m pretty bored.

This week I am conciously altering my routines. I am Reggie’s mother till Monday. That means, I have to think like Katie, which also means, I have to think like a dog. I have never tried to think like a dog before, this is a new concept for me. When I eat, that means Reggie should eat to. When I pee, he probably has to as well. When I am sweating… time to plug in that new AC unit. When I want a piece of chocolate, Reggie gets a lamb lung. I must admit, I am super awkward in dog parks. I feel like I am sitting at a playground with a bunch of mothers who are watching their children swing on monkey bars and fly down slides. Then I really had a brilliant idea, why don’t parents put leashes on their kids when they misbehave in the park too? Hahaha wish me luck with parenthood, my friends. But honestly, I am not a mother, and I have never been a dog owner, so to sit in a dog park with other “dog mommies and daddies” makes me slightly uncomfortable. Mostly, I want to just sit on the bench and watch the dogs, save myself from awkward dog talk. So If anyone asks, I just tell everybody that Reggie is a Dalmatian. Then they think I have something wrong with me – conversation done. This morning however, I sat on the bench and had an amazing conversation with my neighbor Chris. It was therapeutic. An hour went by and I was still sitting there. Thankful for a new friend. Thankful for the dog park.

On a different subject… I was originally thinking that the photos in this post, really have nothing to do with it’s content. Then I thought again. Being aboard a sailing/kayak/snorkel charter down here in Key West is something so new, so thrilling to everyone along for the ride aboard Danger Charters. For Katie and me, it all felt like standard procedure. Between finding the right place to sit, the right place to stow your loose belongings, how to get in the water with mask and fins, and how to mount a double kayak. All of these things, foreign to most, natural for us. We both had a moment, while on an eco kayak tour through the mangroves. We saw the excitement on everyone’s faces, the look in their eyes after seeing their first shark, the silent awe of the glassy water and setting sun. We realized that this life that is so normal to Katie and me, is a life unfamilar to most. It’s easy to forget, but we were quickly reminded by witnessing the thrill of those who are experiencing it for the first time.

Danger Charters did an excellent job. The crew was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable. I recommend to anyone who wants to get out on the water in Key West..  hop on a Danger Charter for the day. Not only do you get to sail, snorkel, kayak, eat fresh fruit, and sip on wine, but you go home with new friends, and a new appreciation for this town’s history and ecology.

So here I sit. In the cockpit, with a french press at my side. The same spot that I sit every single morning.  Facing the same direction I always face. Peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich for breakfast. Reggie laying at my feet, with his longing puppy eyes, awaiting a turkey dog. Patty Griffin sound track playing in the background. Large tarpon flopping around the marina behind me. Doing nothing but thinking and writing. My morning routine.

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www.jessietakespictures.com


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FAQ

QUESTIONS ASKED FREQUENTLY

4th-7

Who is the captain?

Can’t two women both captain a boat? Dammit.

Do you have captain’s licenses ?

That’s a negative.

Did you grow up sailing? 

We both grew up with our fathers directing us around sailboats, “trim that line” or “get out of the way” or “watch your head”…. never had we ever had to make any decisions as captains before. Not going to lie, we left knowing very little. We had never anchored, sailed in strong winds, been through a lock, talked to barges on rivers, dealt with currents/tides, and I had docked a boat maybe 5 times.

Where did you get this wild idea?

My Dad took this trip in the 70′s. It was his idea.

What do your parents think about all of this?

Our fathers are vicariously living through us. They look forward to hearing all about our mishaps, and classic mistakes. They LOVE it. And our Mothers? My mother didn’t acually believe that I was leaving until about two weeks before departure and she realized this wasn’t a joke anymore. Suddenly she had 1000 questions. It was great, but now, I don’t surprise her with anything that comes out of my mouth.  Katie’s mom was stoked that it meant Katie would be moving back to Michigan while we fixed up Louise for a summer. She was right on board as our “safety sponsor”.

Are you a couple?

No. We have been best friends since we were little girls. They do say “One year living on a boat together, is equal to seven years of marriage”  So I pretty much know what it’s like to be in a sexless/non-intimate marriage with Katie Smith.

What happens when you argue? 

Nothing really. There are things we disagree on. We prove each other wrong all the time. What we have learned, is that when one of us has a gut feeling about something, go with that person’s gut. They are always the right one. Besides that, there’s been no tif that we have not laughed about the next day, if not the following hour. Bottom line is, we share an extremely small space. There is not enough room in that space to argue. Were women. We talk about EVERYTHING.

Where did you find your boat?

Crowley’s Yacht Yard, in Chicago.

Did you name “Louise” or was that her original name?

Yes. We named her “Louise”. Louise is a family name, and a lovely one isn’t it? I will not speak of her original name. I will tell you it meant “Lady’s Gold” in French… we didn’t think it would be the smartest idea for two ladies to be traveling around advertising our gold, ya know? And yes we held a proper re-naming ceremony.

How are you funding your adventure?

We’re broke!  We stop when we need to, work our buns off as waitresses for several months, and then travel as far as we can with what we save. When our bank accounts show less money than our credit card bills, it’s time to park.

How long did it take you to prepare to hit the road?

A couple months of joking… turned to texting and phone calls…turned to losing sleep over this idea… turned to researching… turned to boat shopping…eventually leading to boat purchasing. At that point I moved home from Colorado, Katie moved home from California…and we spent a summer preparing Louise for departure. It was almost one year from jokes to reality.

What happens when there is bad weather?

Well, our travels depend 100% on the weather. We move accordingly, and make sure we are always in a safe anchorage, or in a marina when necessary. Every once in a while, you get stuck in something bad, and there is nothing you can do about it besides hunker down and pea in the cockpit.

What about pirates?

What about the sex offender who lives next door to you? Just kidding. But not really. I would probably try to make intruding pirates my friends. Katie would most likely offer a Budweiser, while making sure they see she has a very, very, very scary dog. And then Reggie would stare them down. That would be the end of it. On a serious note… you can’t let something like pirates keep you from embarking on a sailing adventure. If you would, consider yourself a pessimist.

Aren’t you scared?

Yeah. Sometimes. Both us of start nervously eating when there is a lot of lightning.

What kind of amenities do you have?

We have… an alcohol stove that tries to light our GPS on fire. An Ice box, that we use as storage. A propane grill. Hand pump sink with an 18 gallon water tank. A questionable toilet. A bed thats V-shaped. Two dim cabin lights. One awesome battery operated lantern. 12 volt electric system while on the move, 110 volt system while plugged into shore power. A fan from the trucker aisle in Walmart. Limited internet, and a spare set of clean sheets.

How do you watch TV?

We don’t, silly. But we do watch the same movies over and over again. At one point the only movie we had aboard was “Charlie Wilson’s War”. That wasn’t very fun.

Do you have a microwave?

You mean a science oven? No, no.

Do you fish for your food?

We did. Once. We caught a black-fin tuna while trolling across the Gulf Stream. Besides that, we’re not very good at it. Well Katie is actually a good fisher-woman. I’m not.

What do you eat?

A lot of soup. Chile. Top Ramen. Beans. Anything from a can. Cereal with boxed milk. Cookies. Trail Mix. Bananas. Avocados. Apples. Peanut butter and jelly. Warm Budweiser.

What does Reggie eat?

Dog food.

Where do you sleep on the boat?

In the V-berth. With tape down the middle.

Where does Reggie go to the bathroom?

While traveling, Katie rows him to shore and lets him run around every single chance she gets. We also revolve our daily travels around making sure we can get Reg to land. He will not go to the bathroom on the boat. We have tried, literally everything.

Are you going to write a book?

I’d consider it if there were enough people on this planet to convince me.

What do you miss the most about living on land?

Katie – “Looking at other people besides Jessie.”

Jessie – “Listening to other people talk besides Katie”

What is your favorite part about living aboard? 

Katie –  “I can bring my house anywhere I want”

Jessie – “The like-minded, wild people we meet. A life less cluttered. Focusing on nothing but how to get from point A to point B.”

GOT MORE QUESTIONS?!?! EMAIL US. 

jesszevalkink@gmail.com


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From a Mother’s Perspective

Really? is this appropriate, sneaking onto my daughter’s entertaining blog and inserting a post of my own for her birthday? She’d call it creepy…just like the times when she travels to visit me and I track her progress on iPhone’s flighttrack app. “Creepy” she says. Just being a Mom, I say.

In celebration of Jessie’s 25th, I thought it appropriate to post a few pictures of her earlier days as a sailor.  Even as a young child, despite her TOTAL lack of interest in actually learning anything about the mechanics of sailing, the boat was her theatre and her playground. She laughed. She danced. She harassed her sister and was harassed in return. She never sat still. She drove us crazy. She entertained us. She made us cry. She made us laugh. We adored her!!

And now, many years later, this accomplished and talented 25-year-young woman and her equally smart best friend,Katie,  take off on an adventure that few of us would ever dare to do. Am I worried about her resume? Only if she were silly enough to want to follow in my footsteps and seek a predictably safe and boring corporate job. But Jessie, as you faithful-followers-of-her-blog may have learned by now, is neither predictable nor boring. And I am confident that she will have a joyful life surrounded by friends and family who love her.

One last Mom comment, since I’ve already broken the rules by busting into her blog….thanks to all of you who have befriended, supported and watched over these 2 charming girls throughout their adventure. I don’t know you, but bless you.

And to Jessie – may you have a most wonderful day on this 25th day of your life. We love you!!!

Sisters

Sisters

Retribution

Retribution

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