Tomorrow around noon we will disembark from our six-day sail on the schooner Heritage. It has been typical in a bunch of ways: our familiar cabin, number 1, with the skylight that keeps me from feeling closed in in our tiny cabin; breakfasts and dinners in the horseshoe galley, lunch on the deck (soup from leftovers of the previous day, fresh-made bread and fixings for best-in-the-world peanut butter sandwiches; a hand-held shower in one of the heads (this year I finally remembered to put the toilet paper behind the wooden door rather than soaking the paper); long afternoons napping on deck or in our cabin; chatting with passengers I’ve known for years and those I met just this week; glorious sunsets. And the feast on Lobster Island - always a different actual physical place, but with the same name, where lobsters steam in a huge metal pot beneath a bed of seaweed. As Captain Doug says, “We’re in the business of making memories.” He is so right. Check out the Heritage webpage.
Two out-of-the-ordinary happenings: right now we’re anchored in the Stonington harbor rather than sailing, because the cook has an infected finger and is waiting for a 12:30 doctor’s appointment in town. It’s sunny here, and passengers are in their usual places: in deck chairs, chatting or reading or snoozing. And two days ago, on Wednesday, in the rain, an elbow in the water system wore out, and we were without water pressure for a couple of hours. All part of the adventure.
We have sailed several times before with friends Bruce and Sally from California and Theo and Melanie from England. And two of the passengers - and their husbands - are here because of me.
Anne and I share genealogy as a hobby. Three years ago we found each other online. My great great grandmother Edmonia Jane Ellett McNeal and Anne’s great grandmother Willie Ann Ellett Bates were sisters. That makes Anne and me third cousins once removed. Once Anne and I began to correspond, she started reading my blog. She came upon one of my posts about our trip on the Heritage. She and her husband Roger decided to sail last year for the first time - the same week as Art and I were in Eastern Europe, so we didn’t meet them until this week.
Pamela found my blog last year during one of her internet forays. She liked what I had to say and went back FIVE YEARS and read all my posts from the very first one! I was unbelievably flattered. Pam read about our travel adventures and, as she told me, “Reading about your trips on the Heritage, I was willing to try it myself." She and her husband Dale also sailed last year for the first time.
I’ve asked Anne and Pem to say a little something today:
Anne: My first introduction to Linda was when my daughter reported to me “Some lady is wanting to know if she was related to a Willie Ann Ellett Bates. She told me that she told the lady, “You need to talk to my mother. She’s the one that knows all the family tree.” So I did. I heard from one Linda Myers. I had been looking for - and had never found - the sister Edmonia of Willie Ann Ellett. All of us on the east coast in the family heard she had married and gone west. We didn’t know who she married or where she went. Suddenly, Linda appears as the missing link, with all Edmonia's side of the family that’s been missing for generations on the east coast. Linda told me about her blog and I began to follow her. She started blogging about the adventures she had had on the schooner Heritage. It greatly interested me because the other side of my family were schooner captions for several generations in Chesapeake Bay, I thought it would be fun to go on a schooner to further explore the lifestyle of my ancestors. I was in hopes of meeting Linda too. When we finally got on the boat last year there was no Linda. I was asked, “How did you hear about coming on the schooner Heritage? And I said, “From Linda Granholm Myers’ blog. Another passenger perked up and said, “Linda Myers’ blog? That was how I heard about it.” And that was how I met Pamela.
Pamela: I found out about Linda Myers’ blog when someone from another site posted a link. I started reading and found that I could not stop! She made the schooner trip come alive for me, and I had my husband read it, and and we decided to go on the schooner Heritage last year. We met Anne and Roger then,and this year were able to finally meet Linda and Art. It is an amazing age that we live in, where we can meet people from the other side of the U.S. in person because of the internet. I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Ah, yes. Old friends and new. Such a trip!