Posted by John
We are a crew of three: Julie, John and Robyn. All three of us are the children of parents who sailed.
When Julie was growing up in the 1960’s, her mom and dad, both long-time sailors, bought a new Ericson 30 at the Seattle Boat Show. It became the center of family vacations. Between the Ericson, a family El Toro sailing dinghy and sailing at summer camp, Julie became a competent sailor.
My dad grew up sailing small boats in Illinois. After my sisters learned to sail at summer camp, my dad’s interest was rekindled. That meant all of us would soon be sailing as well.
Julie’s family sailing trips in Puget Sound included the entire family of two adults, four kids, a friend or two, and the family dog. Often, the El Toro was towed behind the Ericson and then sailed around the anchorage by Julie and her siblings.
My family sailing experiences in the 1960’s consisted of day sailing with my parents and sisters in various rented centerboard boats and small Blanchard keel boats available for rent in Seattle at Leschi, on Lake Washington. Often, my job was to handle the jib sheet while my dad or older sisters took the main and tiller. In later years my dad and I would go out for the day in Kites and C-Larks available from the University of Washington sailing club. Years later, my dad bought his own 14-foot C-Lark which he was able to keep at the UW waterfront center. I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons sailing on Lake Washington with my dad.
I bought my own boat, a Newport 27, in the 1980’s and kept it at the marina at Leschi. Although the docks had been completely rebuilt, my slip was in very nearly the same spot where we had rented the Blanchards twenty years earlier. After Julie and I met we moved the boat to Seattle’s Shilshole Bay Marina on Puget Sound. Julie’s parent’s Ericson was also kept there. Julie and I would meet at the boat after work on Friday evenings in the summer and go for a sail before dinner.
Robyn is our daughter. Although sleeping through it, she did attend her first Seattle Boat Show at the age of three weeks. During her first summer, she was secured in her baby carrier in the Newport cabin as we sailed back and forth across Puget Sound.
It was only a matter of time before what by now had become “John and Julie’s boat” shared the same finger pier at Shilshole with Julie’s parent’s Ericson. Several trips to dinner raft-ups at Bainbridge Island were made with the two boats sailing together.
In her early teens, after she had become accustomed to sailing on the larger Westsail we bought when she was seven, Robyn was forced by her parents to attend sailing classes in “very tippy little boats.” She has also attended boating classes at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, and has interests in many maritime subjects—among other things.