|In Paperback and eBook|
While we lived on Nothern Star, I learned that there are many people living on boats who write. Some live part-time on the water and some, like me, no longer live aboard a boat but still identify with that lifestyle and appreciate that network of friends. There is a wonderful Facebook group just for us called (WWSWW) Women Who Sail Who Write. There were 786 members last time I checked. It's a great group of women.
An update for them and everyone else about what I've been writing since CoVID barged into our lives. I wrote a historical novel called Driftless. The title may lead one to think that it's about our sailing life, but it is not. If this is disappointing, I am sorry. It was, however, the book that I needed to write and I'm receiving very good feedback about it. It's about mental health treatment in the 1940s, specifically in rural Minnesota and the old Rochester State Hospital. Driftless also won the 2021 Writer's Digest Self-Published eBook Award in the category of Contemporary Fiction.
It's been two years and four months since we left Northern Star on the hard at Jabin's Yachts in Annapolis. We made her shiny and clean, and with some melancholy, hoped she would find new owners who would take good care of her and enjoy her within the next year, hopefully
|On the ICW|
Those of our sailing friends that were still on the water scrambled to get settled in a country or island where they could safely stay for an unknown period of time. They sailed as fast as they could to reach those places before the borders closed. Some went to Grenada. One couple was in Dominica and was not allowed to get off their boat for a very long time. Locals brought food out to them. Another couple was "stuck" in Portugal for four months. Before we say, "lucky for you," they weren't allowed to travel anywhere either. It would have been the same for us had we gone on to Central America, instead of the U.S. when we did.
There we were, transplants in Memphis wanting to start our land life in a new place. What we found was a "new reality." So much terminology. There were hot spots, "essential" workers, Corona "parties" (for those who took a "light-hearted" approach to the pandemic), spikes, variants, refrigerated semis--mobile morgues, mass burials, lock-downs, stay-at-home orders, closed borders, empty shelves, and ZOOM meetings. Airplanes were empty for a time because the borders were closed and as it turned out, not all business meetings have to be in-person. America's carbon footprint decreased for a time.
|Our new home base on land|
Even big businesses developed or expanded strategies to keep things running: online orders expanded everywhere, curbside pick-ups, no-contact deliveries, vet's offices take the dog inside while you wait in the car, paper menus replaced with QR Barcodes, streets were even blocked off to enable outdoor seating in Chicago and elsewhere. Customer crowding was reduced by taping 6-foot markers on floors. I don't know what's going to happen with all the empty office space around the country, but I am glad there is a little less traffic on the roads.
|Drawn to the water. Gulf Coast 2022|
|Our Border Collie in Lake Michigan.|
The new owners are good people and very excited about sailing and about Northern Star. They even decided to keep the name which I think is pretty cool. CoVID did make it difficult for them to take possession of the boat, however. They are from the west coast of Canada. Non-essential travel outside Canada was not allowed for quite some time. Thus, they'd owned the boat about a year before seeing it for the first time.
As my photos suggest, we are still drawn to bodies of water. Not a day goes by that I don't spend some time remembering life aboard Northern Star.