Giving thanks

Our friend John giving us "the tour" of Simpson's Lagoon and the Sint Maarten YC, home to the Heineken Regatta.

Our friend John giving us “the tour” of Simpson’s Lagoon and the Sint Maarten YC, home to the Heineken Regatta.

by Christine Kling

The other day someone posted a comment under one of my Facebook photos. It went something like this – “I wish I could live your life for just one day.”

I get it. really I do. You see, on Tuesday, Wayne and I flew to the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten to visit his best friends – a family of six cruising aboard a Lagoon Power Cat. The four kids range in age from 5 to 13 and they are smart, fun kids, while their parents are brilliant and fascinating folks who are cruising, working and home schooling their way around the Caribbean. It’s now Friday, and we’ve been having a blast with them.

Helping John's friend by towing his boat across the lagoon.

Helping John’s friend by towing his boat across the lagoon.

Although we didn’t plan it this way, we’ve flown into the middle of the Heineken Regatta, the biggest yachtie party on the island.

There was a time when I might have made the same comment to someone else. A time when I thought I wanted someone else’s life. I simply can’t believe how lucky I am to be living this life now, one week short of my 60th birthday, and I try to say thank you to the universe every day.

I remember working as a waitress over 30 years ago at the Pierpont Inn, a beautiful old historic inn located on a bluff overlooking the Channel Islands in California. My then-husband Jim and I spent 3 years building a big 55-foot boat, and I’d work in the fiberglass and wood dust all day long, then go off and wait tables at night. On my breaks, I would go up to a storage room on the second floor and sit in the window watching the fancy European cars pull up to the front of the restaurant. I’d make up stories about the lives of the ladies with the dead animals draped across their shoulders. I imagined them jetting off to foreign lands and seeing the world outside Oxnard. It seemed a distant dream of a life that would never be mine.

The thing is, I had to live that and all the other times that weren’t so much fun — in order to get to this place where I am today. So I am thankful for all the curses and tears and fears of my last 60 years that brought me to this day sitting at this cockpit table watching the sunlight play on the boats anchored out in the lagoon, listening to the laughter of these beautiful children and preparing to go watch the round island race from the terrace of an apartment high on the side of the island.

Each time I feel that shiver go through me, that feeling that I am so lucky to be here, I whisper, “Thank you.”

Fair winds!


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About Christine Kling

I have spent more than thirty years living on and around boats and cruising the waters of the North and South Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Caribbean. I’ve written articles and stories for many boating publications including Sailing, Cruising World, Motor Boating & Sailing, and The Tiller and the Pen. When I was married, I helped my husband build a 55-foot custom sailing yacht. After launching her, we sailed through the Panama Canal to St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands where we chartered for over two years. While in the islands, I received my 100-ton Auxiliary Sail Captains license. It was that sailing experience that led me to set my first nautical suspense novel, SURFACE TENSION (2002), on the waterfront in Fort Lauderdale. Featuring Florida female tug and salvage captain, Seychelle Sullivan, the first book was followed by CROSS CURRENT (2004) and BITTER END (2005). The fourth book in the series, WRECKERS’ KEY was released in February 2007. At the end of the 2010-11 academic year, I took the motto of this blog to heart. I quit my day job as an English professor at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale (just when they offered me tenure, I said no thanks and took early retirement). I was living the dream of full-time cruising on board my 33-foot Caliber Talespinner on my very tiny pension and whatever I made from my books having parted ways with the big publishing establishment. I self-published two books on my own: a small collection of four short stories entitled SEA BITCH: Four Tales of Nautical Noir and my first stand-alone sailing thriller set in the Caribbean, CIRCLE OF BONES. In 2012 I was offered a publishing deal with Amazon's mystery/thriller imprint Thomas&Mercer and they reissued CIRCLE OF BONES. The sequel to that book, DRAGON'S TRIANGLE came out in June 2014. And as for me, I'm no longer a singlehander on my little boat. I met Wayne Hodgins in 2013 and after a whirlwind Skype courtship, I flew to meet him in Fiji and we sailed a nearly 2000 mile passage to the Marshall Islands for our "first date." We now sail together aboard LEARNATIVITY, a 52-foot motor sailor with our family including Barney, the Yorkshire Terror and Ruby, the Wonder Dog.
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3 Responses to Giving thanks

  1. Gail Isaacs says:

    Well said Chris! I have found when you have a dream, a desire, a passion the “work” necessary to get here is so insignificant.

    I’m writing this while living my current dream in Mexico!

    __/)__Sail on

  2. Vicki H says:

    Awesome! I lived in Ventura for 16 yrs and actual Lynette new someone that lived on a boat there in the channel. Wow, that was a long time ago. 15 yrs we have been gone from California. How awesome to be living out your dreams now!!! Congratulations!

  3. Vicki H says:

    Stupid auto correct. No Lynette. I actually knew someone that lived on a boat right by Pierpont.

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