anyone just beginning to follow our adventures on the S/V SummerThor,
I thought that it would be nice if Roger and I told you a little
about who we are, and how we wound up cruising on our Whitby 42.
is a Marine Engineer by trade. He spent about 25 years being
a Chief Engineer on oil tankers, followed by a stint on a cruise
ship doing one week circles of the Hawaiian Islands and finally
on a fish processing "mothership", the “Ocean Phoenix”
which operated mostly in the Bering Sea, with occasional side trips
are both originally from Long Island, New York, we moved to New
Hampshire where we lived for over 20 years before quitting our jobs,
selling the house and moving to Oriental, NC.
last eleven years of our working lives we spent together on ships.
We first stared together on ships when we found ourselves
living in Finland for 6 months while we waited for a ship to be
retro-fitted into a cruise ship. When it was time for the
ship to leave Finland, I managed to "hitch" a ride onboard,
back to the States. I made myself useful and ended up with
the crew purser's job. The ship, the Monterey, cruised the
Hawaiian Islands, but was ill-fated and went bankrupt after only
9 months of operation.
the Monterey was a few days from bankruptcy and the whole crew was
about to be jobless, one of the mates picked up a Honolulu Times
and read a "help wanted" advertisement. A fish processing
company was looking for an entire deck and engine crew for their
newly refitted fish processing “mothership.” Here we were
with an entire crew out of work! Well, we thought, why not?
landed the Chief Engineer's job once more and brought his entire
engine crew over to the new ship, the “Ocean Phoenix.” I landed
the purser's job. We were fortunate to be able to have the
same work schedule and time off. It wasn't as glamorous as
working on the cruise ship. . . it was smelly and dirty and the
cold waters of the Bering Sea don't hold a candle to the tropical
blues of Hawaii. But, hey! The pay was a darn-site better!
ten years of getting paid well, but having little options for spending
it while onboard ( and it seemed as if we got less and less time
off each year) we decided to "retire". Not that
we are exactly drawing a pension or anything. We just decided
to make living our lives more important than making money.
And that's what we've done!
sold our nice four bedroom home in New Hampshire. We had some
land already in Oriental, NC and we built a garage with a one bedroom
apartment on the second floor on it. This serves as "home.”
we set out to find a boat. We were looking at Morgan OI's
in Florida, and were shown a 1980 Whitby 42 as a fluke, and fell
in love with it. We named her SummerThor and spent six months
moving on board her and bringing her back to North Carolina for
a "few month's overhaul" by the engineer in the family.
YEARS LATER I finally managed to get Roger to finish putting the
poor girl back together so that we could GO someplace! You
have to understand that from MY point of view the boat was in great
shape to begin with. But Roger, the engineer, just wasn't
going to be happy until he had torn the whole thing apart and put
it back together again... at least ONCE!
got to admit, she's a much better, safer and sounder boat since
Roger worked his magic on her, but it was time to GO someplace!
for the summer of 2002 we took her North through the Chesapeake,
into New York, through the LI Sound and landed in Stonington, CT,
where we spent six weeks visiting Roger's brother and enjoying the
free use of a mooring ball. We made it as far North as Rhode
Island that summer, and were heading South with an eye to a complete
Caribbean circuit when we found out Roger's mother was ill and needed
we "parked" the boat at a marina near our home in Oriental,
NC, a wonderful place called “Boonedocks” in early November 2002,
and drove down to Florida where we spent a month with Rogers mother
while she regained her strength. She's still doing fine now.
made it back to Oriental in early December 2002, to some of the
coldest weather we have ever experienced in North Carolina!
It was too late in the season to start for the Islands, and too
cold to want to move back onto the boat, so we spent the rest of
the winter in Oriental, NC.
we moved back on board SummerThor mid-April of 2003. We used
the extra time off the boat that winter to do some boat-projects,
there's always SOMETHING to do when you own a boat! We're
glad to have had the time for extra projects, and very glad to have
been able to help Roger's mother out when she needed us.
have been sending out my "trip reports" to friends and
family for a few years now. We have made arrangements to have
these “trip reports” posted here so others can follow along.
the cruising lifestyle is something you are thinking of doing and
have some questions, feel free to contact us at SummerThor@summerthor.com.
I'll do my best to answer in a timely fashion. If it is a
question that I think might interest others, I'll post my response
on this website.
Life's a trip!
Claudia & Roger