So the decision was made, I would buy a sailboat. I found a
21-foot English-made sloop. I named the boat Patience III and
kept it at the City Marina in Annapolis, Maryland. I would
take the children (usually the boys, sometimes Jennifer) for
When I was considering buying a boat, Ellen said it was
okay with her as long as she didn't have to go. Although the
idea of sailing appealed to her, she got seasick standing on the
dock, watching us putting the sails up. So her participation
was to do the catering, which was a big help to me. Ellen
would cater three meals a day, plus snacks, with written
menus. She would have dinner ready for us when we arrived
home on Sunday.
I had a friend with a boat. He would invite people to
go sailing for a weekend. His wife would count how many
people were there and then go to the local grocery store for
provisions. The bill would be split between the guests. Ellen
claimed she was doing her weekly grocery shopping and
everyone was paying. She felt that guests are just that, and
shouldn't be asked to pay to be there, hence the full catering.
When I was in England I started looking for sailing
opportunities. I ended up buying an Atalanta, a perfect boat
for someone like me who liked a little gentle sailing no racing.
This boat was designed by Uffa Fox during World War II to be
an air-dropped life boat for downed pilots during the Battle
of Britain. It had a "How to Sail" instructional manual, and
was very stable. It could go in shallow water without running
aground. It was exactly the kind of family boat I needed.