Without wishing to diss English grammar, a boat is a she. Why? It sounds good, and it feels right, especially if she struts her stuff like the slender and shapely Saga, a classic Six Meter.
My chance came when I found myself gingerly turning the pages of the yard book that once belonged to William Fife III, who designed and built yachts so pretty and good, they elicit a fair amount of raves and poetic waxing.
“Go ahead, ask your questions. I’m listening,” Laura Dekker said, taking a sip of red wine while signing and inscribing another book. “Life is a journey, not a destination,” she wrote on the frontispiece.
Her presentation at a sailing club in Hamburg was packed after the release of the German edition of her book.
The first time I saw Martha was at her dock, about midnight. I still had a kink in my neck from the flight and the car ride from the airport to Port Townsend, Wash., with my friend Lauren, her dad and her two snoozing siblings. I felt like falling asleep, too, but the prospect of going sailing on a 106-year-old schooner kept me up.
Christian Liebergreen was resting in his bunk below deck. The weather was thick, but nothing he hadn’t seen before. Jonna, he was absolutely confident, was going to handle it. She was his yacht, and he was her captain. Together they were a good team. And this was Liebergreen’s grand adventure: sailing around the world alone, without stops or outside assistance.
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