Corky Parker has been living in two worlds for a number of years, between a home in Port Townsend and running the eco-lodge La Finca Caribe, on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. She and her partner Kip have bought a sailboat and are heading up the east coast, eventually planning on returning to Port Townsend.

We are finally under sail! And it’s a big one.  Finally, a moment to catch my breath and let you know we are healthy and happy safe and sound. Most importantly we love the boat! — our new (a 1988 Freedom 36/38 for enquiring minds).  Please excuse this unedited long typo filled ramble. I want to get something off  before any more time goes by — but the boat’s steep pitching makes it hard to write. 

Not quite sure how many days we’ve been on the boat —  but the wind has been at our nose the whole time until this A.M. We left Annapolis, MD headed north on Chesapeake Bay, turned east at the CND canal and then south on the Delaware Bay. So today, finally may be three or four day in and we have raised our giant mainsail. Feels great! 

I am below while Kip is at the helm and crew pals are on deck. Happy that the boat is getting organized and even tidy enough to stretch out and happy I haven’t been getting sea sick. Even when I’m below. If I stretch out in the V berth I cop air when we go over the big waves. I guess it’s called negative gravity. It’s sort of like a trampoline. I feel the rhythm of the sea throughout my whole body. I think about son Ty’s life at sea over all these years—  and wonder how much of this he has as every day experience.

We spent last night anchored on the Maurice River a winding swampy delta that empties into the Delaware, in Bivalve, New Jersey. Who knew? Its enormous wildlife refuge Is home to the one of the largest populations of horseshoe crabs anywhere. If you haven’t ever seen these guys — they are weird as hell. They line the shore stacked on top of each other, apparently mating with reckless abandon, climbing around looking like Martian dinosaur toys.  The cool thing about the crabs is they attract one of the largest populations of migrating and shorebirds anywhere in the country. So we are surrounded by the most beautiful evening.

Beauty and peace and a whole other world… The landscape is so flat and barely above water level. These rather ramshackle backwater communities seem like what I imagine the bayou towns down south to be. We tried to dock to the one “marina” in Bivalve  last night but the guy who’s dock it was was afraid it wouldn’t hold. No problem. We anchored out in a slow muddy mend in the river. I really had no idea we’d find this lifestyle here — just a couple of hours away from Atlantic City. I never really knew what “the mid-Atlantic “meant. But I think that’s where we are. 

It’s also interesting to have so much to learn about the boat. This giant single mainsail is a whole different thing than we are used to. And of course there’s the missing rigging, from our free-standing mast. 

Hopefully we’ll come out of the Delaware Bay, round Cape May this morning and anchor somewhere up the famous Jersey shore this evening. So today will be our first real Atlantic sailing. Yee haw and onward. 

Corky and Kip


  1. Ah, the chilly Atlantic! So nice to read your fresh prose and reminisce on a journey I too have made. I will be interested to learn which route you take from here—up the NJ coast to NY harbor with its Statue of Liberty to welcome you, or straight across to wild Montauk Point. Once past this open water challenge, you are in for a treat cruising New England waters. I’m loving these posts!

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