holly Mistral 10-31-10

Welcome to my page!  I'll get right to my story... I've been boating since birth and my father loves to tell of me falling into the engine compartment as a baby...  But seriously, I was raised in upstate New York and my life was full of power boating with family on the Finger Lakes - Seneca and Cayuga, and the Great Lake of Ontario.  It was while watching sailboats race on the lakes that I grew a fascination with sailing.  It would be many years before a sailboat of my own was realized.  Eventually my family moved to Maryland and began boating on the Chesapeake Bay, on yet another power boat, although this time a dinghy with a sail accompanied us everywhere.  Once anchored, I would be fast at work getting the dinghy out on the water to sail around the anchorage and figure out how to go really fast!  Of course once high school came around though, Dad sold the power boat and boating almost came to an end... 

A few years later for Dad's 50th birthday, he was given a rather sad and in need of work, wooden run-about and that started the boating back in earnest.  My parents moved to a waterfront property on the Eastern Shore and put the restored classic antique wooden boat on a lift ready to go.  This led to a few more wooden projects and a few fiberglass boats for every day use.

I, all the while, was getting my career under way and living in various places, area but never completely disconnected with boating.  My father had my sister and I get the MD boating safety certificate in order to use the boats.  Needless to say, the class turned in to a competition to see who could finish the exam first with 100%.  I won... and my sister threw the book at me, hard!  

Sometime around 2007 I was in need of a roof over my head.  Well, the real estate market was on fire (but soon to be a disaster) and the Annapolis US Sailboat Show was just around the corner.  While at the show, which I've gone to about half my life I think, I was turned on to a pre-owned but little used boat that was for sale up on the hard (land).  So I went to check it out and the rest is history.  For just over 4 years, CALIX was my full time home.  It was an exciting way to live (minus 2 feet of snow), and was a truly life changing experience.  Over the course of living on the water I became a rather decent sailor, and began racing (not on CALIX), and have sailed on the ocean and met the love of my life.

I'm a member of the Kent Narrows Sail & Power Squadron and was the Safety Office for 3 years, writing a bi-monthly article in the Tidelines.  While much of the squadron is about fun and social activities like raft-ups, the goal is boating education and safety.  At this point I've completed the following courses:  Marine Electrical Systems, Radar, Seamanship, Piloting, and Advanced Piloting. 

Something that I wouldn't do without is my BoatUS membership and unlimited towing.  Yes, sometimes things don't go exactly as planned and while the Bay bottom is forgiving and almost entirely mud, muck and sand, there's always the possibility of needing a tow.  It's like taking an umbrella for the day, if you have it, you probably won't need it.

I'm also a member of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum and support their ongoing efforts of bay education, boat restoration and other boating related events, not to mention I'm a volunteer who sails on their log canoe, Flying Cloud. 

There's so much more to tell, but I'll let the ship's log to the work.  Enjoy and thanks!