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About Us

About Sea Gator and her crew: Bump Head, Rick, Pat and Goldie

Sea Gator

Sea Gator is our floating campsite. Our office. Our home away from home. Her previous owners were loyal University of Florida alumni, hence her name and her bright blue and orange stripes. We basked in reflected glory after the 2006 NCAA Men's Basketball Championships, as Gator fans up and down the coast cheered us on.

Sea Gator at anchor

Her curriculum vitae on YachtWorld.com stated that she is a "38' Marine Trader Sundeck Trawler". But the fine folks at All-American Boat and RV Storage, who charge by the exterior foot, insist she is a 39-footer. The extra foot includes the bow pulpit, and we do not consider that (nor the swim platform, chain locker, engine room, bilge, etc.) to be livable space under normal conditions.

Sea Gator was built in 1988. She has a 12'9" beam, 3'6" draft, 21.5' clearance to the top of Bump Head's davit, and she weighs 20,000 lbs. Her hull is fiberglass and she has a single Ford-Lehman 135 HP diesel engine, with which her cruising speed is a mighty 6.5 knots at 1,800 rpms. She has a generator, and AC which we haven't used yet.

She is an easy-going boat, she is not fancy or pretentious. She's a tad scruffy around the edges, but she is stable and trustworthy when the going gets rough. She is informal but she puts on a good shine when the occasion demands it. No wonder we like her: she's just like us.

Bump Head

Bump Head Here Bump Head is our dinghy. He is a 9' long Avon RIB (inflatable boat with a rigid bottom) with a 9.8 HP Tohatsu outboard motor. He has had some adventures of his own (for example, a flat pontoon on the beach, and lots of hang time as he is hoisted up and down on the davit).

His name comes from the cautionary sign labeling his platform: "Bump Head Here"!

Rick

Rick Software engineer, diesel mechanic, electrician, gourmet, athlete - these are all important qualities if you want to be independent on a boat. Rick does all of our engine and generator maintenance and the majority of piloting. He has the skill and confidence to sidle into a narrow berth in a cross-current and not wrap Sea Gator around the nearest piling.

Rick moved to the Rocky Mountains in his early 20's primarily for the skiing, and in order to afford his lift pass he landed a programming job at a prestigious tech firm which he hastily left for a slightly less nerdy one. He launched his own software company in 1986 and brought "the firm" aboard with us in 2005.

For recreation, Rick runs the game trails, rides his mountain bike, and climbs in the Wyoming mountains in the summers; until recently he spent the winters alpine, nordic and telemark skiing, and keeping a vintage 'David Brown' diesel tractor running for snow clearing duties. Now that he's moved enough snow for one lifetime he is happy with the boating life as well. "It's interesting, it's always a challenge," he says. "I like all the new things we have had to learn."

That's the true spirit of a renaissance man.

Pat

Desert rat and all-around land lubber. Pat won't kid you; she was all for walks on the beach and long hours staring at the waves and collecting seashells. Actually living ON the water took some adjustment.

Pat Pat was living and working in Salt Lake City when, one perfect sunny ski day, she and Rick were introduced by mutual friends, right there on the aptly-named "Inspiration" run at Solitude ski hill. They moved together to Jackson, Wyoming, where she worked first for an engineering firm, then for a landscape architecture firm, and now for herself. She became the first licensed woman landscape architect in Wyoming. Her favorite mountain activities are hiking and biking with friends, Jazzercize-ing, drawing and gardening. Skiing has been a favorite, but now she collects seashells like a person obsessed. If you can imagine.

Pleased and surprised that adapting physically to life on a moving boat has been fairly simple, she says "The rest of the life is coming on line, incrementally." Her shipboard duties include keeping her client's projects up-to-date, cat wrangling, documenting the group's adventures, co-piloting Sea Gator, trip planning, navigation, and line- and anchor-handling.

Goldie

Our mascot and furry friend. Goldie was rescued from a hard life as a stray and spent her first year in captivity teaching a committed dog-person the joy of cats. Then she came to us. Now she lives the high life, hunting field mice and voles in the tall grass in summer, sleeping in front of a warm stove in the autumn, and lounging in the Florida sunshine during the winter.

Goldie is notable among cats for her tolerance of new situations. So far she has taken everything in her stride, and she has taught us important lessons on Acceptance. The only thing she seems to actively dislike about Sea Gator is the noise of the engine, so when we are underway she naps in the quiet comfort of a top-side PFD locker.

Here is Goldie's theme song, to the tune of "Polly Wolly Doodle" (if you don't know it, ask the nearest Campfire Girl):

Goldie Ohhh....
Goldie is a cat
She's a pretty brown cat
And a mighty fine cat is she.

She sleeps and plays
In the sun and the spray
All day
On the big blue sea.

She
Watches the waves
Dreams of fishies that she craves
'Cause she's safe from the wind in the lee.

Long days in a daze
All the ways that she plays
Goldie stays
On the beautiful sea.

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