Sailing in hurricane conditions was one thing, but what really bothered her was babysitting a finicky engine that now was also spewing fuel in the bilge of Windchime, their 1981 Tartan 37.
As 50-knot winds and 20 footers knocked them around on their way to safe harbor in St. Lucia, Deb was down below, pumping spilled fuel into a bucket. After filtering it, she would dump it back into the tank to get another precious 5 minutes of run time to help stem their slide south of the target destination.
A sailor for some 20 years or so, Deb came to Defender after a career as a molecular biologist at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Deb is an Assistant Web Master and Data Analyst and also helps edit product descriptions.
She and her wife, Linda, made it safely into St. Lucia back in 2004, beating under reefed conditions while getting smacked by Hurricane Emily after the storm changed course.
"I wasn’t really worried… the boat is tough as a tank and I trusted Linda at the helm," Deb said. And with all the electronics she had installed and maintenance upgrades they made together — "the only things that are original are the mast and stern cleats" — she knew Windchime was up to the task.
They lived aboard throughout the Caribbean for the next two years before sailing back home to reality and paychecks for a few years. They squeezed in another trip to the Florida Keys and Bahamas for the winter of 2017-18, but Deb is back at her desk now, working to keep our product information process running smoothly.