I stood like a deer caught in headlights blinked my eyes and smiled, my girlfriend had just been cloned. That was the day I found out I was dating Scandinavian twins. For some time I couldn’t tell them apart they seemed identical in every way.
With time they became as different to me as night and day and while I never let them on to the fact that I was up to their little game I loved them both the same.
The Falmouth Cutters like my twins all appear the same but each of the 39 built are all very different in many ways. These were semi custom boats and many owner finished so its the little things that really set them apart. I’m always looking for new and better ideas so when I got an email from my new friend Dave that he was the proud new owner of Anne Marie soon to be restored to her original name Essence I was very excited to compare boats . I cant imagine a better name for these simple robust boats than Essence. Dave is the third owner and like most of these little boats she has been sailed hard and put up wet.
Anyone can buy a new boat. I love old ones, the process of bringing her back to her former glory is part of the bonding process. It forces me to touch every inch of the boat inside and out becoming intimately familiar with every once of her. Like having a new girlfriend its her initial beauty and elegance that causes that initial attraction but its her true unique inner beauty that keeps the love burning for a lifetime.
When I found Sookie she was on the other side of the country and had a long journey to get back home. Dave found Essence in Wisconsin so like most new owners of these boats had to ship her home to Southern California and now sits just a mile from where I found my little dream ship. Shipping your new baby thousands of miles home is far more nerve racking and dangerous than fighting the rigors of the sea.
Below is a very personal account of life with a Falmouth Cutter
Personal Reflections from George prior to passing:
Whales have visited the Anne Marie on several occasions. Once, while underway, at sea, a large gray whale breached the sea surface fully, just a few hundred feet from the bow. The yacht was truly greeted impressively by the behemoth. Dolphins have swum alongside her, riding her bow wave. Only the imagination can speculate what magnificent sea creatures, large and small, have passed in the abyss beneath her keel.
She has brought me friends from far off lands. Among them are new friends from Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Canada, Mexico and South Africa, and, of course, the United States. I still communicate with many of them.
She has taken me to totally deserted desert islands filled with their mystery, just awaiting hiking trips and inviting discovery. Evening campfires on these wonderful islands with cruising friends telling sea stories as well as other great conversations are memorable. She has brought unparalleled adventure, and the nearly unmatched experiences of my lifetime.
The Anne Marie is a feast for the eyes wherever she sails. There have been lines formed by other cruisers sailing in much larger and more expensive craft, (including those carrying helicopters on their decks) awaiting the opportunity to tour her when she has been berthed in slips. They appreciate her compactness, quality and sturdy seaworthiness. Also, they recognize her economy.
The cruising society is largely a society without pretensions. Friendships form quickly. There is always a willing hand close by, always willing to assist, if need be.
I hope to find the next owner of the Anne Marie, one who will love her and care for her and appreciate her as I have. The Anne Marie will return in kind… She is truly an extraordinary little yacht.
Fair weather and following seas.