Why is EW called EW?
When we lived aboard year-round in Maine, we were frequently interviewed by local reporters looking for a new human interest story. One of them spelled our last name incorrectly and I was not pleased. When a different paper approached us a week later I was insistent that the young reporter get it right. “He’s an EW Stewart”, I said – with some force. OK with a lot of force and insistence and I may have said it more than once … or twice.
When the article appeared my husband had become “E.W. Stewart Hart” and was referred that way through the article as in, “E.W. Stewart Hart is ..” and “E.W. Stewart Hart said ..” So, on Twitter and in my blog, he is EW.
Who is Bubs?
That would be me, to a very select few people. EW started it. He uses "Bubs" instead of "Dear", "Honey", "Darling", etc. In fact, if he calls me one of those normal endearments, it's usually a joke or while gritting his teeth with aggravation. When he calls me "Bubs" I know he loves me. Favorite was allowed to use "Bubs" as a non-mom-special-for-step-name. Now that he's in his 30's he may call me by my name when among his peers, but in private, I'm Bubs or Bubsie and proud of it. There is another Barbara Hart. She's "The First" since EW's cousin Jeff married her long before we met. Because two Barb Harts can get confusing, Jeff and Barb call me Bubs. That's it. Everyone else calls me Barb or Barbara. Another very select few call me Barbie. If you have to ask, you don't call me Barbie.
Who is Favorite?
Favorite is, of course, EW's favorite (and only) son, my step-son, and marriage bonus. When I started blogging and tweeting, I was respectful of his privacy. He's now on Facebook and has friended me, so the secret is out. I still call him Favorite on the blog and on Twitter.
What kind of boat is La Luna?
La Luna is a 47-foot Cheoy Lee cutter designed by David Pedric. She was built in Hong Kong in 1985. La Luna is a semi-custom boat, and only 11 47-foot models were built. The gentleman who ordered ours had great ideas and taste and we have a number of custom details that combine to give La Luna beauty and practicality. We love this boat.
How did La Luna get named?
When we were dating and during the first 15 years of married life, if EW deferred to me or agreed to do something for me he would say, "For you, the moon, La Luna." He said it a lot. Somewhere in that timeframe, I suggested/declared that, "When we find the boat of our dreams we can call it La Luna and to honor Maine, we will call the dinghy Lunah Landah." He replied, "That's too cute." "You won't care about cute when you want to buy a particular boat." I was right. We frequetly refer to the dinghy as Lunah Landah, but for security reasons we do not have the name on her. That way nefarious types can't easily tell that we are on shore and the boat is empty.
What sailing experience did you have prior to setting off?
EW had quite a bit. He had worked for Southwest Harbor and Hinckley and had delivered boats from Florida and Bermuda to Maine. He had raced on Lake Erie. He had sailed numerous OPBs (Other People's Boats), and had quite a lot of experience with power boats. He did not own a sailboat, so I was not totally sure of his actual skills -- since I had absolutely no knowledge base at all. I had been a lake boater, using canoes, small open aluminum boats, and riding in and skiing behind various larger power boats. Before we met, I never sailed on the ocean until he got a friend in Marblehead to take us on a race. Early in our marriage we bought a 26-foot Seafarer and sailed many evenings and most weekends over the summer. I took a navigation course and learned to navigate, and his dream became our dream. We owned La Luna for 8 years prior to leaving Maine, sailing her as much as time allowed each spring, summer, and fall.
You LIVED ABOARD FOR EIGHT WINTERS in Maine?
We get that a lot. Yes, we lived aboard in Maine, year round. We've lived aboard from May 2002 until now except for what we refer to as "The Year from Hell" when we hauled our for "six months" to undertake major projects. It took a lot longer than six months, and the temporary rentals kept becoming unavailable so in addition to working full time and then working on the boat every night and weekend, we moved everything we owned four times in a twelve month period: 1. Off the boat 2. To the second house 3. To the third house. 4. Back to the boat. In the largest rental, I had to also mow the lawn, tend the flower beds and plant new spring annuals. The. Year. From. Hell.
As for living aboard. I need to write a book about that. I actually loved it. Yes, we had some doozy storms and I still loved it.
How long have you been cruising and where have you been?
We left Maine in 2010, sailed down the US coast with stops, across to the Bahamas, to Luperon in the DR, Puerto Rico, USVI, Antigua, Guadeloupe, St. Lucia, and Union Island before landing in Grenada for our first hurricane season. We sailed the Eastern Caribbean for three plus years and still haven't seen all we want to see. In June of 2014 we crossed to the Azores, visiting there and a bit of the Canaries before heading back to the Caribbean.
We are repairing the boat, uploading a new laptop and getting other stuff done in St. Thomas while we wait for a new jib to arrive. Once it's here in May we will head to the San Blas and join our friends on Kookaburra for a season or two.