Lou & Astra have been sailing together since they were kids. Both grew up in the same town along the Delaware River, and became friends while attending the Delaware River Sailing School, a camp hosted by the Red Dragon Canoe Club. As teens, they became instructors at the sailing school, and taught sailing there each summer through high school and into college. Together with friends and family, they enjoyed boating, sailing, canoeing and kayaking along the river, in nearby creeks and lakes, down the shore, and throughout the Chesapeake Bay.
Lou has a BA in History & Political Science from Rutgers University, and a MA in Development Studies from the University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa. While at Rutgers, he also enjoyed rowing crew, and semesters abroad at University College Cork in Ireland and St Stephens College in India. Following his graduation, he spent a summer sailing in Maine. When the opportunity later came to return to Maine, he took it, and has enjoyed working in the maritime industry ever since, captaining a variety of vessels in the Mount Desert Island region. This included five seasons as the captain of the Friendship Sloop Helen Brooks, part of the Sail Acadia fleet offering day sails in the Acadia National Park area. Winters brought the opportunity to work in a boat yard, and it is there that Lou learned many of the skills that would enable him to keep Evelyn ship-shape. Most recently, Lou has worked as a captain aboard private vessels.
Astra has a BA in Art & Anthropology from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, and a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts in Museums & Cultural Heritage from the University of Auckland, New Zealand. While at Washington College, she enjoyed a semester abroad at University College Cork in Ireland and a summer field school with the Instituto de Etnomusicología de la Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. After moving to Maine with Lou, Astra worked at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, as the Manager of Museum Services—an excellent place for visitors to the Acadia region to stop and learn more about local history as well as contemporary Wabanaki life and art. On weekends she crewed with Lou aboard the Friendship Sloop Helen Brooks, and later worked seasons with Sail Acadia as she and Lou spent more time sailing aboard Evelyn. Astra now spends most of her time working alongside Lou.
Together, Astra and Lou have enjoyed sailing along the East Coast of the US, both offshore and via inland waterways. With Evelyn, they have cruised the coast from Maine to Florida, spent some winters living aboard in Maine and others in warmer climes, and endured long periods of projects and repairs—the sort not uncommon with wooden boats. Aboard other vessels they’ve had the opportunity to explore a bit abroad, predominantly in the Bahamas and Southern Caribbean.
Their affection for history and traditional culture led them to Evelyn—while searching for a boat of their own, they were particularly interested in wooden gaff-riggers. The search lasted a few years as they lived aboard the Helen Brooks in the summers and rented ashore winters, and eventually led them to Evelyn in 2011. In fall of 2011 they sailed Evelyn north to Maine, and spent the next two years living aboard year-round, while completing project after project. Then came seven months of dedicated cruising, followed by another season in Maine. Afterwards, Evelyn was hauled out for bigger projects and to address areas of rot—these projects took almost two years to complete as Lou and Astra worked and traveled aboard other vessels. Projects wrapped up in 2016, just in time for a wonderful season in Maine that included a delightful summer, followed by two months of dedicated cruising in the fall. Since then Evelyn has spent her winters hauled out while Lou and Astra have been away for work, and summers into fall enjoying the Maine sailing season.