A Bit About Kate
Katharine (Kate) Bigel (maiden name: Reiche).
I was born in
. I grew in
but spent a great deal of time traveling being taken around
as a child. My father, a historian, would get grants and exchange
professorships and off we would go to
or where ever! I loved discovering new countries, going to new schools and
having adventures. I guess the seed was sowed early for enjoying traveling.
I have to explain how I decided to go sailing or rather who enticed me. When
, he told me about how he always wanted to have a boat and sail. I was a
starving artist in NYC making videos and paintings. I was not the most water
orientated person but he clearly had a plan. First, I learnt how to dive and we
to get my certification. Then he suggested we do a “bareboat charter” in
British Virgin Islands
. I discover I get seasick! But I loved the water, the heat and the boat. When
proposed marriage - he said "But you know we are going to sail around the
world." Yeah sure I thought thinking we would never have the money for that
and I enthusiastically said yes. We
got married in a wonderful ceremony at his Dad and Step-Mom's place in upstate
. Our honeymoon was a bareboat charter through half the
in 3 weeks. It was awesome and I got sea sick less.
We wanted to leave NYC and smell green instead of exhaust and we moved to
. I got a job at Microsoft and ended up becoming Art Director of the Simulations
Games Group. It was the most amazing job and I had a such a great time that it
hardly felt like work. I learnt tons about planes, car racing, computer games
and being a good manager. I indulged my game playing self a great deal. I
enjoyed working with smart and talented people making cool games together.
Our son, Jonah, was born in 1996. He was a wonderful happy and silly addition
to our lives. We loved living and working in
. We had a large comfortable house in
. We found a boat and bought it and started working on it. I loved my job and
couldn’t believe that I was going to really leave. But sometimes an
opportunity is too amazing and you have to grab it.
I quit my job in August of 2000 so we could sail down the coast before the
autumn storms of the North Pacific kicked up. I became a fulltime sailor,
teacher, artist and odd job Queen. It was big transition. Sometimes
difficult particularly when faced with a big sink of dirty dishes or in a bad
storm, I wondered “what am I doing?” but the rewards and experiences have
been such that it has outweighed any negatives. My job as Jonah's teacher
takes a lot of time but it is very gratifying and fun to spend so much time with
I don't get seasick as often as I used to so things are better in that
department. I am good up to 30 knots of wind and I have good medicine. Going to
weather still makes me green - that's trying to sail into the wind for you
landlubbers - a very uncomfortable motion.
I love the places we see, so interesting and varied. We have been in the
Pacific for five years and I don’t know if we will continue on but its has
been a wonderful time. It's so exciting to arrive in a new country by sail. The
people we meet are wonderful particularly in the more remote islands. The best
is dropping anchor into a blue lagoon and jumping overboard to check the anchor
amid beautiful fish and lovely coral.