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A Bit About Kate

Katharine (Kate) Bigel (maiden name: Reiche). 

I was born in Boston , MA . I grew in Concord but spent a great deal of time traveling being taken around Europe as a child. My father, a historian, would get grants and exchange professorships and off we would go to Berlin or England 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 I met Jordan , 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 went to Jamaica to get my certification. Then he suggested we do a “bareboat charter” in the British Virgin Islands . I discover I get seasick! But I loved the water, the heat and the boat. When Jordan 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 New York . Our honeymoon was a bareboat charter through half the Caribbean 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 Seattle . 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 Seattle . We had a large comfortable house in Redmond . 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 him.

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.