Published: Friday, January 16, 2004 at:11:22 PM
Most Romantic Couple
Cathy and Greg Hunter
For Cathy Thomas, visiting the Bitter End had always been a family thing. She had been to Bitter End 12 times previously, usually with her mother, or her twin sister, or both. Older sister Debbie and her husband Arik had also visited BEYC on occasion, and sister Susie also visits once a year, now with her young daughter. When Cathys twin sister Cindy got married 11 years ago, Bitter End was the logical spot for their honeymoon. But the Thomas family does not come to Bitter End just for the sailing or watersports. You see, they are world-champion sun worshippers.
The Thomas clan were part of the inspiration for the Beach & Pool Mini Marathon highlighted in the last issue of the North Soundings. They are up to speed on the latest sunning (and sunblock) technology. Tan without the burn is their motto. Midwest born and raised in Dayton, Ohio (far from water), and despite living in chilly Boston, and working full-time at Fidelity in 401K Core Sales, Cathy manages to keep that year round bronze. In addition to weekend trips to Cape Cod, a regular winter visit to Bitter End with her Mother was always part of the regimen. What better place to catch a few rays than at the Bitter End? If in the course of her pursuit of a better tan, she happened to find her way aboard a sailboat, all the better.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to everyone in the family when Cathy hooked up with a sailor. Greg Hunter, a Bostonite and Cape Cod aficionado, had kicked around the docks of Newport, RI, working on large yachts, and helping deliver boats to the Caribbean for charter companies. He had been to the Bitter End just once, as a charter captain on a visiting boat. His only BEYC experience was limited to dinner and drinks at the Clubhouse Restaurant. He was only vaguely aware the Bitter End had rooms. Now settled into real life as a Consultant to Tier Technology, Greg sails as often as he can get a ridewhich is, according to him not enough. But he was excited, and surprised, to learn that the Thomas had made Bitter End a regular vacation spot. Honeymooning at Bitter End certainly made sense for Greg. And on top of that, he was determined to get Cathy out cruising on a Freedom 30.
The wedding day was set for September 15th. The honeymoon was due to start on September 16th. Early in the week, with Cathy already in Ohio preparing, and Greg in New York on business, disaster struck. Greg escaped a tragedy-filled city, but, with airlines grounded, had to search for a way to get to his own wedding. Greg hitched a ride with some relatives who had decided to drive to Ohio, and made it in time for somewhat subdued and scaled-down festivities.
Due to canceled and postponed flights, their honeymoon started a few days late. But they arrived much in need of a break from the real world. The only guests in the hotel that week were 15 other honeymoon couples. They, like Greg and Cathy, were determined to take a vacation. As Cathy would describe it, Greg was ready, and he was like a kid in a candy store. He used all the boats, from Lasers, Rhodes, and J-24s, to sea kayaks, she continued. He even did a bit of Laser racing. September is a busy time at Bitter End for honeymooners, and Greg and Cathy made friends early on. Travel stories were at the top of the conversation list. All agreed that it wont be hard to remember their anniversaries.
Together, Cathy and Greg took sunset sails on Paranda, went on snorkeling trips, took a Boston Whaler over to Prickly Pear Island, and hiked the new trail over Biras Hill. But, according to Cathy (the non-sailor), the most relaxing part was sailing a Freedom 30. Indeed, Greg had talked Cathy into the yacht-villa package. Over the course of just a few days and nights, Cathy and Greg visited the Baths, Cooper Island, Norman Island (where they snorkeled the Caves), West End, Tortola, and White Bay, Jost Van Dyke. Cathy considered this ambitious schedule Greg set relaxing!! They were having such a good time, they decided to extend by a few days (to make up for the days lost on the front end). Happily, Greg had made a sailor out of Cathy before the trip was over. And by the way, she came back with a great tan!
Click here for more information on honeymoons at the Bitter End Yacht Club.