Hold Fast, chronicling the crew of the Appledore, a three-mast schooner, has become a very personal story for me as I have built lasting relationships with the crew, particularly Eric Benson, who left his home and career as a high school history teacher in Colorado to work on the Appledore several years ago. The boat summers in Camden, Maine and spends each winter in Key West, Florida. In January 2012, tragedy struck the Appledore when the first mate, J.C., fell 50 feet while working in the rigging and died a week later from his injuries. With his death the carefree sailor’s existence also ended for the crew of the Appledore. Dealing with their grief and the sudden loss of what had become a tight knit family, the crew broke apart and sailing on the Appledore changed for both crew and passengers.
As I continue to follow this story and the crew of the Appledore I seek to document the changing and shifting lives of individuals who daily face the dichotomy of living in a modern world, building relationships on land and at sea, all while engaging in the ancient craft of sailing which connects each of them to the other, as well to the history of the ocean.