John grew up in Long Island, NY as part of a large, happy family with more than his fair share of sisters! During summers, his family lived on Jones Island at West Gilgo Beach and John spent his time in and on the Atlantic and Great South Bay swimming, surfing, sailing, crabbing and clamming. After attending college in Santa Barbara studying photography, he started a business in (more or less) land-locked Alabama. Eventually John was lured back to New York by a career in publishing, living and working in NYC…but again within striking distance of his family home at the beach.
Martin is a Brit, born in Guildford, Surrey. He grew up doing British boy things: cricket, rugby and of course sailing–initially racing dinghies and catamarans and then playing around in larger sailing boats in the Solent and English Channel. He got “edumacated” and after finishing a graduate degree was offered a research fellowship at Columbia Medical Center in NYC…an opportunity not to be missed. So at 24 years old he found himself stateside in a strange and exciting city.
Martin and John met in court…sorry, on a court. A volleyball court. Volleyball dominated each of their lives for many years and provided an active outlet as they built careers and lived an urban life. This was their “volleyball phase”. But John quickly introduced Martin to the delights of West Gilgo Beach, John’s family, and the pleasures of getting out of the city for summer weekends.
It did not take long before they decided they would like a place of their own at West Gilgo Beach and cut a deal with “Aunt Gen” to buy her house just down the way from the Kiriluk family home. So, in Fall 2001 John and Martin found themselves with an 1898 house and started a period of their lives which can be referred to as “beach house renovation phase”.
“Beach house renovation phase” and “career phase” have taken some time to complete! But one day, it dawned on Martin and John that both these phases were more or less done. And so they decided to move onto a new chapter. A post-work time of life that needed to start before they got too set in their ways or too old to do something fun and exciting, something stimulating and worthwhile. So has started “Sailing Genevieve Phase” and this blog is about their decision to do this, how they managed it, and the adventures that have, and will, ensue.