Laura & Robert Almond
Greetings! We are Laura & Robert Almond of Babylon, NY. The following is a little history of how we came to be boaters and members of the Antique and Classic Boat Society – Long Island Chapter.
Prior to June of 1984 the closest I came to boats was playing with plastic ones in our pool, then I married Robert Almond and my odyssey with the real kind began.
When I met Robert in 1982, he had just been given a 25’ Stamas by his Uncle – legendary Captree Fishing Fleet Captain Ray Whittaker. Robert’s mother, Ruth, and I worked together at the Headquarters of New York State Parks and she heard that I liked to embroider. Ruth asked if I could embroider a pillow for her son’s new boat, “Comfort II”, which I did. To show his appreciation for doing such a nice job, Robert invited me to his Spring Cotillion, I accepted and the rest is history.
After our marriage, the Comfort II made a few overnight trips to Fire Island, did a little fishing and some cruising, but it proved to be not quite what we needed in a boat, so in 1986 we sold it.
Not long after, Robert saw a small Chris Craft on the lawn of a former high school friend and, telling me all it needed was a coat of paint, he bought it. Our entire savings later, the “Almond’s Joy” became a reality.
Robert has been a member of the ACBS since 1979, but in 1984 we became active in the Long Island Chapter, with Robert eventually attaining the position of Vice President. In early 1988, I found out I was expecting, so my trips on the boat were limited. Our son, Christopher, was born in September of 1988. Around 1991, the Chris Craft was no longer a good fit for our new family and Robert sold it, sending us into a dry spell with no boat.
In 1998, Robert could no longer stand not having a boat and the search was on for a new “family” boat. A 25’ Luhrs was procured from Oyster Bay and “Legacy” became boat #3 (at least for me it was boat #3, for Robert there were a few more). The boating legacy was indeed passed on to a new generation and 10 year old Chris began to learn to sail it. “Legacy” comfortably slept two and so I usually stayed home while Robert and Chris went to Fire Island on overnight trips. We had some great times cruising around on the Bay, but the years were going by and we were becoming a family of three full size people.
So during all this wonderful boating, life on land was becoming complicated. Robert’s mother began to show signs of dementia and could no longer live alone. In 2011, we made the decision to put an addition on our house and in May of 2012, Ruth and her aide moved in. Robert was devoting much time to managing her care and so at night we would look on the internet for boats and during the day Chris and I would go looking at prospects. We looked at a few different manufacturers, but soon decided that, for our budget and needs, a mid to late 1980’s, 34’ Silverton would be the best bet. We saw quite a few – but there was always something that we just couldn’t get past – some were pink inside (I love pink, but not in a boat), some looked good, but upon closer look not so much, some just looked bad period. One day, Robert was available and we went to look at one located at All Island Marine in Island Park. We boarded the boat and began to look around, no pink, not much wrong, a lot right. We were very excited and talked about it all the way home. By the time we arrived, we had decided that, barring anything a surveyor might find, we were going to put an offer in on her. The survey went well, the offer was accepted, but before Robert could get back to sign the paperwork, Super Storm Sandy came barreling up the coast. We spoke to our salesman, the day before the storm hit and he said the boat had been moved closer to land, extra lines had been put on her, but she would remain in the water and they were hoping for the best. We all know just what happened and what areas were hardest hit on October 29. We tried to get in touch with All Island, but they had no phones and Robert was not able to make his way there by car, so we had no idea if we still had a boat to buy or not. Then on November 4, Robert’s mother passed away a lot quicker than we thought and we were busy with her final plans, then her wake and funeral. Finally, after nearly two weeks, Robert was finally able to contact All Island and found out that the boat had come through the storm with only a tiny scratch. It was one of a handful of boats that did not float away and wash up on the golf course across the canal from the yard – at that moment, we knew that boat was destined to be ours. But what to name her? We finally came up with a name – Adagio (slow and steady)– part paying homage to Chris’ first career as a Music Educator and part describing how we usually sail.
Many happy days were spent over the fall and winter getting rid of the old contents of the boat, cleaning and making it ours. All of the things that needed to be done by the yard as part of the sale were accomplished and on a beautiful sunny day during the 4th of July weekend in 2013, we sailed her home to begin a new chapter in our lives.