I retired in June, 2001 after teaching middle school math (mostly eighth grade) for 33 years. During my first five years, I taught in four different schools (Cocoa Beach, Florida; Okinawa; Oakland, California; and San Pablo, California). In 1973 I moved to Huntington Beach, California and taught there for 28 years. I met my husband Bill at the middle school where I worked. He was an eighth grade science teacher there. We each taught about 190 12-, 13-, and 14-year-olds every day, so it was an obvious decision not to have any kids of our own.
Our life beyond the school district has revolved around boating. We have owned three powerboats in our 28 years together, and we've lived aboard the last two boats since 1984. As a girl growing up in St. Louis who used to get slightly seasick on the Admiral, this is certainly not the lifestyle I envisioned back then!
Our retirement dream was to live on our current boat in Washington. We arrived up here in May, 2002. We live at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. Leaving the crowdedness and craziness of Southern California was an easy decision. Our island has less than 7000 year-round residents. There are no stoplights, parking meters, freeways, fast food, shopping malls, or traffic jams here. We're about an hour from the mainland by ferry. It certainly is colder and rainier than California, but we're in an area called the "banana belt" that is protected from some of the worst weather, so we get less rain than Seattle. The boating opportunities are wonderful up here, so we have years of exploring ahead of us. We have already cruised over 2,300 nautical miles in British Columbia and 1,500 nautical miles in Alaska.
Rebbie and her husband Bill on their boat in Glacier Bay on their 2004 voyage to Alaska..
Here's the magnificent boat Rebbie and her husband Bill Bates live on and below is Roche Harbor where they moor it.