In 1983, Rosemary Egan was a nimble 32 year old brunette who worked the rigging (or the galley) as a crewmember of a 282 foot Windjammer sailing vessel that plied the aqua waters of the Bahamian outer banks. This was not just any sailing vessel, but a real barkantine, a three-masted ship, square-rigged on the foremast and fore-and-aft-rigged on the other masts. Up to 30 guests paid for the privilege of waking up in cabins to the sound of sea birds, feasting on lobster, hammocking in the rigging, cannonballing into the ocean and participating in the sailing.
When not hoisting a jib, Rosemary could be found singing and dancing in off-off-Broadway productions. Show tunes were a specialty of hers. And if not sailing, singing, or dancing, she had a steady part-time gig as a Medical Assistant. It’s good to have multiple options.
You could say that she fit a certain profile.
One day after completing a cruise, she was waiting in line to check her luggage at Nassau International Airport for a return flight to Newark, New Jersey. Born in New York City, she had moved with her folks to Plainview, New Jersey as a youngster during the exodus out of the city proper in the 1960s and 1970s. Please see my posts “THE END OF AN ERA” and “WELCOME TO NEW JERSEY.”
As she struggled to move her luggage towards the check-in, a handsome stranger who resembled Jack Lord of Hawaii 5-O stepped in to help. He was awfully chatty and his eyes lit up when he learned that she was part of the crew for Windjammer cruises. He lifted her bag onto the check-in scale with utmost care and she watched her bag carted away into oblivion as it was promptly lost by the airline for days. It was an omen of things to come.