BRIDGET BALTHROP MORTON
Bridget grew up on the waters of Pensacola Bay, where she learned as a child to fish, water ski, and sail from small wooden boats. She began cruising seriously with her husband on Savaina, the steel ketch they lived aboard when they first married. They took the boat down the Mississippi from the Great Lakes (her advice: Don’t!) and then cruised Florida, the Bahamas, and the northern Caribbean. After crewing aboard a large catamaran in the Virgin Islands, she taught sailing, seamanship, and professional development skills for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Maine. She has also taught for Outward Bound schools in Boston, Baltimore, and the Florida Keys.
She is licensed by the Coast Guard to operate sail and power vessels in near coastal waters, but has sailed worldwide, including deliveries to Bermuda, the Virgin Islands, and South America. For the Atlantic Cruising Club’s Guide to Florida’s East Coast Marinas, she visited, reviewed, and photographed more than 150 marinas and boat yards along the coast and St. John’s River.
A writer of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) from Rosary College (now Dominican University) and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. She has taught creative writing and humanities at the college level, and English, mathematics, and social studies to junior high and high school students. Her poems have been published in journals and anthologies, and her essays have appeared in many magazines, including Sail. She has served on the Speakers Bureau for the Florida Department of Humanities.
A lifelong resident of Florida, she and her husband Jack have sailed together for thirty-four years. They have three children and two grandchildren who live nearby in Brevard County, Florida. She continues to maintain that the cook and steward have the most importance, aboard or ashore, since even when you’re lost, the crew needs to eat! One of her favorite memories at sea is serving hot scones and tea to the crew of the yacht 8 Bells as they surfed downwind toward Bermuda after a storm. She takes as her motto the words of Mark Twain: "We’re not out here to rough it. It’s rough enough on shore."
Beth has been "messing about in boats" for most of her life — in the early years it was one-designs (she and her brother, Rick, sailed a Comet) and later considerably larger cruising boats. Coastal cruises, with her husband, Richard (editor of this volume), have included numerous trips along the Eastern seaboard, including the ICW, where they’ve perfected the art of "achievable cruising" — cruise for a week or two, leave the boat, go home, come back a month or two later and continue on. Other cruising adventures have taken them to Bermuda, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and the Mediterranean. They have shared many of these experiences with three superb crew members — their now-grown children Jason and Amanda and their sea-dog Molly. She and Richard are firm believers in "going" even if it means taking the office along — and technology has made that not only possible but quite easy. They are also committed to wonderful food along the way — on board and ashore. Provisioning, they’ve discovered, may be the most useful of all cruising skills and they seek out the best resources at every landfall. Along the way, they’ve visited well over 2,000 marinas (most several times) as both cruisers and reviewers.
In addition to being one of the primary writers of the ACC’s Guides to Marinas, Beth is incubating the Wandering Mariner’s Water Lovers imprint (land-based travel guides for people with a passion for the water) and the Healthy Boat series (holistic approaches to crew lifestyle and vessel management). She is also a new media designer and has produced video documentaries in the areas of complementary and integrative medicine.
In addition to her marine-oriented publishing work (nurturing the growth of the Atlantic Cruising Club’s Guides to Marinas and incubating the Coastal Communities, Healthy Boat and Wandering Mariner series), she has produced video documentaries and multiple media projects in the areas of complementary and integrative medicine, holistic living, ecology, peace-making, technology, and food and health (including the award-winning "Children of War," the Mellon-funded "Students at Work," and "EarthFriends"). She created and developed the first, and largest, full-text and image database on complementary medicine, "Alt-HealthWatch," and is an advisor/consultant to firms focused on healthy living and integrative medicine.
Beth received a Doctorate from Columbia University in Educational Technology and New Media, Masters degrees in both Health Education (with a Nutrition focus) and Ed Tech from Columbia, and a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist and a graduate of James Gordon’s Advanced Mind-Body Professional Training Program and the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health. She is also Past President of the Board of Trustees and current Honorary Trustee of Wainwright House, an educational institution focusing on the integration of body, mind and spirit, Co-Chair of the American Yacht Club Cruise Committee and is a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association, Boating Writers International, and Society of American Travel Writers.