Mattapoisett resident’s new book has ‘a real story to tell’

Sep 26, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — Mattapoisett Resident Kimberly J. Ward set sail in 2014 along with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Ally, on a trip that would change their lives forever.

The crew of three took their 34-foot catamaran down to Grenada, stopping at Caribbean islands along the way. In total, the voyage took two years to complete, said Ward during an author talk at the Mattapoisett Library on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Ward is the author of “Crew of Three: How Bold Dreams and Detailed Plans Launched our Family’s Sailing Adventure,” a book focused on her family’s trip and the inspiration and planning behind it.

Ward, who grew up in Virginia and studied abroad in England during her time pursuing a marketing degree at Virginia Tech, said that travel has always been one of her passions. 

She and her family had been on previous trips before their two year excursion. They toured the United States for five months when Ally was three years old, stopping to camp at national parks.

Ward and her husband also spent their honeymoon sailing around Nova Scotia, which was part of their inspiration to take an extended trip on their boat with Ally.

While Ward displayed a number of pictures showcasing places her family stopped on their journey, she explained how the trip was not all fun and games, as the trio had to adjust to life on the boat and grow with one another.

“Sailing is just fixing your boat at exotic locations,” she joked to the audience.

At one point, their engine stopped running, forcing Michael Ward to perform what they called “fuel pump bypass surgery” to figure out the root of the problem. “We made it into Puerto Rico with the help of wire tires and prayers.” said Ward.

Ward and her family made sacrifices in order to turn their “one day” dream into a reality. “Did you rent out your home to make the finances work? Did you push back retirement to make the finances work? These were some of the trade-offs we had to make to go cruising,” said Ward.

“I’ve always had a book in me, and when we got back I finally felt like I had a real story to tell,” Ward said of her inspiration to write a book about the long voyage. She started taking a memoir writing course at the Marion Library which helped her get her story underway.

Today, Ward and her husband live in Mattapoisett full time and work locally as oyster farmers. Ally is just starting her sophomore year at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Ward and Michael will again take out their boat in early 2024 to embark on a trip to the Bahamas.