Boats: A Strange Kind of Love

What could be better, asks Mary Wells Lawrence, than life on a boat? Flip through the photos below to climb aboard her beloved yacht, Strangelove.


The world looks more beautiful from a boat. No matter where you are — cosmopolitan cities like Paris or Hong Kong, elegant resorts along the Mediterranean, exotic developing countries like Thailand — everything looks beautiful from a sea or river or lake or canal. On the water, you miss the grubby sides of civilized life. When you live on a boat, the beauty around you takes hold of you and makes you feel lucky – sometimes chosen.

And there is freedom on a boat. If you are in a town or a bay that is not up to your dream, you just move on. Think about it. You don’t have to take off your shoes for the customs man. You don’t have to stand in line. And you don’t have to pack – not your toothbrush or your “Casablanca” DVD or your Charlie Parker CD or any of your tech stuff. All your possessions move on to a new and better place with you, and you don’t lift a finger.

There is a special feeling of safety in boat life. On Strangelove, we never sail to dangerous places. And the crew has become part of my family. Most marinas are aware and protective. And water sounds are spa sounds. They lower your blood pressure.

I have always had a gypsy spirit. Boat life suits me. There is something warming about living in the center of a chosen crew of capable men and women. If you are suddenly alone, your husband has died or you are divorced, it cheers your soul and calms your brain and slows you down so that you don’t do something silly. Your family would agree. Life on the water is life at its best: free, beautiful, educational, private, exciting, warm and friendly. A wee bit feminist, but romantic too. The bottom line: boats are good for your health.

6 Responses so far.

  1. avatar Linda Myers says:

    Ahh, Mary – what a life! Thank you for sharing.

  2. avatar Joan Larsen says:

    Dear Mary . . . what an absolutely beautiful way to live.  The visual tour of your yacht made me wish that your designer was available to put those finishing touches on my home that would turn it from quite liveable to extraordinarily inviting! 

    As you know, travel has always been a way of life for me.  Meeting new people, learning new things, seeing the beautiful natural world at its best, is the best way to lift the spirits to new heights.  , and that you also have done.  I have seen my own world as often as I could by icebreaker . . . and, in thinking about this, I find it amazing that I have never ever been on a yacht – much less yours, the most beautiful one in the world.  I wonder what that would be like?
    I certainly admire the choices of places you anchor for a week or for a season.  Vancouver?  I have long felt that it would be wonderful to live in British Columbia, spending much time there hiking its mountains when I was much much younger. 

    And so I believe your present anchorage idyllic with its ever-changing water scene.  I think of you as watching the world go by in a glorious place.

    You look so young and happy, telling me that you are enjoying life to the fullest.  The only way.  May it continue for a long, long time!  Joan

  3. avatar Lila says:

    What a beautiful home. I also love the water – being in it, more than being on it, but this yacht could change my mind!

  4. avatar Rho says:

    I have been on over 20 cruises,  Love being on the water,

  5. avatar French Heart says:

    Love! I live on the water & also with blue & white palette architecturally ‘clean’ beach-y look. Would prefer it even more to live aboard like you. Freedom, fresh air, and overall fabulousness!

  6. avatar Adan Best says:


    I hope that you are basking somewhere aboard Strangelove and still kicking. You are an amazing woman, and had such an impact in my life, on and off of Mustique. To connect with you again would mean a lot to me, a chance that I did not get with Colin, and am very sad about. The article that you wrote about him was beautiful, and informative, I had no idea, but in the end had Harding listened to you, I think Mustique would be a very different place today. Strange that the day I read it, I was going through my old works, and the original drawing of Muskito, that I had done for Arne, was pinned on the wall behind the photo that you had taken. I had a little moment, and remembered you uncanny sense of timing, and exquisite care for your guests. I sent you an email to try and catch up, thanks to Jeanette, and would really enjoy hearing from you! Please know that my respect and best wishes will all ways be with you.
    Adam Best