Jamie Lynn Miller shot this photo of Capt. Jason Bell and Tracy at Port City Marina in Wilmington, North Carolina. The marina is downtown on the Cape Fear River. Miller shared this story about the couple:
Capt. Jason Bell and First Mate Tracy Bell are married. The photo was taken on Tracy’s birthday, March 1, at Le Catalan, a French bistro and wine bar along Wilmington’s Riverwalk. Their boat is Gypsie, a ketch-rigged 52-foot Irwin.
Tracy and Jason met in Grenada while Jason (a Scottish sea captain) was captaining Southern Winds, and Tracy and her father were sailing aboard Gypsie. They spent just 24 hours together before their respective ships sailed separate ways. They kept in touch via email, and two weeks later, Jason’s vacation time arrived. He asked Tracy to come home with him to Scotland–this woman he’d known for 24 hours–and somehow, she convinced her dad it was a good idea.
They fell in love quickly, but after a blissful time abroad, it was time to head back to their designated courses; Jason returned to his post, Tracy rejoined her father, and neither knew what the future would bring. They tried to keep in touch, but they didn’t know how, when, or if they could be together again.
Two months later, in the Sir Francis Drake Channel near the British Virgin Islands, their ships literally passed in the night. Tracy grabbed the radio and called, “Southern Winds?” Jason responded immediately: “Gypsie?”.
Their ships slowed and Tracy and Jason moved their dingies toward one another, pledging their love in the middle of the ocean.
Now married with three children, the Bells have made their way back to Tracy’s native North Carolina, and they’ve since inherited Gypsie from Tracy’s dad.