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Former yacht mate, chef Townsend Pillsbury dies

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By Dorie Cox

Former yacht mate and chef Townsend Pillsbury died of cancer on July 12. She was 62.

Capt. Andy McKee has served as captain of the 81-foot Broward M/Y Pyewacket for 32 years and said Ms. Pillsbury worked with him from 1997-2005. She next worked in land-based jobs and did some short-term boat work.

“Townsend and I worked together for many years, did many charters, and traveled many miles,” Capt. McKee said. “She always had a great attitude and was always ready to do what was necessary to get the job done.”

The two became good friends, as well as co-workers.

“I don’t think there are any mountains in Acadia National Park that we didn’t climb at least once,” he said. “I could always rest easily when she was on watch; she had too much energy to fall asleep.”

Townsend Pillsbury
Oct. 4, 1956 – July 12, 2019

An online obituary stated that Ms. Pillsbury had lived in Harwich, Massachusetts; Gilford, New Hampshire; Fort Lauderdale; and Southwest Harbor, Maine.

It followed with, “Her quick wit and high standards in all she undertook made her a natural in the hospitality industry, from fine dining restaurants to luxury yachts. Her love of sailing and the ocean led her to the yachting industry, where she spent many years. She traveled the world and her adventures were many.”

Longtime friend and sailing colleague Chris Barlow said she worked on S/Y Mischief, a 68-foot Cheoy Lee charter boat, in St. Thomas in the 1980s and she was a member of IBNA, an international association of crew who worked directly for yacht owners and worked on charters from the 1970-90s.

“If you navigated by dead reckoning or sextant you qualified to be a member,” Barlow said.

Ms. Pillsbury was active, a good sailor and chef, as well as a good varnisher, he said.

Capt. McKee will miss his friend and said he was fortunate to have spoken with her many times before she passed. “Eight bells Town, end of your watch,” Capt. McKee said. “Town was a great stewardess, and also was good on deck. Not much she couldn’t do.”

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton. Comments are welcome below.

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About Dorie Cox

Dorie Cox is editor of The Triton.

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