Christine Bukruian and first mate Kia live aboard their Watkins 36 sailboat, Gypsy Spirit. If you ask, Kia will say – in true gypsy style, “Home is where the boat is.” Christine is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and is working on her second book.
Kianda, Kia for short was born in Saint Augustine, Florida in 2003. Her name derives from Angolan mythology and means, Goddess of the Ocean, protector of sailors and fishermen. Kia and Christine met in January 2004 at the Saint Augustine Humane Society. Constant companions from the start, their bond grew with each adventure until it has become hard to imagine one without the other.
Kia is a seasoned traveler having cruised extensively throughout the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and the Dominican Republic. In 2008 she flew to Italy and spent a month touring Rome, the Amalfi coast and Tuscany. Her favorite places include Saint Augustine, Florida, Camden, Maine and the Bahamas …of course. She enjoys camping, lying in the sun, hiking, lying in the sun, road trips, lying in the sun and most of all swimming.
Kia has crewed aboard Gypsy Spirit for more than eight years. She is singlehandedly responsible for saving the dinghy oars by alerting the captain when she noticed them coming loose from the dinghy. Kia’s shipboard duties include: maintaining ship security, personnel evaluation, supervising operations, keeping watch for dolphins and lying in the sun.
When not on duty or lying in the sun, Kia enjoys spending time with her friends Sophie and Lindy.
View a PDF about cruising with your dog: Cruising With Your Canine Friend – Keeping it Safe and Fun.pdf
Gypsy Spirit is a 1981 Watkins 36 Center Cockpit, hull number AJC60033M81F. It was number thirty-three out of approximately seventy-eight built. Gypsy Spirit underwent a complete overhaul in 2006/2007 subsequent to the collision. You can view photos of the restoration in progress on our photo album page. Gypsy Spirit’s home port is Saint Augustine Florida where she is registered as an Antique Vessel.
To find out more about the history of Watkins Boatbuilding, or for information about specific models, parts and part replacement please visit http://www.watkinsowners.com/