Issue: July 2001
A Penguin Passion

She had always wanted a Penguin sailboat, but a busy life overrode the dream of owning one. Now, she’s used paint and imagination to create one for her grandkids.


    Barbara Jump Park fell in love with Penguin sailboats when she moved, as a teenager, from the mountains of Pennsylvania to Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Using a borrowed boat with sail number 4206, her boyfriend at the time taught her how to sail the popular, 11-foot, one-design racers [see “Back to the Future,” March 2001].

    “It was so bad that after that first summer of sailing, all the doodling on my brown paper high school book covers was of Penguin 4206,” she says. “Although I was an ‘A’ student, all my daydreaming in class was about owning a Penguin. Owning a boat, however, was out of the question for our family.”

    Park’s Penguin dreams were shoved aside in later years as she married, had a passel of children and found a career in nuclear medicine. But now that she’s an empty-nester and a grandmother, Penguins have come alive again, this time in a bedroom she has designed and painted for her grandkids in her Joppa, Md., home. Other than using stencils for the racing sailboats and committee boats on all four walls, Park did the whole job freehand, calling the style “whimsical nautical.”

    “Courage was needed to paint a brown mast from the ceiling to the bed, but after all, my heart was in this and there was no stopping me,” she says. The wall beside the bed is one huge Penguin sail, with number 443 in black - that’s her address. Tiny Penguins tack and jibe around the room, rounding red marks in the corners of walls and bobbing on a blue sea. At the light switch, she placed a black and white photograph of her sailing Penguin 4206, all those many summers ago.

    “Finally,” Park says, “I can say that I have my own Penguin.”