A couple commended for sharing their love of boats and community building both on and off shore have been named the 2017 Marrowstone Island citizens of the …
A couple commended for sharing their love of boats and community building both on and off shore have been named the 2017 Marrowstone Island citizens of the year.
Wayne and Nicole Chimenti, originally from Connecticut and Belgium respectively, met while sailing on separate tall ships in the South Pacific. They dropped anchor on Marrowstone Island in 1987 and purchased property during the NOPE (No Oil Pipeline Ever) battle, which they helped fight and win. Their family expanded soon after with the birth of their daughter, Nahja.
Their homestead is a center of activity, with a garden, a sail loft, and dwellings that have sheltered countless Wooden Boat School students and families in need. The geodesic dome they built on their property serves as a gathering place for parties, meetings, concerts and weekly yoga classes.
In nomination letters, Nicole was cited in particular for her generosity as a gardener.
“Nicole shares knowledge of gardening, seeds and starts for new gardens, and produce from her garden, with many individuals on the island,” said one person who nominated her. “The produce helps a number of families feed themselves and their children.”
Nicole teaches the craft of sailmaking, and Wayne is deeply involved in maritime education.
Wayne was noted as a major facilitator of boat-related educational opportunities for youth and adults in Jefferson County by those who nominated him.
He has skippered the tall ship Adventuress, founded the nonprofit Puget Sound Voyaging Society and Community Boat Project, helped provide free maritime education to students through the Chimacum School Pi Program and Port Townsend’s OCEAN Program, and partnered with the Wooden Boat Foundation and Northwest School of Wooden Boatbuilding.
“He has taught and mentored many high school youth, veterans, and women interested in boatbuilding and sailing,” one person noted.
Both are “always helping others, especially youth, while they are finding their way into adulthood.”
The Chimentis lead by example, modeling for future generations the principles of generosity and inclusiveness, said those who nominated the couple, noting that they exemplify the responsible stewardship not only of Marrowstone Island, but also the land beyond it and the waters that surround it.
Citizens of the year are nominated by Marrowstone Island residents. Nominees must be island residents who have made significant contributions with lasting benefits to Marrowstone and/or Jefferson County.