The 'Great Espcape'

July 15, 2005

Seeking adventure and freedom of the waters has always been a thrill for Lee Peterson, MD, of Portland, OR. With the companionship of his wife, Adrianne, and his charts clearly plotted, Dr. Peterson begins each journey in anticipation of what the day will bring.

Dr. Peterson and his wife were exposed to boating during much of their childhood. However, it wasn't until 1972-1 year after Dr. Peterson began his ophthalmic practice-when they began to take it more seriously.

"I always dreamed of boating on a regular basis, but up until that point I did not have the time or means available," he said. "I guess you could say it was in our blood. We always knew that we would be a boating family."

A treasured classic Dr. Peterson has owned a variety of boats over the years, but he particularly likes his current boat, the "Great Escape."

"Just as some people prefer classic cars over the newer cutting-edge models, that is how I feel about boats," Dr. Peterson said. "Our 20-year-old, Grand Banks 36-foot trawler has a single-diesel engine with a stateroom forward and aft. Each of the staterooms has a head [bathroom], which makes it nice when we have company staying with us. The middle of the boat contains the main salon [control station], and a galley [kitchen].

"I can pilot the boat from one of two stations: either an indoor piloting station on the main cabin, or an outdoor station on the flying bridge," Dr. Peterson added. "When the weather is nice, it is always a pleasant experience to be on the upper deck. The boat is also seaworthy, meaning that it can withstand most storms and rough seas."

Embarking on adventure Dr. Peterson enjoys planning for a trip.

"I enjoy the preparation involved: plotting, getting my charts organized, and preparing the boat is part of the adventure for me," he said. "I am continually taking courses in advanced navigation so I can learn how to get to our destination in the safest way."

However, Dr. Peterson most looks forward to the cruise itself. One of the most memorable trips the Petersons took began May 24, 2003, when Dr. Peterson and his wife went on an 89-day, 2,400-mile trip to Alaska.

"Alaska is such a wild and beautiful place with nature at its best," he said. "I can gaze at the vast expanses of Alaskan wilderness and feel isolated from the rest of humanity, and experience vicariously what it would be like to be exploring virtually untouched land like days of yesteryear."

"Our son lives in Anchorage, but he met up with us in Petersburg," Dr. Peterson said. "They spent 10 days on board.