Hazel’s story – the things trans women do

Here is my current project. She’s a 52’ Bruce Roberts Spray, she is a sad story, involving famous people, drugs and altercations.  She was abandoned after having all her windows smashed, hatches opened, resulting in her being half full of water, unloved for several years. Her last owner a famous actor gave it to his son, sadly an addict.

So why did I, a trans woman, struggling to come to terms with life and all the doubts and concerns of being transgender, take her on? I asked this question of one of the staff at the London Transgender Clinic. “Simple” she said “you were both abandoned and left alone. Who better than you to sort her out!”

So that’s what I’m doing. With help I’ve spent the last 12 months pumping her out, removed 3 skips of rubbish from her, (people saw fit to dump their rubbish on her) replaced windows and hatches, and re-modelled her interior.

All the while like my boat, my family abandoned me with the exception of my children and grandchildren.  I’m coming to terms with being a trans woman, getting rid of clutter, letting people around me, friends and neighbours see the person inside.

My boat one day will be beautiful. I, well I’ll do my best, I don’t expect to aspire to great beauty but I’ll be me.

We both will change our names she will be “Colne Spray”, I will be Hazel Jane Samways.

As to our ongoing journey, I plan eventually to sail her around the UK. However due to the lockdown, the work on Colne Spray has halted, but the work on Hazel is ongoing, I’ve had time to reflect, to look at who I really am, accepting I’m a trans woman, and yes, how to paint and improve her appearance. Don’t you love shopping!

I’ve written a more detailed article about “Colne Spray”, which will be entered on the JRA website (Junk Rig Association) under my proper name.  I asked for this to be done as I intend to be honest with myself and others from now on.

I asked if this would be a problem, the editors replied “I think the members will be more interested how a 73 year-old person has taken on such a massive daunting project to rescue a well respected designed boat, that they will, if you are trans woman”.

Rest assured I won’t do it on my own. I’ve made too many friends on this journey. My two eldest grandchildren 12 and 13 have booked passage to do the leg through the Caledonian canal.

So girls and boys, next year or sometime soon, I’ll see you around the UK!!

Point of Information – Joshua Slocum, was the first person to circumnavigate single handed the globe in a Bruce Roberts in 1895. (The proper way not popping up to the pole and back as they do nowadays) See his book “Sailing alone around the world” Sanford’s Travel Classics.

Hazel Samways


Hazel has only visited us at Oasis a few times including one of our Christmas meals and is very friendly with Joanna, It is lovely to catch up and read her story.

Do you have a story to tell in the new normal times we are in?

2 thoughts on “Hazel’s story – the things trans women do

  1. That’s amazing Hazel, would love to meet you both sometime when our world returns to some semblance of normality and we can meet strangers again, I really admire what you doing everyone should be loved, such a beautiful vessel should not have been so neglected, as a woodworker I fully understand just what you are undertaking, and well done for posting your progress with her under your proper name, wish I possessed the confidence, I think your very brave, love and best wishes to you and yours keep safe, Jay

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