The Atlantic Rancher Company Sails Again!
It’s been nearly twenty years to the day. A dark November day…sky the color of lead. Freshly divorced from everything familiar, I said goodbye to the Atlantic Rancher Company, goodbye to my house, goodbye to my town. Most painful was the goodbye to my kids. I recall all too well that night in Marblehead when I told them I was moving to another town, not too far away I told them, to start a new job. Lying in bed, I held them both in my arms, each tucked into my shoulders, me staring up to the ceiling. They were too young to understand…the youngest cried and kept asking where is Seattle…the other just turned over, hiding his pain but showing his disapproval.
As the years passed, everything unfolded just the way it was meant – the universe works in miraculous ways. I have a remarkably full life now with a beautiful, supportive and loving wife, who is every bit the outdoorsman that I am and better at running the cockpit of a 37’ Rybovich than many. My kids are grown and turned out well. And I’ve mostly healed from one of the biggest (not the biggest) disappointments of my life…losing the Atlantic Rancher Company in a trough of greed and arrogance much too deep for me to overcome. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And true that is in my case. And I never doubted for one second that I would, someday, get back on that flybridge, point the bow into the wind and do it again.
That someday has arrived. For the past 6 months you could say I’ve been getting the band back together. And as we approach the splash date of Atlantic Rancher Company 2.0, I am surrounded by family, lifelong friends and accomplices, and a small group of new co-conspirators without whom 2.0 could not happen. In particular, Andrew Wicklund, the courageously creative fountainhead that has led the visual rebirth of the AR brand…and my wife, Victoria Roberts (she calls herself Mrs. Saez The Third), whose support of my dreams over these many years has never wobbled and today makes certain that we are keeping it real and authentic.
Our house is quiet in the predawn hours and that’s when I do most of my writing. It’s also when I most feel the presence of two special men in my life. If you have an old Atlantic Rancher catalog laying around, you might recognize them as “Uncle Jack” Scheimreif and Capt. Bob Gaskill. I grew up without a father, and while my Mother’s love was irreplaceable, they filled a void. I adopted them at age 15, when I was working as a mate on sportfishing boat out of Morrison’s Marina in Beach Haven, NJ. Some say I was glued to ’em…like a booger they couldn’t get off their finger. Both have passed on but the adventures they took me on and what they taught me about work and the outdoors are at the core of who I am today. They are enduring examples of what it means to live life right – with purpose, gratitude and authenticity.
Just as the original, the Atlantic Rancher Company we are building today is anchored deep in the heritage, community and camaraderie of people we engage along the way. Where lessons and ideas learned are captured in the stories we share and the products we make. I am deeply grateful to be at this again and it’s my sincere intention to walk this path with purpose and integrity worthy of respect from the men and women upon whose shoulders we stand.
I’m hoping to connect with all of our old friends and customers…if you want to say something nice or critical, please reach out to me here, Engle