Their first encounters were choppy, but now it’s smooth sailing.
Krista Bouchey and Monty Coffey were living in separate sailboats in Deer Harbor when they first met.
“She kept telling me she had another guy, but I didn't give up,” remembers Monty.
Krista visited Orcas in college, and the summer she met Monty was to be her last hurrah on the island before traveling to South America. Their first date was a moonlight row in a borrowed dingy. Krista refused to kiss him, but the couple says there was definitely chemistry. At night, when she would get off work from waitressing, her first stop was Monty's boat.
“I would hear the clickety clack of her clogs on the dock,” he said. “I knew she was coming to see me.”
As winter approached, Monty moved into a house. During the first storm of the season, Krista knocked on his door.
“Yeah, she really liked me then,” he laughs.
Their first year together, they traveled to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where they spent a lot of time eating ice cream and sitting on the beach.
“If you can travel together for long periods of time you can pretty much do anything,” says Monty. “When you live together constantly, you start to move as one.”
Now, 10 years later, they've got a house, a young daughter named Scarlett, two dogs, a cat and three fish. Krista is program director at the Funhouse Commons and runs her own graphic design business. Monty owns and operates The Woodsmen, a landscaping and tree care company. They aren't married, but see their relationship as a strong partnership.
“If you have a partner, you've got each other's back,” Monty said. “I think it's more realistic than marriage. We work on it a lot … We're really good friends and sometimes we forget that. Then we get away from Orcas and are with just each other, and we remember.”
In another 10 years, they hope to spend more time in warmer weather, continue to grow their island businesses and take their daughter world traveling.
Krista says her favorite thing about Monty is his humor.
“Sometimes we laugh so hard that we cry,” she said.
Monty tends to overanalyze things and have big ideas, while Krista is more practical. They balance each other out well. And after having Scarlett in 2006, their relationship became stronger.
“You have to perfect your partnership for your child,” Monty said. “Having a child means taking the best of who you are and putting it into someone else. And she reminds us of how fun it is to be a kid. Flowers and springtime and bunny rabbits are awesome!”
Their advice for other couples is to listen, work together to reevaluate your life goals, evolve with each other and be aware of details, like reading your partner's feelings.
Monty says Krista pays attention to how people feel and “really takes it in.”
“She is the realest person I know,” he said. “And when she wants something, she goes for it. I really respect that.”