For those of us who love to go cruising, these are trying times. We’re all heading into uncharted waters here, roiled by confusion and often competing narratives, and we don’t know how long this will last or how it will end.
Many of us live in areas where we have been urged, or ordered, to stay in place, or at the very least to practice social distancing. Now, it seems to me that cruising people are unusually independent people, self-sufficient and capable on the water; we can take care of ourselves, our crew, and our vessels.
On land, however, it’s often a different matter, where we like to be sociable, to meet fellow travelers. One of the best things about cruising, in my opinion, is the chance to meet new people, to make new friends, to share stories (and some of them may even be true). We like to compare notes about where we’ve been – and where we’re going.
For most of us now, our next cruise is on hold. But we can still plan ahead. It seems to me that any good cruise consists of three parts: Planning, execution, and memories. Now that we’re at home, we certainly can do the planning, whether it’s for the Great Loop, up the Inside Passage, or down to Key West. Get out your computer and your apps and put in some waypoints. Take time to read and explore the route ahead. Start making lists of what you have to do to make your boat ready. If you can get down to your boat, take on some of those DIY projects you’ve been putting off.
What we do know, is that at some point all this will end, we’ll have a new day ahead. That’s why I always enjoy looking at the picture above, which I took while on a cruise in California’s Channel Islands with Tony Fleming on his own Fleming 65 a few years ago. Pictures, memories.
In my office at home, the walls are filled with pictures of cruises I’ve taken over the years with various members of my family. Happy scenes, in Antigua, Bermuda, the BVI, the Bahamas, the Florida Keys, Nantucket, the San Juans, Lake Como. Just looking at them brightens my day. I plan to add to them in the future, in days when we all can go cruising again. For now, a pandemic can take away our mobility, but it can’t take away our dreams.
(For a good, updated list of what’s open and what’s closed, go to:)