There hasn’t been a year quite like 2020 in living memory. A lot went wrong due to the covid-19 pandemic, the loss of 300,000 lives and counting and the closing of tens of thousands of businesses. But instead of dwelling on the horrors of 2020, let’s look back at what went right in our world of sailing and cruising. While we all were staying home and social distancing, the sailing marketplace was more active than ever as people decided that sailing with the family was one thing that was safe from infection. The brokerage market, in particular, has been very active and boats have been selling quickly. Although the charter business outside the country has been shuttered, local, U.S.-based charter fleets have been active and sailing schools have reopened successfully. Once again, people decided that sailing was safe. For cruisers, state-to-state restrictions curbed long haul coastal cruises so folks tended to stay local and gunkhole close to home. But, that said, people spent more days on their boats last summer than ever. For offshore cruisers, many U.S.-based sailors had to postpone their plans for the Bahamas, Caribbean and Mexico. But one intrepid organization, the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, stepped up to help. Last spring, while hundreds of cruisers were stuck in the Caribbean, the SDSA changed their annual spring rally into a six week-long Homeward Bound Flotilla. More than 180 boats took part and benefited from the SDSA’s weather forecasts (from Chris Parker), routing and buddy boating. And, while all other rally organizations cancelled their fall rallies to Mexico and the Caribbean, the SDSA successfully hosted 50 boats in their fall rally in November from Hampton, VA to Antigua and the Bahamas. So, as we say goodbye to 2020, we can be grateful that we are sailors and have a way to do what we love while staying in our family pods, social distancing and letting the wind blow freely in our hair.
Thanks to Carols Bravo Prazak who took this photo 200 miles off the Peruvian Coast during a cruise to nowhere.