While reading the Editor’s Note by Molly Winans in the March issue of Spinsheet, I made a decision – and one entry into my calendar. Molly’s article “The Spaghetti Solution” talked about planning the season’s sailing adventures with friends over a spaghetti dinner in March, and as her skipper noted in the article, “If it’s not on the calendar, it’s not happening.”

So, thanks Molly. Although there was no spaghetti served, I have inked (well, selected, highlighted, named and ‘remindered’) a week into my phone calendar that will be spent aboard the boat with family. I am just like many of you – and those mentioned in Molly’s article who, during the long winter here in the Northeast, lament letting last summer get away, and who long for more time aboard.

Despite the ambitious predictions of daysailing, overnighting and destination cruising I made this time last year, my family had only a handful of short sails on the boat and didn’t spend a single night aboard. It happens. Life gets in the way (the other ‘life’…earning money, unswayable obligations, et al.). Throughout this winter, my wife and I spoke often about the many reasons why we ended up blowing off those sailing plans and we have vowed to do better this year – for sake of our sanity, and our boat – which, over the years, has taken on a role of family member. In fact, during times of crisis or an impending epic weather event, I think of the wellbeing of my wife and boys, my parents, my sister Alexis, then Tenacious, then my brother Tom. Just kidding, Tom, I think of Tenacious before Alexis, too.

Even with our favorite family and friends, we often make lots of flighty or provisional plans. “Hey, we need to get together soon!” we shout as we pass one another at the supermarket. When I drive past Tenacious on my way to a board meeting at the club or dinner at my parent’s house on Thursdays, I find myself silently promising the boat, “Hey, we’ll get together soon.” It’s remarkable how everything else seems to find a way to drop a marker in the schedule of our lives – taking out the garbage on Sunday night, those meetings at the club and Thursday dinners…

On the pages of this issue, you’ll find an article that beautifully illustrates how the quality of time spent on a boat with a special shipmate surpasses almost any other way of using that allotment of hours, and the latest installment from a family that’s enjoying the trip of a lifetime. These people have figured out how to weave sailing into their lives – and in a big way. I have to commit to do the same, albeit on a smaller scale for now. But that’s okay. It’s a start.

So, for the first week in August, don’t call me. I’ve dropped a marker on a date with my family and Tenacious. Don’t call me unless, of course, it’s on the VHF.

See you on the water.

Chris Gill