I’ll say one thing about this past year…a lot has changed. Behaviors mostly. I distinctly remember how a year ago, we were so excited to be getting ten more “boxes” in mid-town Manhattan where WindCheck would be available. I also distinctly remember making plans for a Taste of Essex℠ exhibit within the CT Spring Boat Show℠. We were going to have ten or more restaurants and other retailers providing samples under the big clubhouse tent on Essex Island Marina.
Welcome to the year after! People have discovered, or re-discovered, boating in droves, golf courses had record years, and I am not sure about camping but a visit to your local REI shows a lot of empty shelves. So much of this is healthy, family-friendly and just plain better than much of what people did in 2019. Of course, there are cautions, and we in “our sport” need to take advantage where we can.
So to stick to our knitting, the great thing about our sport is that there is endless learning available and honestly, endless boats to own or dream about or shop for. We will do the Taste of Essex next year. For now, enjoy what is right in front of you. Artists have sprung up from the lockdown. Seamanship teaching that formerly did not have enough students now have to manage the demand, Brokers are rejuvenated by the desire and marinas that were in competition to provide amenities are taking a breather on being creative and can bet back to straight-up hospitality as they sell out.
Two more thoughts come to mind as we emerge from the forced behavior change. Remember to rejoice in the coming back of regattas, family cruising and full parties. And the second one is for the marine industry, writ large. I hope we do a good job of welcoming, teaching and mentoring the wave of newcomers to our lifestyle.
Be kind, and instructive and remember to be welcoming!
See you on the water!
Benjamin V. Cesare