#218 Many Thanks And Fair Winds
June 15, 2007

#217 It’s Off To Work We Go
June 1, 2007

#216 She Walks With An Attitude Of Freedom
May 15, 2007

#215 Mailbag From Portsmouth, Part 3 of 3
May 1, 2007

#214 Mailbag From Portsmouth, Part 2 of 3
April 15, 2007

#213 Mailbag From Portsmouth, Part 1 of 3
April 1, 2007

#212 Exhibits from Ithaka’s Collection of Cruising Wall Art
March 15, 2007

#211 Amphibious Challenges
March 1, 2007

#210 Going Home Is Such A Ride
February 15, 2007

#209 Night Passage Toward The Rest Of My Life
February 1, 2007

#208 The Springtime Of Cruising Romance
January 15, 2007

#207 Happy New Year From Ithaka
January 1, 2007

#206 A Windy Ride North December 15, 2006

#205 See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me
December 1, 2006

#204 A Friend Unlocks Key West
November 15, 2006

#203 A Momentous Landfall In Key West
November 1, 2006

#202 Mailbag: Underway Toward America
October 15, 2006

#201 Bits and Pieces
October 1, 2006

#200 The Light House
September 15, 2006

#199 Mr. Bing And The Water Pump
September 1, 2006

#198 Farewell To Dear Friends
August 15, 2006

#197 Have Ulu Will Travel: Part II—The Epilogue
August 1, 2006

#196 Slow Dancing Through The San Blas
July 15, 2006

#195 From Ithaka’s Galley – Our Daily Bread
July 1, 2006

#194 Ustupu Celebrates The Kuna Revolution
June 15, 2006

#193 The Sail’s Call
June 1, 2006

#192 Hugging The Coast Toward Kuna Yala
May 15, 2006

#191 A Strong Island For Memory Making
May 1, 2006

#190 Traveling Down the Colombian Coast
April 15, 2006

#189 The Cartagena Mailbag: Amoebas, Cookers, Books, and Cameras
April 1, 2006

#188 Let's Talk Toxins-Let's Talk Paint
March 15, 2006

#187 The English-Speaking Ladies Club
March 1, 2006

#186 Great Treasures In Foul Waters
February 15, 2006

#185 Viva Cartagena!
February 1, 2006

#184 Feliz Ano Nuevo, Cartegena!
January 15, 2006

#183 Tigre, the Tidy Town
January 1, 2006

#1 We're Going Sailing
Dec 17, 1999

The Complete Logbook
December 17, 1999
Newport, RI

We're Going Sailing

By Bernadette Bernon

For the past few years, we've been fortunate to share with two good friends their front-of-the-house season tickets to Boston's Handel & Haydn Society concerts. Over time, as we've been inspired by Easter and Christmas oratorios, uplifted by summer chorales and symphonies, and-I'll admit it-as we've nodded through the occasional baroque opera, we've sat next to the same people to the left and right of us, strangers in every way except for our shared love of this music played on antique instruments.

Over the first year, we exchanged pleasantries with our seatmates. Over the second year, during the odd intermission, we eventually made loose acquaintance on either side, occasionally venturing a comparison or two to the season before.

During the third year, we were unsettled to notice that our seatmates to the left appeared to have split up. "The divorced guy"-as Douglas and I began to refer to him after that-began showing up with different younger-looking women, each wearing short, black dresses, and he appeared to have lost about 20 pounds. One night in our third subscription year, seconds before curtain time, the woman who sits to the right of us noticed the magazine logo on my jacket as we slid by her to our seats.

"Do you know someone at Cruising World?" she whispered.

We're cutting the ties to our land-based worlds, and we're going cruising.

"Yes," I whispered back. "I work there." "Oh. My. God!" she gasped, as the hall darkened for what would be a particularly long performance of the opera Julius Caesar.

During intermission, she burst into a story about her son who, after finishing college, had rebuilt an old 30-footer, was now singlehanding around the wilder parts of the world, and hoped to be a writer. This got my attention. "Your son doesn't happen to be in Chile right now, does he?" I asked

"Yes!" she said. "How did you know that?"

"I think I just received a letter from him. From what you're saying, it has to be your son. I just wrote back to him this afternoon. Wow,

" I said. "Small world."

"Oh. My. God!" she said.

"He's a good writer," I said. "I encouraged him to do a story for us." It looked like she was going to cry.

A few months later, it was our turn for another H&H concert. By then, seeing our seatmates was almost as compelling as listening to the music. As usual, we arrived from Newport at the last moment before the curtain. Over intermission, "The Cruising-Guy's Mom," as Douglas had begun to refer to her, pulled out from under her seat a shopping bag containing photo albums of her son's voyage so far. As other concertgoers began to look over our shoulders, she gave us an update on his adventures. We all agreed that the young man was indeed a breed apart and very impressive.

It's serendipitous moments such as this that I've come to treasure while being Editorial Director of Cruising World, a position that affords the opportunity to meet some amazing people.

Ithaka (with her old name Slithermoon still gracing the bow) under her winter cover in a boatyard in Portsmouth, RI. (Michel Savage photo.)

The next time we go to a concert, I'll tell The Cruising-Guy's Mom that Douglas and I have made a decision-to head out into the cruising world ourselves. That we hope to cross paths with her son, and many others, to listen and learn from them. That it's time for us to leave the comfort of the campfire and venture into the unknown forest. That we know how freaked-out and excited her son must have been when he was on his countdown year before going, because that's how we feel right now. I think she'll understand, because she's a sailor herself and the mother of a cruiser. I can't wait to ask her how best to help my dad cope with the fact that we'll be gone for a while. She'll know. After all, she's been going through it herself.

Yesterday, I announced to my staff that I'm resigning in the spring, that Douglas and I have our house on the market, that we're moving aboard our boat this summer, and that, by God, we're going cruising. After months of quiet planning-just to make sure we could really pull this off before we told people about it-it's a relief finally to be able to share the news with our friends.

Over the next few months, I'll share with you through this column some of the challenges we're facing as we get ready to go. I'll show you our new (old!) boat and the modifications we're undertaking to make her into what we think we need for a life afloat.

I'll also introduce you to the person who'll be taking over Cruising World. All that's ahead. Right now, if you'll excuse me, Douglas and I have a concert to attend. This time we don't want to be late.

(This article was first published as an editorial in the February, 2000 issue of Cruising World Magazine )