By Bernadette Bernon
April 21, 2000
Newport, RI

Photo of Ithaka boat name on stern

It's 6:45 on this bone-chilling late April morning. Douglas and I are on ladders at the boatyard, trying to apply Ithaka's name to her stern before she meets her date with the Travelift in an hour. As we measure off each of the gold vinyl letters, Douglas admonishes me for leaving this task till the last minute. Unable to feel my fingers in the 37-degree cold, I stay quiet about the other things I still need to get done this morning before the boat is splashed. Just then, it starts to rain. Hard.

Photo of Bernadette and Murray Davis Murray Davis and I at Cruising World's 25th Anniversary party at the Annapolis Boat Show in 1999.

And that's how it's been going. We threw a 75th-birthday party for my dad on Sunday. The minute after we waved good-bye to the last guest, we turned around and-just like striking a theater set-dismantled everything in the house. Pictures came down, books went into boxes, carpets were rolled up. The closing on the house is imminent, and despite this weather, we need to start moving aboard. We've already donated most of our clothes to charity, and sold our furniture to friends or through classifieds. It's my last two weeks at Cruising World, and every day is a blur as I hand over all the responsibilities associated with creating this magazine. Busy all day. Busy all night. Weekends? Forget about it.

One of the hardest things left to do is to say good-bye and thank you to the friends I've made through the pages of CW. I'm grateful to have been given the opportunity to steer this magazine of kindred spirits for the past nine years, and to have worked with such a talented, generous, and dedicated staff. I'm grateful to have had Murray Davis as a friend; Murray founded Cruising World 26 years ago, and I had the privilege of working for him as a young editor and learning from him what is at the heart of the magazine.

For the past few years, I'm lucky to have had Gil Rogin as a boss and mentor. He inspires us to make CW uncompromising and teaches us much about passionate writing. I'm grateful to Bob Miller, who bought CW three years ago, inspired our beautiful redesign, and who's always been there when we needed him. Never once has Bob picked up the phone to question what I published. This separation of church and state is a precious thing to an editor, and rare indeed. We have this at CW, and I'm proud of it.

I'm delighted to be handing the helm of Cruising World to my friend Herb McCormick, our executive editor, who takes over with the July issue. A superb editor and writer, Herb lives and breathes Cruising World, boats, and sailing. He and his wife, Carole, have lived aboard their 33-footer, and he's voyaged in all manner of boats all over the world. He writes the national boating column for The New York Times every Sunday; he's co-authored a book, Out There, about the first BOC Challenge; and he was the award-winning daily writer for the Around Alone website. This wonderful magazine is going into great hands. (On a happy side note, I'm pleased to report that Herb and Carole bought our living-room couch.)

Photo of Cruising World cover

To all the readers who've been kind enough to write to me and Douglas recently with cruising ideas and good wishes, a special thank you. Your personal letters, invitations, and emails have meant the world to us, and we'll always treasure them.

As Douglas and I begin cruising aboard Ithaka, I look forward to seeing many of you along our way, to sharing quiet anchorages with you, and to appreciating with you the cruising life we all love. Creating a magazine that celebrates this life has been a privilege for me; but living the cruising life for ourselves — full time! — that will be a dream come true. Thank you all, for everything.


This article appeared first as an editorial in the June, 2000, issue of Cruising World Magazine.