1 more addition to CNN’s social distancing suggestions during the coronavirus pandemic – boating*
Estimated Reading Time: 7 minutes – SBFL 7* – PLANNED – It seems that the fear and frenzy caused by health concerns due to coronavirus are spreading as fast as this 21st-century virus that just exploded into our lives. Looking at the trends and reality, it may well continue to grab headlines for perhaps the next 18-24 months.
Oh well, as the author Vivian Greene once said, ”Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.” Let’s do it.
In that spirit, Scottie Andrew, Digital News Journalist of CNN, published a great article of suggestions to deal with the changes taking place in our society because of coronavirus and its historic 2020 pandemic disease named Covid-19. The title of her article is, “Social distancing doesn’t have to doom your weekends. We have ideas.” It is a must-read article to reference each time you feel stir crazy or cooped up at home.
However, I would like to add one more item to her list of options that she missed, big time, boating! Yes, boating, in the general sense that covers all types of water vessels.
One of the best social distancing activities that you can do individually or as a family is kayaking, canoeing, or power or sail boating. If you’re new to water vessels, with a relatively small investment, you can buy a kayak and start enjoying being on the water with it. After purchasing your kayak, all you have to do is search the internet for “cartop boat launch sites” at nearby community and regional parks. “Cartop boat” refers to a canoe or kayak. As an alternative, you may be able to locate spots from which you can launch your kayak or canoe on the shores of rivers, lakes, and other types of bodies of water. Really, check it out! You’ll be surprised at how many there are around and near you. All you have to do is look for it.
In the case of larger vessels such as power and sailboats, you may be able to spend several days on board with supplies brought from home without going back to shore and have fun. You don’t need to go very far, just get away from it all for a day or two on board your boat. Don’t try hard, a trip to nowhere would be just fine.
Come on, join me, even if it’s for a short while as an armchair traveler. Destination Solomons, Maryland
As I mention in all of my SBTF* series of blogs (you’ll notice this acronym next to the estimated reading time at the top), we’re on a mission to find out about life on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). We’re comparing then and now, based on observations made by Dorothea and Stuart E. Jones in their 1958 National Geographic article titled, “Slow Boat to Florida” (hence the title of my SBTF* series here) and a 1973 book published by National Geographic, titled America’s Inland Waterway (ICW) by Allan C. Fisher, Jr. We are power boaters. However, I must point out that all of the locations that we are visiting and planning to visit are reachable by water or by land.
Tracing the authors’ routes, one of the spots that we hope to visit later this year is Solomons, a.k.a Solomons Island, Maryland. (See, at the top, a photo of a Solomon, Maryland, boat launch on the Patuxent River in the early morning. ) It’s a short distance south of the Baltimore-Washington, DC, metro area.
Back in 1958, Dorothea and Stuart E. Jones wrote that “Solomons, an island village near the mouth of the Patuxent [River], enjoys huge popularity as a sport-fishing center. Most villagers earn their living fishing, oystering, and crabbing. Solomons also shelters the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, a Maryland agency dedicated to improving and conserving fish and wildlife resources.”
A few years down the line, in 1973, referring to Solomons, Fisher wrote, “Solomons, a homely little hodgepodge near the mouth of the Patuxent [River] remains basically a fishermen’s town with a strong admixture now of rollicking yachtsmen.”
As a part of our trip planning, we always extensively study the locations that we will be visiting. We reach out to local contacts that may range from government officials to local businesses, artists, marinas, hotels, and many more before we visit our planned spots. All of our activities while planning and undertaking our trips are an extensive discovery exercise for us, with the intent to share with you. In turn, that level of planning helps us to better develop and write the “Visited” part for each location. (Each location is covered in two parts, with a Planned and a Visited section for each visit.) Our coverage includes our comparison of then (1958 and 1973) and now (2018 all the way through to maybe 2023).
So, based on our cursory study so far, it appears that now, in 2020, things have changed for the better. Today, I would not describe Solomons as “a homely little hodgepodge” town, as Fisher put it in 1973. Continuing to share his experiences, he wrote, “We skirted the shoal known locally as Molly’s Leg and took a slip at Zahniser’s Marina.” Well, it seems that Zahniser’s is still there. They are now called Zahniser’s Yachting Center and have developed into a sizable marine facility that can accommodate transit or a permanent marina home for yachts (power and sail) up to 150 feet in length. We’ll write more about them after we visit the facility.
Of course, today’s Solomons is more than marinas.
Well, that’s it for now. I hope to say hello to you if you spot my boat, Life’s AOK, in one of the locations that I am visiting during 2020.
I bid you Fair Winds and Following Seas.
5 things I learned
- Life will go on, coronavirus epidemic or not. We need to adapt and do our best until the choppy seas settle down.
- Johns Hopkins University & Medicine site for latest coronavirus information is one of the best resources
- Live detailed global coronavirus statistics: Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Live Stats
- If you are looking for reliable Covid-19 illness information, one of the very reliable spots on the internet is here, WHO Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Dashboard Hub
- Change is constant. Hopefully for the better, ultimately.
3 things I recommend
- When you can, use water and water vessels for fun while still social distancing.
- If your budget is limited, start with buying a kayak. For other alternatives, read my blog post, You want to buy a boat, eh?
- Remember, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.” Enjoy your life. This is not a dress rehearsal.
*For boating check your local jurisdiction to find out if there are any Covid-19 related restrictions
*SBFL stands for Slow Boat to Florida. It is a series of my blog posts, which started with a posting that had the same title. Each numbered heading has two parts. The first is “Planned,” and when I visit the planned location, a “Visited” label appears at the beginning. The series represents part travel, part current and historical anthropological highlights of the locations. I invite you to visit the same locations by boat or by land, or simply follow my slow journey. I love to hear from you on any current or past insights about the locations that I am visiting. Drop me a note, will you?