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post #1388 of Old 09-14-2016
4arch
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Re: 2016 Sailing Season on the Chesapeake

Dave,

We certainly value your and Donna’s friendship and support in equal measure and I hope my comments were not taken as us either feeling unwelcome or wanting to distance ourselves as neither of those are the case at all. I agree about having a balance of friends of all ages and we’ve certainly met a great diversity of friends and acquaintances of all types through sailing and really appreciate this aspect of the sailing community. In any situation there are always going to be people who want to stick to their own and people who feel more comfortable mixing things up and I hope not to ever fall into being the sticking to my own type.

My angst about not seeing more families and kids out there is more out of a concern for what the future holds. Growing up boating, I remember there always being plenty of other kids around. Weekends we weren’t out on the water we were either at the pool or I was turned loose to tear around the marina with the other kids – we rode bikes, flew kites, netted crabs off pilings, set up a lemonade stand, and sometimes zipped around on an inflatable dink. I can’t remember seeing anything like this at any marina in my adult life. I hear similar things about kids and parks, campgrounds, and just the general amount of time kids spend outdoors in free play and it’s very unfortunate.

But being realistic and knowing the past is past and we can’t singlehandedly change what today’s society deems “appropriate” activities for children, we wonder if we’ll be able to keep boating fun for Mallory and make it a quality family together time or whether she’ll grow to resent being separated from friends and activities as she gets older. Finding other boat kids for her to play with/hang out with might be a way to make weekending more fun for her and make her feel less like we’re forcing her away from friends.

In the longer term I fear that the lack of boat kids doesn’t bode well for the future of sailing. The world is 70% covered in water and it’s unfortunate that so many people go about their lives in complete obliviousness to it. Getting kids on boats is a really important part of teaching them what treasures the bay offers and how they can protect and preserve them for the future.

As for the idea of moving to Solomons, we’d be doing it not so much in search of a different sailing community as to have diversions off the boat like a museum, the concert series they have down there, and restaurants within walking distance in a location that won’t break the bank. At this point it’s just an idea and almost everything’s on the table.
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