In some families they go around the Thanksgiving
Day table and each person is thankful for
something good that happened in the previous year.
When it was my turn I'd be so thankful for my
favorite subject – that would be boating -- they'd
have to shut me up or else the just-baked turkey
would get cold.
Boating is my year-around Thanksgiving feast, my
bread and butter. Office hours are long but the
activity usually doesn't sink to the pejorative
category of "work." Boating also is my favorite
off-duty recreation. Either way, I am around
boats, and I am thankful.
So thankful, in fact, that I am going to start
talking up the idea of having a day set aside each
year for boaters to be thankful for boating.
On Boating Thanksgiving each year, as we sit for
the meal, each person would be thankful for
something good that boating, just boating, has
done for them in the previous year.
For myself, I am thankful for 25th anniversaries.
Vic and I celebrated two in 2009, our marriage and
I really enjoy chartering boats to people from all
over the world so they can cruise the beautiful,
sheltered waters of Southwest Florida. For this
and for another year of helping boaters achieving
higher levels of boating skills to maximize their
fun sailing and power cruising, I am thankful.
I am thankful for a summer without storms, for
happy hours on the dock and happy hours on the
deck watching glorious sunsets with friends, and
for many evenings afloat under the stars.
I am thankful for beach-combing
treasures—sea-sculpted driftwood, colorful crab
pot floats, and exquisitely-shaped shells that
wash up on the shores of the sea shell capital of
I am even thankful for another season of sailing
regattas (even though we have never won a race.)
Boating Thanksgiving is for looking ahead to the
next 12 months, too. I look forward to another
year of cruising with our honorary first mate,
Star, our border collie. This year I'll introduce
boating to our two newest kitties. Boat-trained
cats make terrific boating companions, I'm told.
After everybody has paid their oral tributes to
boating and voiced their exuberant hear, hears
and clunked their plastic glasses together, it
would be time to eat.
Every boating family will have to create its own
menu for Boating Thanksgiving Day. I'll be
serving up our traditional Florida feast of cold
stone crab claws, hot oyster stew and corn bread
Whatever you serve on this day, serve it with a
cup of compassion for your fellow citizens, a pint
of peace for the world, and a big scoop of hope
for brighter days ahead.