CHESSS- Socially Distant Before It Was Cool

Dear CHESSSmates,

I have struggled with whether it's appropriate to reach out to you during these uncertain times and when might be an acceptable time. As I write this letter, I hope it is both. Although I suspect that not many of you need a cheering up email from CHESSS, I felt not communicating at all, would be negligent.

On one hand, recreational sailing seems far down our list of priorities. On the other hand, for some of us, sailing is life and being denied this coping mechanism may be exacerbating feelings of frustration and loss of control right now. Some of you may be personally ill or dealing with family members who are, or you may have suffered the ultimate loss. Some of you may be dealing with loss of employment and are struggling to form your battle plan, figuring out what you will do next.

I have little to offer except to say that I am spiritual in a solitary and nontraditional way, so I think of you all often and have prayed for a swift and merciful end to this mess. I suspect that when it's over and we sail again, we will look at the water and our lives with ever greater appreciation and meaning.

As sailors, we are already independent, clever and self sufficient. As solo sailors, doubly so. We have always stood together, apart. We enjoy sailing, rafting up, sharing a drink in companionable silence, a meal, a story but never for too long because we also enjoy our solitude, our peace and our privacy. Sitting still for too long is an intolerable itch. It is a supreme irony that we who are experts at social isolation, are not allowed to practice it in our chosen manner.

As you may suspect, the Gather 'n Gab is postponed until further notice. The CHESSS (and CBYRA) racing schedule for the season is indefinitely suspended and possibly canceled, or will at least be heavily modified.

No matter what happens to the racing schedule, I am very optimistic that we will sail this year. CHESSS will host a rendezvous which will be organized and announced at an appropriate time. If your circumstances allow it, continue preparing your boats and make ready to get underway. I feel certain that this summer, we will gather together, apart. I'm normally pretty solitary but I'd really like to see you all.


Rich A.

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