Travel that Trans­forms

Soundings - - Underway - Jeanne Craig [email protected]­me­dia.com By Jeanne Craig

Igot lucky. My first ex­pe­ri­ence on a char­ter was aboard a clas­sic Trumpy. Talk about a boat with stage pres­ence. Each time she en­tered a har­bor, the hand­some mo­tor yacht— with her sig­na­ture white hull and pol­ished wood— drew lin­ger­ing stares. Yet, the boat was just one el­e­ment that made that trip un­for­get­table. It was also my in­tro­duc­tion to the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands. And it was my first real cruise.

I’d been asked to write a story about the place and the Trumpy. This was a cou­ple of decades ago, when the to­tal­ity of my boat­ing ex­pe­ri­ence had been on a friend’s cen­ter con­sole. I imag­ined the BVI would be a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and an ad­ven­ture.

As it turned out, that el­e­gant Trumpy and those beau­ti­ful is­lands left a big im­pres­sion. My pass­ing in­ter­est in boats evolved into a fas­ci­na­tion with the sea and the peo­ple who are pas­sion­ate about it. I changed course pro­fes­sion­ally and, in the years that fol­lowed, had the priv­i­lege to work with some of the best writ­ers, ed­i­tors and pho­tog­ra­phers in the busi­ness. I also was able to in­ter­view ex­perts of all kinds, from yacht de­sign­ers and tug­boat cap­tains to U.S. Coast Guard pi­lots and globe-trolling fishermen with records to their credit.

Some of the best sto­ries, though, came from boat own­ers who called them­selves or­di­nary and be­lieved that time on the wa­ter was noth­ing less than ex­tra­or­di­nary. I be­came one of them at heart.

To­day, I’m for­tu­nate to be col­lab­o­rat­ing with a new team of tal­ented pro­fes­sion­als. I’ve just come aboard at Sound­ings and yet the peo­ple here make the work feel like smooth, fa­mil­iar wa­ters. They, too, love the sport, as you’ll see in this is­sue.

Ex­ec­u­tive Ed­i­tor Pim Van Hem­men takes us on a fun ride around Lower Man­hat­tan aboard a new Back Cove in “Need for Speed.” Se­nior Ed­i­tor Gary Re­ich re­ports from the Aba­cos, where he dis­cov­ers that an out­board-pow­ered Ever­glades is the right craft for ex­plor­ing the shal­low wa­ters. Art Di­rec­tor Bri­ana Smith makes their sto­ry­telling all the more com­pelling with vi­su­als that cap­ture the salt and sea breeze.

And then there’s Kim Kavin’s fea­ture on char­ter­ing. She makes a strong case for splurg­ing on a crewed char­ter in five of the most in­ter­est­ing global cruis­ing des­ti­na­tions. As she writes, the beauty of a crewed yacht is that you get all the fun parts of boat­ing in a new place with­out the wor­ries or headaches of be­ing at the helm. I can agree with that.

About 20 years af­ter that first visit to the BVI, I re­turned to the is­lands with my fam­ily and redis­cov­ered the wa­ters aboard a 50-foot cata­ma­ran with a de­light­ful crew. It was a great ad­ven­ture. Our two chil­dren—who un­til then had never slept aboard any­thing larger than our 28-foot ex­press cruiser—were on cloud nine. And my hus­band and I were happy to hop in the dinghy and head for the reef when main­te­nance is­sues re­quired time and pa­tience from the crew. That, too, was an ex­cel­lent ad­ven­ture. Guess I got lucky again.

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