Our inter-voyage time was spent in New York visiting family, friends and catching up on our doctor visits. Getting fully vaccinated combined with the lower virus levels gave us the opportunity to travel by car between Annapolis MD and Plymouth M. This included visiting other cruisers we have met while sailing and seeing them in their land-based environment. It was good to see everyone out and about after a long year of restricted movements if not out-right isolation. And it did seem like everyone was out and about! The roads always seemed jammed and the stores full!
But there was something else. Living aboard a boat for ten years certainly has its effects. Not the least of which is the altered sense of required living space and stuff. This is not surprising. It seems like a natural tendency that as we enter the work force, have families, advance in careers, we want more living space. We accumulate things, “stuff”, that almost seems organically part of us (family and relatives definitely are!). Modern living, if not our economy, is based on this. But it was strange to visit our cruising friend’s land homes for the first time. Since we only knew them while they lived on a boat, and were content to do so, their added surroundings on land seemed jarring. It added a whole new dimension to the people we know. It made obvious, the reality that in many ways people’s stuff is a reflection of who they are, who we are. This is not accidental, but mostly intentional. I don’t write this derogatorily. As we know, everything we wear, touch, own or use, defines us in certain ways. That is what advertising taught us. It may be true what my mother always told me: that we are what we eat. But it may also be true that our stuff defines who we are.
A recent news article bemoaned the plight of the nation’s National Parks. Nearly 320 million people visited them in 2019. The population of the U.S. is about the same. https://www.livescience.com/overcrowding-us-national-parks.html
This has led to a Disney World of long lines and severe degradation of the natural environment. What you end up with are places like the Grand Canyon where the view includes helicopters buzzing overhead, donkey trains hauling their load of passengers like a long train of coal cars, hikers form worker-ant lines through the underbrush, lodges, parking lots, restrooms, roads, buses, trucks, campers, cars and small kids all add to a very un-natural experience. Or has that become the “natural” experience of getting back to nature?
They may have to pave paradise to put up bigger parking lots! What is the solution? Proposals to limit visitors by issuing entry passes for specific times, duration and activity fees are not out of the question.
The population will always increase, the planets size will not. What is needed is more National Parks. A place of unmatched beauty, accessible to all, and large enough to accommodate a hoard of visitors. A place where the sky is clear and at night the stars shine bright; where sunrises and sunsets are magnificent and the non-human inhabitants remain undisturbed in their natural environment. Where getting back to nature is what it is all about. The fact that 75% of the earth is water should give us a hint.
Welcome to the Bermuda Triangle National Park! A vast expanse of nature right at your doorstep. The area enclosed between Cape Hatteras, Key West and Bermuda can be your next National Park Adventure. It has everything to all those who want to experience what nature has to offer. No artificial roads, fences, or trails encumber the intrepid visitor. Be as free to explore as you wish!
It’s the place to visit anytime of the year. The warm waters will delight you in the cold of the winter. The tranquil winds of the summer, lull you with their benevolence. Want excitement and challenges? Come during hurricane season and, if you’re lucky, you can catch the beauty and power of nature at its fiercest. For those really experienced and equipped with the latest technologies, dive deep and explore the miles deep ocean floor. But you don’t need anything more than a capable kayak or raft to paddle the unreachable horizon. Climbing Mount Everest is passe now that the Bermuda Triangle is yours to conquer. Kayaking around the park has not been conquered yet! Take the kids, they’ll love the friendly dolphins that welcome you, the migratory whales that sing and the flying fish that wiz by as you connect with nature in this unspoiled National Park. Of course, there is also history to explore. Mystery and intrigue have been linked to the Bermuda triangle for years. Come, see what all the mystery is about!
While in New York we were impressed with the concern that others had for us. It was only hours after we landed at JFK, we got the first of many phone calls reminding us that our warranty on our non-existent car expired. We also were advised, by other concerned interests that our non-existent bank account was seized, our social security payment checks were placed on hold, that we might be entitled to substantial monetary awards if I had a hernia operation in the last 20 years, that someone stole my identity and committed a serious crime and I face immediate arrest and probable execution. Well, the last one never happened but the trend seemed obvious. It seems robots have taken over the phone companies.
We are back in St. Lucia for the summer season of swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, restaurant hopping, biking, walking, shopping and hanging out with cruisers who pass through. The tropical waves that bring increased squalls pass by almost on a weekly basis now. Their progeny may develop into storms or hurricanes as they travel west. A few day sails between boat maintenance, swimming and general island living awaits. It is the “off season” but the islands are eager to see the return of the tourists to fulfill their treasury. Tourist arrivals are above “average” for this time of year as the pandemic seems under control in the U.S. Hopefully that will continue. Trinidad is actually contemplating opening their borders after being closed for over a year. Hopefully a more normal fall season will develop.
So the summer season starts. We will miss family and friends up north but not the traffic and the concerned telephone calls! And we could visit the Bermuda Triangle National Park for some adventure.