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will fly in Canada this year
With the global luxury market collectively growing at 4 percent to an estimated $1.15USD (€1.08) trillion in 2016, according to a recent “Bain & Company Luxury Study,” coupled with optimistic forecasts that the luxury goods market will pick up this year, the hospitality industry is gearing up for elevated demand among both leisure and business travelers. This amid evidence that, despite widespread geopolitical uncertainties, luxury consumers are redirecting their spending toward new and more personalized high-end experiences like luxury travel, food and wine.
“The luxury market has reached a maturation point,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, lead author of the study. “Brands can no longer rely on low-hanging fruit. Instead, they really need to implement differentiating strategies to succeed going forward. We are already starting to see clear polarization when it comes to performance with winners and losers emerging across product categories and segments.”
D’Arpizio also underscored that personal luxury market brands that “take an omni-channel, customer-centric approach will rise to the top.” Such is the prevailing wisdom for both the B2C and B2B luxury travel sector, specifically, with personalized experiences, quality of service and private booking options serving as primary distinguishing factors for luxe brand positioning throughout 2017 and beyond.
Here how these key drivers will converge with evolving luxury travel trends to greatly influence various vertical sectors—and, in doing so, the marketplace at large—in the months ahead:
1. Small group cultural immersions loom large.
Travelers are increasingly seeking exclusive and regionally-authentic itineraries that cater to small groups. Tour companies like Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based Gate 1 Travel are capitalizing on this trend with offerings that provide the convenience of an escorted tour with the intimate view of local cultures that large groups just can’t provide. “Our small group tours option has seen, by far, the most significant increase in booking volume–up 50% in 2016,” the company reports.
A City Lodge Hotel Group report concurs that the trend of being “connoisseurs of local culture” will boom this year. It emphasizes that indigenous tourism experiences and cultural immersion will remain a big factor whether traveling within your own home country or jaunting to faraway lands. “We’ll see more people wanting to visit more than the big landmarks and monuments of their destination,” it says. “Rather people are more likely to be interested in knowing about the locals–those that call that place home. Trips to the rural communities will become popular, and travelers are likely to be more interested in private guides that teach them about the traditional ways of life.”
2. Private villa travel surpassing leading luxe resorts.
Today’s breed of private villa rentals have become the ultimate in luxury travel lodging for vacationers and business travelers, alike. This is due to the vast array of benefits and creature comforts it proffers for couples, families and small groups. While maximized privacy and security, uber-tailored guest service and 5-star accommodations and amenities are chief reasons the trend toward private villa lodging is exploding, an elite few have offerings far beyond that don’t just rival, but far exceed, those offered by high-end resorts, including their elite Penthouse suit options.
According to luxury travel agent Sandy Webb who books elite vacations all over the world “private villa residences offering first class, one-of-a-kind services are ushering in an entirely new era of bespoke hospitality around the globe. They are, in fact, single handedly setting a new and decidedly elevated standard for luxe travel worldwide.”
One private villa exemplifying this new standard is Casa Dos Cisnes–Puerto Vallarta’s foremost premier private oceanfront villa vacation experience. This 10,000 square foot Casa Dos Cisnes property, a five-bedroom colonial style home with breathtaking views of the Pacific that can accommodate up to 10 adults, goes well over-and-above to ensure each guest’s needs, desires, hopes and expectations for an extraordinary private villa vacation are fulfilled.
According to owner Cathryn Arnell, this includes proffering a bevy of premium benefits, including an authentic and stylishly-appointed residential setting, custom-prepared gourmet meals from an on-site private chef, 24/7 bilingual butler service and multiple staff, monitored security, housecleaning services, private infinity-edge ocean view pool, fully equipped state-of-the-art gym, large media-entertainment room, concierge and spa service, musicians for hire, sports and boating excursions, VIP treatment at the city’s leading beach club and most renowned restaurants, and more. “Given that guests enjoy complete privacy and security in the most exclusive area in Puerto Vallarta, commandeering the entire 10,000 square foot space with all of the relaxation, solitude and discretion that affords, the result is a one-of-a-kind holiday providing an unparalleled culinary and luxury living experience.”
3. Higher caliber private jet jaunts.
According to Sergey Petrossov, founder and CEO of JetSmarter—an industry-leading private jet company based in Dubai, people are increasingly growing accustomed to personalized experiences, so much so, that it isn’t a demand anymore; it is now an expectation that needs to be met.
In order for brands to be memorable, they need to remember their customers and offer unique customized experiences. For its part, this JetSmarter achieves by placing a heavy emphasis on member relationships, with each assigned a relationship manager who is responsible for creating personalized and customizable private travel experiences.
JetSmarter also cites that there’s a very thin line between high-end and luxury, with the difference barely noticeable. “The travel industry is inundated with both high-end and luxury brands, however the distinction is relatively minor,” Petrossov said. “People often confuse high-end brands for luxury ones. Luxury brands essentially need to heighten their levels of service to be able to distinguish themselves from their high-end counterparts.”
4. Next-gen travel tech eases and expedites.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another tech trend that will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. According to Advito’s 2017 Industry Forecast, AI has already enabled a range of apps, bots and software that makes it easier for industry purveyors to interact with travelers at every step of a trip to expedite, ease and enhance. AI automates computer processes to work in the same way as the human brain. Natural language processing (NLP) helps computers understand human speech or typing, and AI then applies machine learning to provide a useful response.
Advito reveals that the travel industry is “well-positioned to embrace AI,” and also that the wider travel industry is adopting AI as, for example, KLM passengers are now able to use Facebook Messenger to confirm bookings, get boarding passes and flight status updates. “AI is still in its infancy, but it is in our immediate future,” the report asserts. “As it develops, it will help simplify complex travel decisions, shorten the buying process and deliver a more personalized offering.”
5. Game changing smart suitcases solve perennial problems.
Travel is tough enough in the best of circumstances and is all-too-often replete with challenges. From crowded freeways, overbooked flights, Wi-Fi downtime and generally not having necessary items at hand, getting from point A to point B can be fraught with more than its fair share of frustrations. Not surprisingly, technologists have responded with problem-solving gadgets and gear that exemplify tremendous innovation and ingenuity both in concept and execution. One glowing example of this is the Bluesmart Suitcase. Billed as “the world’s first smart suitcase,” this carry-on keeps traveler’s belongings tracked, devices charged, bag secure and trips hassle-free thanks to integrated technology that syncs to an associated mobile app that’s compatible with both iPhone and Android.
The suitcase features a built-in battery/charger with 2 USB ports. The substantial 10.000 mAh battery can charge your phone up to six times, juicing up this and any other USB-connectable device from the USB port on the back or the inside. The bag also boasts a 3G+GPS tracker with global coverage to track the suitcase anywhere in the world; a scale built right into the handle that interfaces with the app to tell you the approximate weight of your suitcase; and a remote digital lock that can be set up to lock itself when you step away and to unlock when you return. The TSA- approved smart lock provides distance alerts, notifying you if you leave it behind. Of course, the bag needs to carry you belongings, so the main compartment does provide large space for clothes, shoes, and coats, while a secondary TSA-friendly compartment is able to accommodate up to a 15″ laptop.
Despite the fact that luxury sales fell flat in 2016 as consumers shunned traditional products, it’s experiences—namely travel and entertainment—that are predicted to drive sector sales growth up ahead. “There is a progressive shift from physical products to experiences, especially in the last year,” Federica Levato, partner at Bain & Company and co-author of the study, told Reuters, predicting that trend would continue. With the world economy poised to regain momentum this year and the penchant among wealthy consumers to spend on travel and gourmet food and wine rather than clothes and accessories, the future is bright for high-end hospitality. For the Silo, Merilee Kern.
About the author: Branding, business and entrepreneurship success pundit, Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice and lauded communications strategist. As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List International News Syndicate,” she’s a revered consumer product trends expert and travel industry voice of authority who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers. Merilee may be reached online at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
Spotlight image- centraljetcharter.com
It’s been 35 years since Save the Manatee Club was created by Jimmy Buffett, the renowned singer/songwriter, and former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator, Bob Graham, to raise public awareness about the threats to manatees and their aquatic habitat. With support from you, we can continue to make a big difference.
Even Florida Congressman Buchanan has been working hard to ensure that Manatees remain on the endangered species list-
Buchanan Files Formal Protest to Manatee “Survival” Plan
WASHINGTON – In a formal objection letter sent today to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-FL, urged the agency to withdraw its plan to strip the manatee of the highest protection afforded under the Endangered Species Act.
The public comment period on the agency’s proposal opened Jan. 7 and closes this Thursday.
Buchanan’s letter is a formal challenge to the proposed downgrading of the manatee from “endangered” to “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The manatee has been listed as an endangered species since 1966.
Buchanan expressed his strong opposition, noting that the agency’s analysis is based on outdated information. Buchanan pointed to the FWS’s failure to take into account manatee deaths since 2012, as well as the unpredictable nature of threats facing these creatures. He noted that 16% of the Florida manatee population died in 2013 as a result of a massive bloom of red tide algae as well as a mysterious ailment that killed a number of manatees along the state’s east coast.
“I’m concerned that weakening protections will lead to a decline in the manatee population,” Buchanan said. “Manatees are iconic residents of Florida. We should be doing all we can to ensure the survival of these gentle giants.”
Buchanan has previously written to the Fish and Wildlife Service to emphasize that any push to weaken protections for the manatee would be “misguided and premature.” In 2014, following a three-year period in which 1,600 manatees died of cold weather or red tide, Buchanan called on FWS to maintain federal protections for manatees.
Manatees face a variety of threats to their existence, including watercraft collisions, habitat loss and red tide. Additionally, the warm water springs manatees depend on during the winter months for survival are disappearing.
Buchanan also noted that the FWS underestimates the negative consequences that a downlisting will have on importantprotections that have helped limit manatee deaths. Despite the agency’s assertion that a downlisting would not affect federal protections for the manatee, Buchanan noted the plan is “already exposing dangers” and that a move from endangered to threatened could cause a broader reassessment of state and local protections for the animals.
Just days after the proposed rule was announced, the Brevard County commissioners approved a resolution requesting that the Florida Legislature review slow-speed zones currently in place for boats and called for a reconsideration of the state’s Manatee Sanctuary Act, which established protections for manatees and their habitats in several counties, including Sarasota and Manatee.
“The manatee population has started to rebound because of the protections put in place by the Endangered Species Act,” Buchanan said. “But based on the data provided, it’s clear that we can’t assume that manatees are safe – so I’m urging caution.”
Full text of Buchanan’s letter below:
April 4, 2016
The Hon. Daniel Ashe
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Department of Interior
1849 C St. NW, Room 3359
Washington, D.C. 20240
Dear Director Ashe:
I write in strong opposition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (the Service) proposal to downlist the West Indian manatee under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) from endangered to threatened status. This decision is based on outdated information and underestimates the effect that a downlisting will have on protections that have helped limit manatee deaths. As a result, I urge you to withdraw this proposed rule.
Manatees are special for many Floridians. In addition to being the state’s official marine mammal an entire county – which I represent – is named after these gentle giants.
Just 25 years ago, there were barely over 1,000 manatees in the state of Florida. That number is now estimated to be around 6,000. The Service points to this as good news and rightfully credits the species’ listing as endangered under the ESA for this increase. The ESA has worked to help manatees overcome multiple threats to their existence. These challenges are not static, nor are they predictable. The Service should be taking a precautionary approach when it comes to the recovery of the manatee, and in light of the following concerns, the Service should withdraw its downlisting proposal and retain the manatees’ endangered status.
The basis for the Service’s proposal to reduce the status of manatees is said to be an analysis of the population’s viability. It is cited in the proposal as “Runge, 2015.” However, the Service’s proposal acknowledges that this analysis contains outdated data and information. For example, adult survival rates are based on data only through the winter of 2008-2009 and, elsewhere, the most recent information cited in the report is from 2011-2012.
Since the years used in the analysis, manatees have suffered a catastrophic die-off in the Indian River Lagoon that the U.S. Geological Service Representatives have stated cost the lives of five percent of the manatees on the U.S. east coast. During that same time, toxic algae (red tide) killed a record number of manatees on the state’s west coast. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, the statewide death toll of manatees was 803 as of 2013; or around 16 percent of the state’s entire population. Yet none of this information was considered in the Service’s outdated analysis.
In addition, in its analysis, the Service assumes that the current level of mortality in each category (e.g., watercraft collisions, cold stress, red tide, etc.) will stay approximately the same indefinitely. However, this is unlikely. The likelihood of deaths from both red tide events and from unknown pathogens has not been adequately analyzed when projecting the future for manatees. Additionally, as noted by the Service itself, there will be a continued loss of artificial sources of warm water in the winter and, as a result, manatees in the Southwest and Northeast regions of the state will show “long-term decline” as a result of the loss of these warm water winter refuges.
In its January 6, 2016 press release, the Service stated that “[t]he proposal to downlist the manatee to threatened will not affect federal protections currently afforded by the ESA.” If all protections will remain the same, it is not apparent that a change in the listing status is necessary. In fact, downlisting the manatee may open the door to future erosions of protections for these unique animals.
The Service cites the existence of federal and state laws such as the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act as sufficient in providing the animals with the protections they need. Yet there is no guarantee that such other laws will remain in place to protect the species even if manatees are downlisted under the ESA.
Approximately fifty manatee protection areas are set up by federal, local, and industry leaders and many of these areas or their protective restrictions can be altered or removed if a downlisting goes forward. For example, despite the Service stating in its proposal that on the east coast of Florida “watercraft-related mortality is the major threat to this population,” five days after the proposed reduction in protections, the Brevard County commissioners approved a resolution requesting that the Florida Legislature review slow-speed zones for boats to determine whether they are effective or still necessary. The resolution also called for reconsidering the need for the Manatee Sanctuary Act, stating that it has “become a hindrance to effective manatee management.”
Manatees are iconic residents of Florida. Their presence drives a robust tourist industry.
Their unhurried progress in my state’s waters is a reminder to us all to slow down and appreciate the world around us. Manatees deserve better than a premature determination that they have recovered when so many threats still face them and cloud our understanding of their future. I urge continued endangered status for manatees under the ESA, and ask you to immediately withdraw the Service’s proposal to downlist manatees to threatened status.
Save the Manatee Club is an international nonprofit organization. Funds from our adoption program go toward emergency rescue response for sick and injured manatees, and for waterway signage, public awareness and education, research and more. Read about our manatee conservation efforts at: savethemanatee.org/smcinfo.
For the Silo and the manatees, Janice Nearing
Adopt-A-Manatee! Go to www.savethemanatee.org/adoptpag.htm
James W. Graham’s new book — Victura: the Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea –offers new insights into the dynamics and magic of the Kennedy family and their intense relationship with sailing and the sea. Many families sail together, but the foot sloop purchased in 1932 shortly s move to Hyannis Port, stands apart.
Throughout their brief lives, Joe Jr., Jack and Bobby spent long hours on Victura, competing in countless races every summer. They were joined by their younger brother Teddy when he grew old enough. Joe Jr. and Jack ranked among the best collegiate sailors in New England, driven by their father Joseph P. Kennedy who insisted that winning was essential. Among their sisters, Eunice emerged as a gifted sailor and fierce competitor, the equal of any of her brothers.
Tracking their story beginning in 1932 when Jack was 15 and continuing today in an identical family boat of the same name, readers will learn to admire the Kennedys for what Victura taught them about life, family, leadership, determination, winning, and dealing with tragedies.
Celebrating the sailboat’s deep influence on Jack, Bobby, Ethel, Ted, Eunice and other Kennedys, it offers a new way of experiencing their intimate sibling relationships and growth as an extended family. Kennedys credit young Jack’s sailing with helping him survive the sinking of his PT boat in the Pacific. Life magazine photos of Jack and Jackie on Victura’s bow helped define the winning Kennedy brand in the 1950s. Jack doodled sketches of Victura in Oval Office meetings, and his love of seafaring probably played a role in his decision to put a man on the moon, an enterprise he referred to as “space-faring.”
When the Kennedy siblings married, sailing connected them with their children and nephews and nieces. Sailing was an everyday event, even in dangerous weather and in the darkness of night. The sport influenced how they celebrated and observed happy events, managed grief, and grew close to one another.
Ted loved Victura as much as any of them. In the years following the untimely deaths of his three older brothers, Ted sailed with his children and the children of his lost brothers as crew. He also sailed past the shoals of personal shortcomings and an ebbing career to become known as the “Lion of the Senate,” helping fulfill patriarch Joe Sr.’s desire that his children pursue careers in public service rather than in business.
Rich with colorful and intimate anecdotes, the book features author interviews with family members, including children of Ted, Robert and Ethel Kennedy. Victura is a story of redemption, strong family bonds, character, sport, tragedy, the power of metaphor and the influence of a little boat on the lives of great men and women.
In Victura, James W. Graham charts the progress of America’s signature twentieth century family dynasty, in a narrative both stunningly original and deeply gripping. This true tale of one small sailboat is an invaluable contribution to our understanding of the impressive story of the Kennedys. For the Silo, Jim and Lynda O’Connor, and Paul Krupin.
The Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea
James W. Graham
ForeEdge, an imprint of the University Press of New England
$29.95 cloth 978-1-61168-411-7
$22.99 ebook 978-1-61168-599-2
Official publication date: April 1, 2014
280 pp., 28 illus., 6 x 9″
About the Author
James W. Graham, a communications and public affairs professional for a major-brand retailer, was a senior adviser to former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and the Illinois House of Representatives. He races and cruises his sailboat Venturous out of Wilmette Harbor, north of Chicago.
What People Are Saying
“This wonderfully-written book takes a well-worn subject — the Kennedys — and gives it as fresh a gust as the sailors on the sturdy, little Victura themselves must have felt a thousand times off the Nantucket shore. In going to sea on board the Victura, Joe, Jack, Bobby and Teddy Kennedy entered their metaphor of quest, braced themselves for the unknown, and left their country, in the end, with an imperishable poignancy in its heart.”
— Richard D. Mahoney, author, Sons and Brothers
“The Kennedys saw the world and nature as a magical place, full of mystery and adventure. They especially enjoyed challenges and the freedom of activities like sailing, skiing, river running, climbing and just being outside. Two thirds of the surface of planet earth is liquid: the sea is vital to life — a huge source of both pleasure and fear — and a great teacher. Victura, a small wooden sailboat, became
the center of adventure, companionship and love for this remarkable family. Author Graham knows the sea, sailing and the Kennedys. Sail on Victura, to new horizons.”
— Jim Whittaker, first American to summit Mt. Everest, former CEO of REI, author of Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond.
“Victura is more than Graham recounting the sailing experiences of the Kennedys. In this well-researched but warmly written book, Graham sometimes goes several pages describing an election, or a Kennedy family intrigue, and then gracefully brings the
story back to the sea, showing how, in best and worst of times, the family pulled together around sailing.”
— Rich Evans, book review, SAILING magazine, March 2014
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – If you are traveling to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, also known as the “Venice of America,” the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show® is a must-see event. From October 31- November 4, 2013, the City of Fort Lauderdale welcomes thousands of international visitors to the largest in-water boat show in the world.
Featuring more than $3 billion worth of boats and marine products, the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show is known for its astounding number of luxurious super yachts, which attract yachting enthusiasts from around the world. But the show offers something for everyone who loves the water, and even those not in the market to buy a boat can find an array of fun-filled activities.
For laid-back fun and relaxation, the show provides an elaborate fireworks display and live musical entertainment on floating cocktail barges and at the International Food Garden, where some people linger all day and enjoy the friendly boating atmosphere.
For those in the mood for learning, entry to the boat show includes complimentary marine seminars covering a wide variety of topics such as sport fishing and long-range cruising. Even kids can get in on the fun at youth fishing clinics presented by Hook The Future, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering children.
Anyone who loves life on the water can stroll the docks at five outdoor locations, as well as the Broward County Convention Center, which together present an amazing variety of beautiful boats ranging in size from 20 feet to almost 300 feet in length. In addition to over-the-top mega-yachts and recreational boats of all sizes, there’s an eye-popping display of exotic cars. If a new boat or car isn’t in your budget, the boat show is a total shopping experience with nautical clothing, jewelry, art, accessories and everything marine.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show encompasses 3 million square feet of space on land and in water over six sites. Its transportation network of shuttles, water taxis and riverboats ensures show goers can easily navigate the “Venice of America” and its expansive waterways system. Purchasing an all-day Transportation Show Pass provides unlimited one-day usage of the show’s water taxis, a great way to see Fort Lauderdale by water while enjoying boat show tales shared by the boats’ captains. Free riverboats are also available, providing a fun, affordable adventure for the whole family. For those looking to drive, convenient valet parking is available at the show’s Las Olas Municipal Marina location.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Showtakes place at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center, the Hall of Fame Marina, the Las Olas Municipal Marina, the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, the Broward County Convention Center and the Sails Marina, all minutes away from Fort Lauderdale’s renowned “Blue Wave” beaches and rows of restaurants, shops and attractions.
The show’s free smartphone app, MyBoatShow, helps attendees navigate the show’s docks, land areas and tents. Available on iPhone and Android platforms, the MyBoatShow app provides show maps, transportation schedules and seminar information, and allows attendees to search for exhibitors, manufacturers, product categories and boats by specifications and size.
To make travel arrangements, contact the show’s official travel partner, www.BoatShowHotels.com,
at +1 (954) 548-0878
Thursday, Oct. 31 (Prime Time Preview) 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 1 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 2 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 3 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 4 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Contact email@example.com for admission rates and ticket pricing.
The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show® is owned and sponsored by the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, managed and produced by Show Management, and sponsored by Gosling’s Rum, Seakeeper, AIM Marine Group, Budweiser, BoatshowHotels.com,
Palm Harbor Marina and Smallwoods Yachtwear. Like the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fortlauderdaleboatshow
You’ve probably seen the ad. You know, the one promoting one or another of the OLG’s lotteries that depicts an attractive woman climbing out of bed, enjoying a leisurely cup of coffee before climbing into the cockpit of a sailboat, the implication being that if one wins a multi-million dollar jackpot, one can have the “yachty” lifestyle. [This OLG commercial from 2010 has it all- pretty woman, social crisis and giant robot with laser beam eys CP]
As I write this, I am sitting in the cockpit of my sailboat sipping a cup of coffee while enjoying the morning sun, and I have never won the lottery. In fact, I will be going to work at my average-guy, average-wage job shortly. Then, at the end of the workday, I will be returning to my sailboat, to enjoy the sunset.
For several years my wife, and I, and our dog, have spent the spring, summer and fall aboard our small sailboat. We return to our “dirt-home” only occasionally, to do laundry, mow the lawn so the neighbours don’t complain, collect mail and make sure the place hasn’t burned down.
After all, we need some place to live when the water is too hard and too cold to float a sailboat.
When new acquaintances find out that we are sailors and dock-rats, we often hear, “Oh, I have always wanted to sail!” or “I have always wanted to live on a boat!” What follows is often an enjoyable conversation about how to make it happen, how to “live the dream.”
I will confess, though, when hearing “Oh, I have always wanted to…” that the curmudgeonly little voice in the back of my head wants to retort, “No, you haven’t. If you really did, you would be doing it.”
Because it ain’t that hard to do.
We’re not rich. As I mentioned, my wife and I are pretty average people. Average age, average income, average credit scores, average sized mortgage, kids in college… look up “average” in the dictionary, and you don’t see our picture, because there are millions of folks just like us, and somebody way up the line got the honour.
We made a choice. We chose to buy a good, old boat for a mid-four- figure sum, invest a few hundred bucks a year on maintenance and a few hundred more on a slip to dock it in.
Our boat cost less than the annual membership at many golf clubs, and our slip fee for 6 months is less than a two week cottage rental in Turkey Point.
(Okay, before you start pelting me with hate mail, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with golf or vacationing in Turkey Point. Really. Except the clothes. KIDDING!)
It isn’t all fun and games and Jimmy Buffett tunes though. Before you dash out and buy an old boat, here’s ten things my wife and I have learned over the past few seasons:
1. The stuff that bothers each of you about each other in 2000 sq ft on land does not magically go away in less than 200 sq ft on water. Learn to communicate, consider and compromise.
2. If you take it out, put it away. Now.
3. Each new item onboard means an old item has to leave.
4. Its okay to not talk.
5. One cooks, one does dishes. Helping doesn’t help.
6. When the dog needs shore patrol, the dog. Needs. Shore. Patrol. Now.
7. Find your own quiet spot, whether it is the v-berth, quarter berth, foredeck or cockpit.
8. You don’t have to get there today. You don’t even have to get there tomorrow.
9. When docking, mooring, anchoring, tacking or damn near anything goes awry, talk it out, and then hug it out.
10. There is a difference between being heard, and yelling.
We live in a slip on a dock with no services. No electricity and no water (aside from that which the boat floats in, smart-alecks,) means we have to refill our onboard water tank from 6 gallon water jugs hauled up the dock a couple of times a week, heat water on our alcohol stove to wash dishes, use solar panels to keep our batteries topped up and we don’t have air conditioning, or a microwave, or a big flat screen TV. A shower is a 10 minute dinghy ride or 15 minute walk away.
And we’re cool with that. We have become better, more creative cooks, we read more, we talk more, and the sunsets here and the characters we share them with more than compensate. We have talked more, laughed more and shared more with our dock-side neighbors than we ever have with our neighbors “on the dirt.” Our house is a house, but this is our home.
Brian Jones is the ridiculously handsome, smooth operating raconteur behind the Dock Six Chronicles and a new contributing writer for The Silo Visit. www.docksixchronicles.blogspot.ca for more from Brian. He, his wife, and their compact sportsdawg Finn reside in Port Dover and Simcoe.