Cruising Grounds and Geopolitics

How Steve and Linda are re-considering their cruising grounds in light of changes in the world.


Memories of a peaceful summer in Maine.

We’re back in Arizona to catch up while Beowulf sits in her spiderweb of dock lines (dual bow, stern, and spring lines) at Atlantic Yacht Basin.

The flights back-Norfolk to Dallas, and then Dallas to Tucson-were very strange. Dallas airport at 1700 on Friday was like a ghost town. The airline industry has a faulty product and the public is not buying.

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the “new world” we live in and how we want to proceed. The decisions are more complex with the kids grown and on their own. If they were still at home, the answer would be easy-Go Cruising, now, some place mellow. But as they are both on their own, pursuing their own careers, and we don’t want to be away for long periods without seeing them, the decision-making process is more complex.

The most recent plan was to race BEOWULF back to the British Virgin Islands with the Caribbean 1500 this year, and then sail to Europe next summer. The sailing over, and cruising in the Azores, Spain, Portugal, and Canaries doesn’t seem too bad at this point-but it is a lot closer to the “action” than the South Pacific-and the South Pacific has always been our favorite cruising grounds, so there is a good chance we’ll head west rather than east. But as with all cruising destination decisions, we’ll wait until it is time to leave to chart the final course. In the meantime, we’ll put our South Pacific and Panamanian charts back on board BEOWULF.

Sad to say the decision-making process will now have to include the issue of terrorism in the matrix. If we were thinking about heading west across the Indian Ocean, we’d opt for the route around South Africa. Not too dissimilar a situation to when we were last in that part of the world in the late 1970s. The Suez canal had just been reopened after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, and the political situation along both shores was in a state of flux.

As to additional precautions beyond the above, we’ll be keeping our eyes open a bit more than in the past on a local level when aboard. But I suspect we’ll be a lot less on edge than when we are stateside-except we’ll probably be forced to spend more time on commercial airliners than we’ll ever be happy with. And we’ll be spending more time going to visit the kids than having them come to visit us.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (September 27, 2001)

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