I don’t know how about you, but I feel that this is one of the longest and darkest winters in the memory of men, and that the yearning for launching has never been so strong. Now most people have already got the boat in the water and are ready to enjoy peaceful boat trips, socializing with boat friends and a beautiful archipelago.

And it may so be that this particular boat season will be the one we remember way way into the future, as the season and summer when we felt extra much gratitude for things we have previously taken for granted. Isn’t it incredible what a microscopic little virus can bring about things totally in life and get one to reflect on things in completely new ways.

Studies have shown that the feeling of gratitude actually strengthens the immune system. The same goes for the feeling of being able to contribute something positive, to feel needed, have a purpose – to be part of a community. Now that the whole world is being asked to practice social distancing, I realize that this is one of several things I have taken for granted – meetings and relationships with other people. And I am extremely grateful for the community I have through my yachting life and boat club.

So, in order to help you strengthen your immune system, simply by thinking about exactly what parts of your life that you are most grateful for, here are some examples of memories and experiences in my yachting life that I value very much this particular period:

  • All of the boat club’s volunteers, who in their spare time and unpaid mow lawns, carefully plant flowers and herbs, build magnificent carpentry, fix and mend anything mechanically broken so that we club members get a wonderful harbor and holiday paradise.
  • Our boat Club’s chugging gig – I am so grateful for all the early morning tours you have offered when we went and bought freshly baked bread in the bakery a mile away.
  • The nature harbor in the Stockholm archipelago where I have not been before – I long to feel the adrenaline pumping fresh as I let go of the anchor and slowly get ready to go ashore with my longest thumps without messing up.
  • All the strawberries on the club isle that I and all my acquaintance’s children have been threading on a blade of grass.
  • All boat club members who allow you to be anything from super-social to an odd introvert without feeling outside the community.
  • All of Neptunia’s boat coaches and yachting clients who have happily shared their knowledge and challenges of boating.
  • Sweden, which has long ago built a municipal water and wastewater system so that despite the virus we still get clean water ready to drink without getting sick every time we turn on the tap.
  • The sun, the tranquility, the peace, the silence and the flat calm water you see early in the morning as you get up from the middle cabin and to the stern to brew a cup of coffee.
  • Finally – thanks to the immune system that has done a good job so far, even though I have taken far too much for granted throughout life. I will not take you for granted anymore!

The original chronicle written for the Yachting magazine Båtliv in Swedish can be found here.

Maria Lannér