Reflections

June 2022

By Ali Wisch Fabre

As I was doing my due diligence, sifting through last year’s copies of Points East, reflecting on… what I’d been reflecting on at the time, I grabbed our June 2021 issue and realized, to my surprise, that I hadn’t written the editorial. My predecessor, Bob Muggleston, had written an informative and eloquent piece (“A river runs through it” June 2021), saying his goodbyes and providing me with a warm welcome.

It’s incredible how much can change in a year. When I came into Points East as a rookie, I was all hands-on deck, eager and excited to be a part of the publication, and ready to jump in headfirst. Then, the real work began. In last month’s editorial, I mentioned how interesting our minds are when it comes to selective memory. Apparently, I had “selectively” forgotten that the editor’s job is more than just a title and correcting a comma or two. It comes with the highest degree of responsibility, fervent dedication, passion, patience and persistence. My motivation hasn’t changed, but the blatant reminder that, like with any new job, there is at least some period of a learning curve did become quite clear, quite fast.

And over the past year, I have certainly learned a lot. I’ve learned what it is like to lose someone you know in a boating accident that never should have happened. I learned that too often, some of the greatest stories of seamanship, survival and basic knowledge that can help you become a better boater aren’t getting told – something that we are trying to change with every issue of Points East that we print. And I’ve learned that our boats are much more than just a vehicle for those of us with salt water in our veins, a comparison made abundantly clear by Randy Randall in his piece, “Boats are not cars,” on page 15.

I’ve always felt like my boat was a part of me. And whether I liked it or not, boats became my entire identity, from where I lived to what I did for work and pleasure. The lines didn’t become blurred because there weren’t any.

With summer finally showing up, being on a boat no longer feels like a punishment (being aboard in the off-season isn’t all bad, but this one was rough). Instead, something that we can all be grateful for. I’ve never been happier to try to figure out how to install a monstrous air conditioner on my thirty-foot sailboat. That said, this season does come with a caveat, in that it will be my last. In Boston, at least. Aside from re-learning how to be an editor this year, I also got married, and as part of the deal, I will take on the role of a landlubber, which I’m sure I’ve only spoken highly of in the past. I will also be selling my boat and moving across the pond to France (I’m not sailing there, although I yearn for a transatlantic one day). Change is a comin’.

I will have Points East, though, and all of you, making this transition exponentially easier. Also, I might get to cover the Vendee Globe. Okay, it’s not in the northeast. But who doesn’t want to get up close and personal with some of the best sailors in the world? I hope that you do. I wish everyone a wonderful summer on the water. And if you get a chance, hug your boat for me. I’m certainly going to miss mine.