August is a transitional month for myself at All At Sea Southeast. For starters, Terry Boram’s article on the Seven Seas Cruising Association’s (SSCA) ‘Bahamas Project’ expands our coverage geographically to include our neighbors to the southeast. The Bahamas are less than 100 miles from the coast of Florida in places, and yet are worlds away, offering anyone with a boat and a little guts the chance to truly escape right in our own back yard. Terry’s article highlights the vast difference in culture between the islands and the USA, and what many cruisers are doing to help our third-world neighbors.
I was only nine years old the first time I visited the Bahamas – back in 1993, on my mom and dad’s ketch Sojourner – and the experience that year of living aboard a sailing boat and getting my education in the real world has shaped my entire life since then. We crossed the Gulf Stream from Key Biscayne to Chub Cay, in the Berry Islands, passing by Bimini in daylight and anchoring on the banks, out of sight of land and yet in only 12 feet of water, an experience I can still recall now that seemed utterly absurd. In Chub, my dad took my sister and I snorkeling for the first time, and we swam side-by-side a school of a dozen spotted eagle rays.
We made our way to Nassau, where we spent Christmas. I remember staying up all night on the city streets with my family watching the Junkanoo parade on Boxing Day, the loud music and louder costumes sparking my imagination and keeping us awake. Later it was Staniel Cay and snorkeling in Thunderball Cave, the spot made famous by Sean Connery in the Bond movie of the same name. Dad and I found a fishing spot nearby where we speared our first grouper, only to discover a week later that some locals had caught a 15-foot hammerhead only 100 yards away. I could step through the jaws, which they had saved as a trophy.
The cruise ultimately took us to Georgetown, in the Exumas, the setting for Boram’s article. Even nearly 20 years ago, the harbor was filled with like-minded families, and I met loads of other children my age doing the same sort of thing. The islands left an impression on me – the memories of that trip are some of my earliest as a human being, and I’m absolutely certain that without them I would not be writing this right now. It’s touching to read about the SSCA’s involvement in the Bahamas, and encouraging hearing about their success. And it makes me want to go back.
Which is why, in a certain way, August will mark the last month that I’ll be editing All At Sea Southeast. I’ve always had a passion for the sea, and I feel like that’s where I truly belong (see my article in the ‘Sailing’ department for some insights into offshore sailing). In light of my desire to pursue more adventures on the water, I’m handing over the editorial reigns to Rob Lucey, one of Southeast’s first writers and a very capable editor. Rob was the founder and publisher of Carolina Currents, and has since moved to Texas, where he’s been our main Gulf Coast correspondent. Check the back page of this issue to hear a bit more of Rob’s history.
I’ve had a good run at the helm here, and I’d like to thank my publisher Chris Kennan for giving me the opportunity to get the magazine off the ground and help start something I believe will continue to be successful. I’ll continue to contribute to the magazine regularly – with more stories to share from on-the-water-experience – and I wish Rob the best of luck going forward. Thanks to all of the readers who continue to make the magazine successful!
If you have story ideas, cover photos or would like to contribute in any way to All At Sea Southeast, please email Rob Lucey at [email protected] Thanks for reading!