As the Coronavirus changed our reality and social distancing came to be the norm, human innovation has shined through in the ways we managed to entertain ourselves and stay connected. No matter what else is going on in the world, the need for human interaction never really disappeared.
And, although many places are starting to ease restrictions, it is still advisable to maintain certain levels of discretion when it comes to social gatherings, especially for those who are immunocompromised or care for ones who are.
But this doesn’t mean that we cannot enjoy each other’s company! Along with this global pandemic we have seen a surge of novel ideas to bridge the distance between us and make the best of this situation.
With this in mind, we have gathered a list of social distancing activities you can enjoy with fellow boaters or on your own.
Naturally, boating is our No. 1 choice. It goes without saying that boating is still one of the best [social distancing] activities you can enjoy. When you have your own boat, you can choose to get out of the house and get some fresh air any time you like while still maintaining a safe distance. There's nothing like cruising along on a beautiful, sunny Floridian spring day and fill your lungs with some salt air. It's good for you!!
2. Boating with friends
It is not advisable at this time to gather at the sandbar or to even have guests on board. But you can always call up your boater friends and arrange a friendly boat run around the Intracoastal (note: at the time of writing, the local ordinance is to keep 50' between vessels). Why not? As long as you don’t raft up, gather at the sandbar, or share close spaces, this is a totally safe activity. Maintain communications via walkie talkie or utilizing apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime. Celebrate life with a toast to each other from your own boats. We may be a little bit separated but we can still see and hear each other!
3. Take a boating course
Now’s the time to take that online boating course you’ve been wanting to take. Many institutions have adapted to the current state of affairs and are offering classes online. Here are some suggestions:
- FREE Online Boating Safety Course from BoatUs.org. The only one approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission!
- Interested in learning more about cabin cruisers? Check out this online class on Cruising Boats and Systems, also from BoatUs.org.
- Learn how to tie various marine knots with these tutorials from ASA.com.
4. Do some boat spring cleaning
If you’re finding yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands these days, why not take this time to go through all your boating supplies and do a little spring cleaning? Get rid of old towels, bags, and equipment. Check your radios, GPS and other electronics, batteries, navigation lights, etc. Run out your anchor rode to get all the twists and kinks out.
And while you're at it, now may be the best time to call InterMarine's Service Department to schedule any needed maintenance or repairs: engine service, gelcoat repairs, any canvas work that needs to be done, etc. InterMarine is now offering Remote Boat Maintenance Service and Curbside Assistance services to help you get your boat serviced while keeping you safe.
5. Social Happy Hour
So your boat at the shop getting service? Now's the time to schedule a video conference with your friends and catch up with each other! Make it a happy hour or even share dinnertime. You can arrange this via Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or HouseParty. Share pictures of your favorite Escapade trips, discuss your favorite locations, share boating tips, or decide what's the first boating location you will visit when things return to normal. Take advantage of the downtime to truly bond with family and friends.
6. Go shopping
If you are on the search for a new boat, we can help. We are prepared to conduct virtual tours and remote consultations. Simply shop our boat inventory online, send us an email when you're ready to act, and your own Boating Professional will walk you through the rest of the process. We can even process signed documents all digitally.
7. Give back
Take this downtime to write thank you notes to first responders and healthcare workers. Make care packages for a local nursing home. If you have a specific skill, volunteer to host a workshop via zoom or FaceTime in your community. If you have young children or grandkids, here's is a great idea: decorate your windows and sidewalks with messages of hope to cheer up those who pass by.
While this can be a trying time for everyone, we all have the choice of making the best of the situation. We hope we have given you some ideas to get you through it. As always, please stay safe and take care of yourself and yours. We're looking forward to seeing you again at an Escapade real soon!