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The Great Pause: A Time to Dis/Connect and Reflect

15 Apr 2020 12:21 PM | Deleted user

Dear Sailors,

We are committed to making sure The DSC weathers this storm so that we are ready to sail when it is safe to do so again. That is our collective determination. It is also why we launched the “Keep Our Ship On Course” fundraising campaign in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though fundraising is only one aspect of our overall strategy, it is important nonetheless. I recognize that giving charitably to the Sailing Center is not the top priority for most people in these uncertain times.

To those who have donated thus far, Thank You. But that is not why I write today.  Today, I offer something different. I ask for you to unplug. Read a book, take a hike, or sit on your stoop and enjoy the weather. As sailors, we typically use our sailing time as an opportunity to hit “pause” on our connected lives. Sailing is how we disconnect from the ails of our daily lives while connecting with those who share our passion. Sailing will be there for us, soon. For now, we can use this as an opportunity to do something different. Perhaps we can even rediscover truths we forgot long ago. At the least, we can use this time to hose down our salty foul weather gear; re-arm our inflatable lifejackets; or simply reconnect with family and friends who are relegated to second fiddle once the spring weather hits.

We, The DSC staff team and DSC volunteer leaders, also recognize our human need to connect with others. We recognize that doing so does require some screen time. The cruising program is hosting virtual seminars and it is hosting a virtual social hour this Saturday. The education team is going virtual to train staff on Saturday (everyone is welcome to attend!), and the racing program is soon to do the same. The DSC staff and volunteers will continue to provide our sailors with updates and means of connecting together. We are uploading videos. We are ‘gramming little DSC experiences in our daily lives. We are doing our best to help you connect in the ways you want to connect. 

But we must remember that sailing is an outside activity. Sailing is a tinkerer’s hobby. Sailing is an explorer’s getaway, one that relies on the mind more than the body. Sailing is Our Great Pause. Sailing is our salve for a world full of exhaust, of advertisements, and of work responsibilities. It is our environmental escape. Sailing enables us to physically feel things. We feel physical discomfort and we love it because it reminds us that we are alive. We feel physical euphoria, too: vitamin D from the sun makes us happy; oxygenated air from the wind enables our lungs to consume more deeply. Sailing is not, no matter how we try to make it, a “screen” sport. Sure, knowledge is learned through screens. Our charts and our navigation software play out on screens. And in these times, our very lives revolve around the screen. 

Sailing is typically our antidote to our increasingly digital existence. This is the crux our DSC team recognizes: we want to continue to learn as sailors and connect as people, as a community, but we do not want our fellow sailors to be any more burdened by the digital world than necessary, however tempting it may be to remain connected. Thanks in part to your generous donations, The DSC is doing what we can to be there for you now and with your continued support we will sail together again. But charitable contributions are only part of the equation, and The DSC is designed to be open to all. YOU are the much bigger factor that keeps The DSC going. I hope you are able to use this time for self care - away from the screens and unplugged from technology - and I look forward to our fellowship on the water together. Before we know it, that time will come again.

Fair Winds,



The Downtown Sailing Center

Est 1994
1425 Key Highway, Suite 110, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 727-0722 •