Live for the moment

Late last year a Dutch reader named Edgar Peer contacted me about a cruise he had been planning for the best part of a lifetime. At the relatively tender age of 46 he was taking a three-month sabbatical from work to spend some quality time with the two greatest passions of his life: his family and his Ferretti 530.
He and a couple of mates were going to take his boat from its home berth in the South of France to Greece, where his family would join him for an extended holiday cruising around the Aegean. Would we be interested in a story about it? Given that he spoke immaculate English, took professional-quality photographs and wanted to give us the story because we “were the best boating magazine in Europe”, it was a no-brainer.

Half way through the cruise he sent in the first part of his account and sure enough it lived up to everything I had hoped. Here was a heartfelt account of the highs and lows of a Mediterranean epic, complete with leaping dolphins, sudden storms and balmy evenings in quayside restaurants. It was just the type of life-affirming experience that makes boating so vital to all of us.

Then something odd happened. The second part of the story never arrived and for several months Edgar disappeared off our radar screens. Eventually, around four months after he was due back, Edgar sent me an email out of the blue. He apologised for his period of radio silence and proceeded to explain that within days of completing his dream cruise he was diagnosed with a potentially fatal heart complaint and rushed to hospital. He underwent emergency surgery and spent three months in intensive care. Thankfully he is now every bit as fit and healthy as he appears in the photographs in the article.

The point of telling you this, apart from ensuring that you read the inspirational account of his cruise on p84, is simply to take heed of his advice to live for the moment and make the most of your boat now – hence our ‘Summer of Fun’ cover theme.

Edgar had always promised himself that he would take a sabbatical at the age of 45 because he’d seen too many friends put off their cruising dreams until retirement only for them to fall by the wayside through ill health. He didn’t quite get around to it until he was 46 but he is more than grateful that he didn’t put it off any longer. Who knows what would have happened if he’d spent last summer in a stressful office rather than his Ferretti?