Mental Health Boating. It’s Very Real.


I think there is a smile in there. No need for a mask when out on the water with people you hug all day.

Some disclaimers here. This story is more about me, sorry. Maybe a little to personal… My family and I are very lucky to be in a quarantine here at home, on the water, in a rural area. We are doing everything as we are supposed to. Gloves, masks, distancing, and so on.


But for some reason, yesterday was a especially crazy day. back to back to back to back video conference calls with my amazing team and clients, all trying to make the best of all this, while dealing with very real issues. In a million years, and with 40 years in the ad business, did I ever think I would be discussing paper samples and printing of a sympathy cards for a client to send out to co workers families that have died because of this. IT’S VERY REAL.  Yet, there I was, approving colors, what to say, and doing TV ads about stay clean, thanking everyone, Corvid, corvid, corvid 24/7.

Ruby, can’t sit still, and thats okay with me

At around 6 pm, I just crashed. I was walking around the house in a daze, and just went and laid down. once again, I am not saying any of this for sympathy. I AM LUCKY AS HELL. The contrast of being in my personal situation, vs what I am seeing and trying to help with couldn’t be more opposite. And so I feel guilty. Lucky, guilty, and back to blessed, guilt.. Its back and forth.. And there is no real relief.. WELL…. Maybe there is..

The magic of quiet

The Boatress in all her wisdom, suggested a boat ride. At first I said no thanks. For many reasons. It just adds to the guilt, and do I want to be out there on a boat while all this crap is going on?

No different than sitting on the sofa. Just a short small reminder of lifes goodness.

Storm ahead?

Well. I did, and slowly with some music on, went for a slow ride out at around 1,000 rpm.. Just blub,blub, blubing out into the Great Wicomico River. And headed back in. 1 hr.. Thats all it took. I was back to my normal self.

Keeping it safe. there was no one else out. We are in VA waters so this is okay, but one wrong turn and you are in Maryland Waters and its a no.

I think I even smiled a couple times.  And then a John Prine song came on, and it all came rushing back. What a sad moment, and yet, because of that short boat ride, I have the energy to plow ahead. At 1,000 RPM..

15 replies
  1. Todd C
    Todd C says:

    Copy right issue from “Ride Captain Ride” boat rides fix allot.

    We’re callin’ everyone to ride along to another shore
    We can laugh our lives away and be free once more”
    But no one heard them callin’, no one came at all
    ‘Cause they were too busy watchin’ those old raindrops fall
    As a storm was blowin’ out on the peaceful sea – take a ride, look at past pictures, work on a boat project.

    • Dennis Ryan
      Dennis Ryan says:

      Thank you for the header with Dick Werner’s name. He was a great wood boat enthusiast. He owned many Century’s and Lyman’s and had a true wood love. His dedication to the ACBS was extraordinary, serving in many positions and the developer of the Restoration Video series on the ACBS website. A Cincinnati boy, loved his Skyline Chili and a great friend to all his Cincy buddies in the boat business and hobby. His Preist Lake home was a center for pre show events. Thank you for sharing him Louise, he will be missed.

  2. Chad
    Chad says:

    There is no guilt in wanting or NEEDING a boat ride, no matter what the circumstance. I launched a boat on Tuesday and buzzed around the lake with the family for a couple hours just to recharge my soul.

  3. Clay at Crosslake
    Clay at Crosslake says:

    Been listening to John Prine since 1973 and he’s taken me through thick and thin ever since. Listened to his old albums and radio interviews all day yesterday. Through disasters and good times, his music, like wooden boats, have always been good for my mental health. RIP

  4. Mike K
    Mike K says:

    wow thanks matt
    i grew up about a mile from where john prine grew up. though he has about 12 years on me, never knew him, may of been my mail man, probably not. but i know that tilt a whirl he is singing about!!

  5. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    It is sometimes just good to talk about things and I think that is what your WB story today is all about. Really glad you took the opportunity to take a boat ride and talk about it. You and Suzy stay well and safe. WoodyBoaterville is depending on you!

  6. Miles Kapper
    Miles Kapper says:

    John Prine and a thousand rpm. Funny how those surreal moments just happen like that. Yeah I can see it. Thanks for sharing.

  7. John Rothert
    John Rothert says:

    By god if the whole series of Foxfire books I ordered of the net would just make a soft UPS landing here at the shop…I would be back on the water TODAY….this child of the 70’s never could hear well enough to appreciate much music…but I know folks that revered JP! So later today, if UPS is catching up…me and those books of folklife and self-reliance…will be on the hook and insolated from virus and vitriol…great post Matt…we are lucky Chesapeake sailors! John in Va.

  8. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    If you can take a boat ride right now DO IT!! I would if I had any of them ready for summer, and it was warm enough. I have been listining to John Prime since the early 70s. He had some very neat lyrics. Rip John, we will miss you.

  9. tom
    tom says:

    Very fortunate you are,Matt,as are the rest of us who are still healthy.Here in Jersey the governor closed all state parks as of Wednesday.This would include Lake Hopatcong, but boating is still allowed.At least for now.That would leave access to the lake via private marinas only I believe.Public launches closed,as far as i can tell.

  10. 72Hornet
    72Hornet says:

    No need to beat yourself up over taking a boat ride! All of this has a human side to it and there one needs to look not too far and see others who are worse off. I think this experience will open many doors for some of us and to change our way of living in a more positive way. There is good in everything! Cheers for brightening my day as usual Matt!

  11. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    Been thinking of these John Prine lyrics all day
    “When I die let my ashes float down the Green River
    let my soul roll right up to the Rochester Dam
    i’l be half way to heaven in paradise waitin
    just five miles away from where ever I am”

  12. Kentucky Wonder
    Kentucky Wonder says:

    I live about 30 miles from the Rochester Dam, and have friends that own the adjoining farm. Indeed a fine place for your ashes to roll into and past. Very serene and green this spring!

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