Traditions are an interesting thing. They commonly exist across countries and cultures and many times provide bookends in marking time. Annual traditions like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve often serve to bring people together and celebrate, remembering the past and looking forward to the future. The George Town Cruising Regatta is no exception.
This year marked its 40th hosting of the event by the “cruisers”. This is a self-organizing event created by the regular group of boaters who travel each year to George Town. In a way it is an annual pilgrimage both to have a little fun (who doesn’t like seeing people slashing about to collect coconuts?) and to see friends they only see once a year. What is most memorable for me is that tradition of gathering of friends, some of which are more known by their boat name than their surname and how the highlight for many is not they journey through the islands, not the daily events of beach golf or volleyball, but the opportunity to see your ‘boat family’ reunited once again.
Traditions are important to all of us in different ways and in a time when the world seems upside down, when we struggle to connect with others due to barriers of distance or technology, when traditions like Sunday dinners are put on hold, we find we are making new traditions. Family game night, virtual pub trivia, video chats all keep us together. Like many others, although I embrace the new traditions, I do hope the old ones endure as well, and someday we too will find ourselves back enjoying the George Town Regatta, seeing old friends, making new ones and telling the story of how it is one of our favorite traditions.