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Keeping Creative (and Sane) in the Time of COVID

Greetings, Latitude Nation, from 37° South.

Latitude 37 is, apparently, a microbrewery-type establishment in the beach town of Mount Maunganui, and one of our favorite restaurants that we never went to. This would have otherwise been a bustling street, but was ghost town-ish a few weeks ago as New Zealand entered a nationwide lockdown.
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

Life here in New Zealand is probably similar to that in the rest of the world: The main attractions are your living room, Netflix and taking long, destination-less walks. As we’ve hunkered down and really gotten to know our settees and internet connections, we have been scouring the internet for those rare rays of sunshine, many of which take the form of memes:

We could not help asking ourselves how sailors are staying sane, productive, and, with any luck, creative in these strange times.

We had hoped to visit with Emirates Team New Zealand while here in the Land of the Long White Cloud, but the current keepers of the Cup are on lockdown with the rest of the country. With the next America’s Cup set to start in almost exactly one year, it’s not clear how the current pandemic will affect the event. There may or may not be something to say about the 36th America’s Cup in the May issue of Latitude 38, but we are happy to report that ETNZ is doing their part to encourage Kiwis to quarantine and stay busy.

“Alright, so [you’re] stuck at home and running out of things to do, well we have you covered with a few Special Projects and a chance to win some ETNZ gear,” Team New Zealand said on their website in late March. “Geoff Senior, the team construction manager, has tasked you with designing your own AC75. He loves Legos, but if Legos [aren’t] your thing, feel free to build your AC75 out of whatever you have lying around. Just make sure you check with mum and dad before using the toilet paper to build the mainsail.”

Kudos to Emirates Team New Zealand for encouraging fun family projects during the quarantine.
© 2020 Emirates Team New Zealand

As for our own creative juices, we’re happy to report that long hours at home are welcome — and normal — for those of us inclined toward writing and art.

Latitude’s newest editor used the ban on recreational sailing in New Zealand to muse on the ocean . . .
© 2020 Tim Henry
. . . borrowing from this moment of 15 to 18 knots aft of the beam in 4-ft seas. (Yes, the drawing is an extreme riff on the original subject matter. But, you know . . . art.)
© 2020 Latitude 38 Media LLC / Tim

So how are you keeping creative, Latitude Nation? Some of you have made contact with us from the deep recesses of your quarantine caves.

Dan Marshall sent us this photo, which we’re 99.9% sure is from the Trader Joe’s-brand toilet paper.
© 2020 Dan Marshall

Reader Jake Goza brought to our attention a bit of sailorly art on a non-sailor. “I heard today on CNBC that Lady Gaga will be the point person for organizing a COVID-19 Support Concert,” Goza wrote. “I happened to notice a nautical looking anchor tattoo under her left arm. I thought I’d present it to you as potentially something to report on . . . in this time where not much sailing is going on.” Thanks, Jake. Our investigative team is on it.

Lady Gaga shows off her anchor tattoo. Our reporters could not unearth Gaga’s motivation behind the nautically themed skin art.
© 2020

Finally, what are you doing just to continue some type of normalcy in your life? Here’s a photo from Kevin Plencner. “Avid readers of your publication practicing proper precautions to get your latest issue at Tahoe Keys Marina and Yacht Club at South Lake Tahoe.”

Thank you to these Lake Tahoe readers for practicing solid COVID-19 protocol, and for being such loyal devotees of Latitude.
© 2020 Kevin Plencner

Finally, a millennial lady captain brought the following rendition of that most classic of sea chanteys to our attention.

Thanks to everyone for writing to us. We’re glad you’re staying safe and sane. We’ll see you on the water sooner — we hope — rather than later.

1 Comment

  1. Jean Ouellette 4 years ago

    Re. Lady Gaga’s anchor tattoo, the anchor is a traditional Christian symbol for hope. Also a reference to stability and groundedness.

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