In honor of these first summery days of 2024 when so many of us water folk will be casting off for some much needed Vitamin B(oat) with a heavy dose of Vitamin D from that elusive glowing orb, it seemed like the right time to revisit this Editor’s Letter from 2016.

Dear sunshine, seventy degrees, and moderate breeze, 

This is just a quick note to let you know how much I’ve missed you. I realize now how much I took you for granted last summer. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great winter. I moved on. I’ll spare you the details, but I’ve been with some other weather, and I enjoyed it. I proved to myself that I didn’t need you—that I could be happy with breezy rips and layers upon layers of protection from the cold and the rain. I might have looked soggy and pale, but rest assured, things were going great for me. 

But then… I saw you this weekend. And you were gorgeous. You took my breath away and made me fall in love with you all over again. My feelings might be stronger than ever. On Saturday, I thought I saw you, but it was someone that just looked a little like you. But Sunday, there you were. You came sweeping in like you’d never left, greeting me with six super-fun races in CYC’s Puget Sound Spring Regatta. There was even a point in the day when I was feeling hungry and a little tired and thought I’d had enough of you, and then I was like, “What am I talking about?!” By the end of hanging out with you, I was exhausted and exhilarated. Today I’m feeling sore and gratified and I’m still left wanting more. Everyone knows that I was with you because I have my first sunglasses tan of the season. 

You and I have always had an open relationship, though, and I’m totally ok with that. So many people love you just like I do. I wouldn’t dream of keeping you only for myself. Many of your other admirers were raising glasses to you at the club at the end of the day, threatening to change the name of the favored beverage from “dark and stormy” to “sunny and pleasant.” I happen to know that you were sharing your love all over Puget Sound and beyond that day. I’m all for it! It’s 2016. It’s Seattle. You’re in a safe space. 

Seeing you again, I’ve been trying to decide what it is about you that I’ve missed the most. I missed how well I could see puffs on the water when you’re here. I missed the boat moving well but still having reasonable loads in the lines. I missed having my ears uncovered (outside of a hood or a hat) and being able to hear my crewmates. I missed the view of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker from the water. I missed… (clears throat) your smell: sunscreen, fresh flowers, and bonfire smoke from Golden Gardens. I missed my friends who I don’t see as much when you’re not around. We can all get genuine enjoyment and fulfillment out of winter sailing, and I do. But there’s an exuberance that you inspire in so many of us. It’s simply intoxicating—even better than a double “sunny and pleasant.”

I know you well enough to know that you’re probably not here to stay this time. You’re just passing through until you settle in for a solid few months later on in the year. If you want to stay, though, it would mean so much to me. I wouldn’t leave you hanging. I’ll sail as much as possible. I’ll make my non-sailing friends forget I even live here or, better yet, maybe I can introduce them to you. I think you’d like each other… 

There’s nothing secret about our affair, you and I. But, I guess I’d appreciate it if you didn’t tell everyone in the other sunny spots around the country. They think I’m still hanging out with the rain all the time. I’m not embarrassed of you. God no! But, you know, traffic is already bad and rents are through the roof. It will only get more crowded if everyone learns that you’re here already. It’s cool, though, your call on that one. 

It was just so good to see you. It felt like old times. But somehow, it felt like a new era, too. You see – you bring out my sappy side. I just love you. So much. 

With deepest affection,

Title background photo by Jan Anderson.