For many single people around the world, the day February 14, marked in pink and red hearts on the calendar, brings out the Valentine's Day blues. In fact, for some people, the day might even create a qualitative pathological response. Studies have shown that some people experience mild depression and even noticeable anxiety on and around Valentine’s Day—and the symptoms can last as long as four weeks. One study in particular, cited in this Buzzfeed article, suggests that nationally, Valentine's Day is the time with the highest rate of suicide. On a day meant to celebrate love, why do so many people feel the blues?
That got our team at boats.com thinking—whether you're alone and without a valentine, or you find yourself showered with gifts, roses and boxes of chocolates—things could be much worse....
For example, what if your beloved boat ran out of gas? Or your battery died in the middle of a perfect summer day? Engine trouble? Time for a tow...
Or, maybe, just maybe, you had a little trouble docking today?
Who knows, you probably thought it was fully secure on the trailer, right?
Heck, maybe you just found yourself stranded on a deserted island?
Or of course, every boaters' worst nightmare—taking on water? Your vessel could sink to the bottom of the deep blue sea.
The list could go on and on, and there's no debate, any of these boating disasters would be much worse than finding yourself alone on Valentine's Day...
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Now that we think about it, there are other holidays that can cause mild depression and noticeable anxiety—just like Valentine's Day—but that go less noticed on most calendars.
Memorial Day: In four-season boating locales such as the Northeast, New England and Pacific Northwest, Memorial Day is the chance to cheer, the start of summer and warmer temperatures that make for great days of boating on the water. This holiday is also, however, when most boaters who’ve been armchair cruising all winter get back on board and suddenly realize they can’t remember how to work all the features on the VHF radio and chartplotter. Noticeable anxiety ensues.
July Fourth: This is one of those holidays that comes with both excitement and dread (not unlike Thanksgiving after any given presidential election). The upside: It’s a long weekend in the heart of summer when just about every boater has a chance to get out on the water. The downside: It’s a long weekend in the heart of summer when just about every boater has a chance to get out on the water. Bridge crossings are jammed, marinas are hectic and people with, let’s just say, minimal “rules of the road” knowledge are at the helm. Noticeable anxiety? Oh yeah. And then some.
Labor Day: The Labor Day holiday, especially for boaters in the Northeast, New England and Pacific Northwest, is a harbinger of winter fast approaching. That means boats pulled out of the water and stored for the colder months, and skippers standing by their beloved rides’ sides with puppy-dog eyes of longing. Mild depression symptoms are just the start. This is downright seasonal affective disorder, marine-style.
Christmas: This is one of those holidays when, thankfully, it’s possible to alleviate some of the symptoms. Sure, every boater dreams of waking up and seeing a giant red ribbon tied around a new center-console atop a trailer in the driveway, or even a new express cruiser in a slip at the marina, but most boaters can avoid depression if you give them a little something to put toward next summer’s cruises. Let them sit under the tree and open a new fishfinder or a smart pair of boat shoes—heck, some guys are thrilled just to get a new set of chamois. They’ll say thanks with a big smile and tell you they love you, and you can hang onto that feeling straight through the next dose of the Valentine’s Day blues...
Editor's Note: This article was compiled by the boats.com editorial staff in collaboration with Kim Kavin.