Farewell and Fair Winds, Jimmy Buffett

By: American Sailing, Sailing History

The American Sailing crew was saddened along with the rest of the world to see a legend sail on from this life this past Friday. We tip our hats to the innumerable contributions Jimmy Buffett made to help make the cruising life what it is. He was a true embodiment of the spirit of freedom, friendship, and good times so many have come to know as the setting in which the sailing life is best lived. He is an icon and inspiration that will eternally touch the souls of cruisers and sailors everywhere — even during his life here every generation thought of him as their own. We have Jimmy to thank for reminding us to slow down, feel the sand between our toes, and make the most of the moments with those we love the most. His songs will doubtlessly carry his good vibes across the waters for many generations to come.

American Sailing’s Zeke Quezada memorializes him well, capturing perfectly what so many of us feel:

Jimmy Buffett allowed me, my family, and the people on our dock to slow down time and be sailors. Be friends. Be family.

As I continue to sail, Jimmy Buffett’s music is always my guiding star. Jimmy is more than a musician; he’s a navigator of dreams, a maestro of melodies, and the captain of my musical voyage.

His music, a delightful fusion of Gulf breezes and Western charm, has been my ever-present companion. From the moment I watched sailboats from the docks in Marina Del Rey, California, to sunset cruises in Maui to beach bars in Mexico, his songs became my sea shanties, offering a soundtrack to my adventures on both land and sea.  

If I had a lifelong mantra, it would most likely resemble a JB song.

Zeke Quezada, American Sailing
Jimmy Buffett playing for fans.

Through “Margaritaville,” Jimmy painted vivid scenes of tranquil beaches and carefree afternoons. “Cheeseburger in Paradise” is an anthem for savoring life’s simple pleasures. In “A Pirate Looks at Forty,” his words speak to the introspective sailor, reminding us that age is but a number on this timeless voyage. Many a sailing father would like to believe that their sons have a use for “Son of a Sailor” in their repertoire of music that will also evoke a memory.

At American Sailing, we salute Jimmy Buffett, whose melodies have charted the course of so many of our journeys. Through stormy seas and tranquil waters, his music has been a steadfast anchor and the wind in our sails. Jimmy, your songs have made our lives one eternal beach party, and for that, we are forever grateful.

We can all take comfort in Jimmy’s own lyrics and as we believe he would want us to read these words with a smile and a song in our hearts.

I wave bye bye
I pray Godspeed
I wish you lovely weather
More luck than you’ll need
You’ll only sail in circles
So there’s no need to cry
Oh, I’ll see you again one day
And then I waved bye bye

Lyrics by Jimmy Buffett, I Wave Bye Bye

Farewell and fair winds, Jimmy, and thank you.

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