The reason we own a sailboat is to have an excuse to go to Sailboat trade shows. One can attend without owning a boat, which would be easier on the wallet, but not nearly as fun. All of the experts on every aspect of equipment, destinations, safety, clothing, and electronics are there, and will spend as much time as you wish without selling you a thing. As a matter of fact, most don’t have inventory to sell. They are simply there to educate…so that you can buy later. Every time we think about going we wonder what more we could possibly need and inevitably, something great and glorious is invented that we cannot do without. We love it.
The Annapolis Sailboat show in October did not disappoint us. Craig is not typically a social guy but claims he likes the boat shows so that he can see all of his friends. This is one of the biggest surprises that sailing has brought for me. Craig is now Mister Chatty Cathy and is a premier sailing socialite. Along with our Antares friends, his social circle encompasses vendors we have come to know well through provisioning Alberta Crewed. Craig and Randy from Ultra Anchor are like this (crossed fingers) although I think Randy sees us as stalkers. He sometimes hides when he sees us coming.
Another highlight was meeting The Man, Chris Parker. He is our infamous and genius weather service provider who would cringe at the accolades. He spent over an hour with us at his booth, showing us new software, describing how he interprets data, and wiping my drool off of his shirt. He is one of those people whose brain is not of this earth, or in his profession, is all of this earth. He described how he visualizes weather in multiple dimensions, and can verbalize what he sees as models of the systems move around in his head. Wow. Lucky for us, he spends his life sending that information out over the airwaves. I will try not to giggle during our next radio conversation as I reminisce about our hour together.
|My shirt would say "I'm shaking-standing-next-to Chris Parker".|
Our favourite booths were Goal Zero for all things solar, including solar powered generators and spotlights (the technology is really coming along) and Smart Cat, a portable catamaran along the lines of a little hobie-cat. I have often joked that I would like to tow a little mono-hull behind Alberta Crewed for some fun day sailing. This seemed to be the perfect solution and it folds into a bag. The booth also had a mini-tent trailer, which I think would be perfect for towing behind our motorbike. Craig is less enthused. He is a bit sensitive about his new, old 1971 BMW R6 and turning his baby into a camper.
|This folds down to this...|
We are going through our now familiar lists of preparations as we anticipate our return to the boat on November 23rd. FYI, these include insurance (boat and health), shutting down telephone, cable, and car insurance here, forwarding mail, re-stocking our medical kit with updated prescriptions, dental appointments, air travel arrangements, contacting the boatyard with the list of boat maintenance items, and everything related to taking our cat with us. Travelling with Rusty is a costly and complicated process as far as air travel and taking him to the Bahamas. I’m not sure how excited he is but he is about to become a tropical cat with his snowbird owners.