Sheryl and Distant Shores II in Simpson Bay Lagoon, St. Martin
Following a cosy Christmas onboard Distant Shores II anchored in Simpson Bay Lagoon on the French/Dutch island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, we sailed north to the British Virgin Islands. Here we left the boat in the care of friends while we flew home to Canada to celebrate New Years with family and to get ready for the Toronto International Boat Show which ran January 9-18.
Heading home. Nothing goes to windward like…
Related: Maintaining a Home Base While Cruising
For over 20 years (yikes!) we have been conducting seminars and workshops on the weekends of the annual Toronto show but for the first time we spoke all 10 days of the show. Our topics were "Cruising the Bahamas and Caribbean", "Cruising in France and the French Canals" and "Provisioning for Cruising". Once again we had standing room only attendance at our seminars. Thanks to everyone who came out to join in the fun!
I also worked with sailing author and circumnavigator, Liza Copeland, to give a workshop for women about the "Fears and Fantasies of Cruising". This was highly popular and we are planning to offer it again at next year's show.
Paul, Liza Copeland and Sheryl
Paul and I also served on the expert panel of the World Cruising Club's Ocean Sailing Forum organized by Mia Karlsson and moderated by her husband, Andy Schell. We really enjoy participating in this forum, our third. We also did this with Andy and his wife, Mia, at the Annapolis Boat Show last October and the Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show in January 2014. You can learn more about World Cruising Club forums and rallies here.
Sheryl, Mia Karlsson, Andy Schell and Paul together for the WCC Ocean Sailing Forum
Another new feature for us at the 2015 Toronto Boat Show was that for the first time we had a booth where fans of the Distant Shores TV series could come by to say hello. Those planning upcoming voyages could stop by to ask questions and get advice. We loved this! We will definitely do this at boat shows in the future. It was such a great way to meet you all in person and learn about your plans and dreams.
Related: Annapolis Boat Show - How Boat Shows Can Help You Achieve Your Cruising Dreams
It was great to hear how watching episodes of Distant Shores got you through cold winters, kept you inspired about your cruising plans and helped skeptical family members understand how fun the cruising life can be!
Comments from the Toronto International Boat Show 2015…
"I can't tell you how many winters your shows have got me through! Whenever I get depressed about the weather I pop in one of your DVDs and head for the tropics!"
"When everyone around me was doubtful about my dreams of cruising I would watch your shows and realize I wasn't alone in my desire to sail off to interesting places. The shows kept me inspired and now my boat and family are ready to go south next year!"
"Never stop what you're doing, guys! We love your shows. They keep us focused on our cruising dreams and one day we'll see you Out There!"
Here are some more photos from the boat show. We hope you will join us next time! ...
Sheryl with Distant Shores fans following one of our seminars
Distant Shores fan, Matt, flew up from St. Louis to get advice on his newly begun cruising plans.
Paul and Sheryl at the Distant Shores booth #1794 at the Toronto International Boat Show 2015
It was great to meet you all in person! We look forward to seeing you next year or out on the water!
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Toasting the boat show with a Pussers Painkiller is a sailors’ tradition
at the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis MD
What is it about boat shows that makes a sailor's heart sing?
Is it the “toy store” appeal? The joy of being surrounded by every wonderful type of gear or gadget ever designed to make time on your boat safer, easier or more comfortable?
Or is it the opportunity to gather so much information all in one delightful day or weekend by talking to vendors, picking up brochures to pour over on cold winter nights or by attending informative seminars?
About 100 people attended the World Cruising Club’s Ocean Sailing Forum we spoke at.
Or perhaps it's just being amongst your own kind? Your Tribe. The people that don't think you're crazy because you're thinking of selling everything, moving onto your boat and sailing off into the sunset for a grand adventure. Who, like you, are happy to talk for hours about boats and boating.
With ICW veteran, Wally Moran, and his faithful dog and sailing companion, Aduana.
Paul and I would have to say it's all of the above and probably lots more. Are you looking for something special this year? What do you love about boat shows? I’ll bet it’s more than beer nuts and rum punches :-) Please tell us in the comments below.
Last week we had the opportunity to attend and participate in the grandaddy of all boat shows, the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland, the world's largest and oldest in-water boat show. Until this year it's been all new boats but for the first time ever they added a Brokers Cove so that you could take a peek at great used boats too. If you're interested in almost any type of boat you'll probably be able to see it at this boat show and get the feel of it in the water.
As owners of a variable-draft Southerly 49 sailboat, we’re always curious about other shallow-draft yachts so Paul and I checked out the Antares and Gunboat catamarans, Seaward Yachts with their radical interior design and also took a good look around Jimmy Cornell's (author of World Cruising Routes, founder of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers) new Garcia Exploration 45, Aventura, which he attempted to sail through the Northwest Passage last summer as part of his new rally the Blue Planet Odyssey.
The Antares catamaran was one of the shallow-draft boats we checked out.
But while all these boats are impressive and have many interesting features we haven't found a boat we like better than our Southerly 49 yet so we're happy to say we'll be sailing Distant Shores II for another couple of years :-)
If a new boat isn't in your plans or budget this year there were countless vendors in tents with an atmosphere of a festive medieval fair to inform and entertain you. Selling fixtures, rope, fittings, electronics, cleaning products; personalized T-shirts, cups and towels; machinery, jewellery, canvas, magazines, gadgets and inventive doo-dahs of all descriptions. We always find something intriguing and useful.
This year’s find - polarized bi-focal sunglasses for sailors needing reading glasses.
Paul's boat show discovery this year was polarized bi-focal sunglasses for $34.95 at Sunglass Haven. A friend recommended these polarized sunglasses with reading glasses built in. Now Paul can read charts and chartplotters without switching between sunglasses and reading glasses. This will make a huge difference to him on watch!
I was in the market for a new sewing machine for the boat. For the past 25 years I have been using an old hand-crank Singer sewing machine which can sew through 6 layers of canvas, doesn't require battery power but only does a straight stitch. Since we have some new projects in mind and now own a boat with a generator we thought it was time to get a more sophisticated sewing machine that can seriously handle sail repairs as well as complicated canvas projects. We're looking at the Sailrite Ultrafeed LS-1 PLUS Walking Foot sewing machine. If any of you have this machine we'd love to know what you think of it and invite you to post your comments below or send us an e-mail.
Numerous sailing schools were also to be found at the boat show to get you or your mate started in sailing or to help you take your skills to the next level. Charter agencies were selling bareboat and skippered vacations in exotic locales.
Many of you have been asking if Paul and I will be bringing back our Share the Sail program which we ran a few years ago. We are looking at our filming schedule for this year to see if we can fit in a few weeks here and there this year to offer you a hands-on week of sailing and personal coaching aboard our Southerly 49 sailboat, Distant Shores II. If we can manage it around the TV show's filming schedule, we will go over your plans and help you design a cruise of your own that meets your personal criteria and budget plus help any of your crew overcome their fears or concerns while sailing together. We'll keep you posted...
Walking the show we met many fans of the Distant Shores sailing TV series.
Those looking to gain more knowledge or ask questions of experts while at the boat show had a variety of seminars to choose from each day. Paul and I participated on the expert panel with sailing journalist, Charles Doane, and Caribbean 1500 participants, Jennifer and Scott Brigham, for the World Cruising Club's Ocean Sailing Forum where almost 100 people of all ages keen on doing some offshore sailing showed up early Saturday morning.
Young sailors and fans of Distant Shores give Sheryl a present at the Ocean Sailing Forum
Many were considering doing the Caribbean 1500 Rally which goes from Portsmouth VA at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay to Nanny Cay, Tortola in the British Virgin Islands in early November. We filmed the start of this rally in Distant Shores season 6. Andy Schell, moderator of the panel and organizer of the Caribbean 1500 Rally recorded the morning's discussion in a two-part podcast for his 59 Degrees North sailing podcast so if you missed the seminar you can listen to Part 1 here and listen to Part 2 here.
Andy Schell moderator of the World Cruising Club’s Ocean Sailing Forum and expert panel.
An attentive crowd at the World Cruising Club’s Ocean Sailing Forum
Note: The World Cruising Club will be offering the Ocean Sailing Forum for the first time at the Toronto International Boat Show in January 2015 where Paul and I will be be on the panel.
On Sunday October 12 we gave a presentation on “Outfitting and Provisioning for the ICW” as part of SAIL magazine's Secrets of the ICW all-day seminar along with ICW veteran, Wally Moran, who presented “Sailing South: Plan the ICW Trip of a Lifetime”, Mark Doyle co-author with his wife Diana of On the Water ChartGuides who presented “Perfect Places to Plunk It: 50 Frugal Favorites on the ICW” and Jeff Grossman and Jean Levine of Two Can Sail couples sail training who spoke on “Couples Cruise the ICW”.
SAIL magazine editor, Meredith Laitos and her team organized a great day of
presentations for Secrets of the ICW seminar attendees.
Many participants signed up for SAIL magazine's ICW Snowbird Rally which is happening this November. Folks said the rally gave them a firm date to commit to their dream and make it happen. Being in company with other sailors gave them added confidence for taking their first steps heading south.
Sunday October 12 was also our 29th wedding anniversary and, knowing this, some participants of SAIL’s all-day seminar, Scott, Nancy, Vicki, and Matt kindly organized a special cake which they presented to us as a surprise. We were very touched and shared it with all 160 seminar attendees. Thanks guys!
A kind gift for our 29th wedding anniversary
Paul and I were also at the Raymarine booth every day of the show answering questions about electronics and navigation for cruising.
We enjoyed meeting many fans of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series at the booth and also as we walked around the boat show. Thanks so much to all of you for coming to say hello and telling us how our programs have helped you fulfill your cruising plans. Many had stopped at Annapolis on their way south on their first cruising voyage. Congratulations to you all and to those planning a voyage in future!
It was great to meet so many Distant Shores fans and friends at the boat show!
Most people we spoke to were taking advantage of the 2-day boat show pass since there is so much to see at the Annapolis Boat Show.
The United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis falls on the Columbus Day long weekend each year which is also the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend (our harvest comes earlier) so sailors drive or fly in from all over the USA and Canada as well as many foreign countries. You really find yourself amidst an enthusiastic like-minded crowd!
If you missed it this year we highly recommend you check it out in October 2015 and hope to see you there.
The next boat show where we’ll be conducting seminars is the Toronto International Boat Show in January 2015. When times are confirmed we’ll be posting them on our Seminar and Events page.
In the meantime, we’re back on board Distant Shores II in the Bahamas where we’ll be filming more informative episodes of the Distant Shores sailing TV series to help you plan your own adventures as we continue to explore these beautiful islands.
Back on board Distant Shores II at Stocking Island, Exuma Cays, Bahamas
Wishing you an enjoyable and restful Sunday.
Sheryl and Paul Shard
Aboard S/V Distant Shores II
P.S. Not familiar with the Distant Shores sailing TV series? Click the image below for a free 30-minute sample episode about the Bahamas.
Paul and I recently attended the Toronto International Boat Show where we conducted seminars on the first weekend about "Sailing to Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea". Using excerpts from the Distant Shores Season 7 DVDs we talked about preparing and equipping the boat for this voyage, route planning, favourite destinations, provisioning, costs, and tips on cool weather cruising. If you haven't seen the 13 episodes in Distant Shores season 7 they are available on our secure online store on DVD.
We also wrote an article about our voyage to the Baltic Sea that's in the February 2012 issue of Canadian Yachting magazine. You can read it online at http://canadianyachting.ca/home/digital
It was a real pleasure to meet up with friends and fans of the Distant Shores TV series and to hear their comments and ideas about the shows. Dave and MaryLou flew from the Maritimes to attend our seminar and see the boat show.
Many new viewers in Canada have been discovering the Distant Shores TV series since it is now broadcast daily Monday to Friday across Canada on Travel and Escape channel at 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT. It's also on at 6:30 AM, 9:30 AM, and 12:30 ET. To find the channel that it airs on see www.travelandescape.ca/about
It was also great to meet up with fellow seminar leaders at the Toronto Boat Show and, as we plan for future voyages, attend some of their presentations to learn about the cruising grounds that they are experts in . This year friends John Neal and Amanda Swan Neal presented at the Toronto International Boat Show for the first time.
We met this dynamic duo many years ago at the Strictly Sail Chicago show and have followed their global adventures ever since. John and Amanda operate Mahina Expeditions, serious offshore sail training voyages in exotic locations, and also conduct information-loaded seminars on various topics at boat shows all around North America.We attended their "sailing the South Pacific" seminar as we are planning a Pacific voyage in a couple of years time. Very inspiring! Check out their website for more information on their books, manuals, upcoming seminars and voyages.
And of course the boat show is a wonderful place to check out the latest equipment available to add to your boating safety, comfort and fun!
We spent a lot of time at the Raymarine booth talking to Jeff Fink and Robert Barkley of CMC Electronics, the Canadian distributor of Raymarine equipment.
The new thermal marine scopes are fascinating tools for improving night vision and they have handheld versions. Cool! The photo above shows what you see on the screen.
And we also liked the new remote for connecting your iPhone or iPad to the system. See the Raymarine website for more on this and other great gadgets.
We also dropped by the ICOM---- booth to learn more about what's happening with radio. We'll be installing an ICOM 802 on our Southerly 49, Distant Shores II, for our upcoming transatlantic passage.
Happy dreaming this winter!
Sheryl and Paul Shard
Distant Shores II
Happy New Year
Happy New Year, Everyone!
We hope you have had a joyful and restful Holiday Season and that you are looking forward to new projects and adventures in 2011. If boating is in your plans, don't forget that it's Boat Show Season! Yippee!! Attending boat shows is a fun way to forget about winter weather and get inspiring ideas and gear for your project.
Before continuing with stories of our cruise through Sweden, I just want to let you know about our upcoming boat show presentations and cruising seminars...
Toronto International Boat Show
Presentations Sat Jan 8 at 5 PM & Sun Jan 9 at 2 PM
Paul and I will be speaking at the Toronto International Boat Show again this year. Our 1-hour presentation including question period is “"Caribbean Cruising - Off the Beaten Path in the Leeward Islands" and discusses the route south down the Erie Canal and ICW to the Virgin Islands via the Bahamas and on to the lesser-visited islands such as Saba, Montserrat, St. Barts, and the Saintes. Really good warm-you-up material for the winter season! Sat. Jan 8th – 5pm Sun. Jan 9th – 2pm Seminar location: Presentation Theatre (located adjacent to Hall B entrance)
We'll also be at the Nautical Mind Bookstore booth #G545 at the Toronto Boat Show where you can purchase Distant Shores DVDs including the “6-Disk Caribbean Combo” also available in our online store.
Sat. Jan. 8th from 10–11 AM, 1–3 PM
Sun. Jan 9th from 10 AM – 12 noon
For more information on the Toronto International Boat Show and other seminars being presented see:
Distant Shores DVDs – Boat Show Special “6-Disk Caribbean Combo”
In celebration of Boat Show Season we're offering a Boat Show Special – the “6-Disk Caribbean Combo”. This is a bundle of our 2 latest DVD collections “Distant Shores Season 5: The Med to the Caribbean and Bahamas” and “Distant Shores Season 6: ICW, Chesapeake Bay, and Leeward Islands” which gives you hours of information about heading south to the Bahamas and Caribbean. Regular price to purchase both Season 5 and 6 is $69.90 US. For a limited time only get both for $60.00 US and save about $10.00. Also available through our website:
Sail Away Seminar with the Shards - All Day Cruising Seminar Port Credit Yacht Club February 19 2010 – 8:30am - 5:00pm
Planning to go cruising and have lots of questions about cost, equipment, provisioning, communica-tions and route planning? Back by popular demand we will once again host a “Sail Away Seminar” at Port Credit Yacht Club, 115 Lakefront Promenade, Mississauga, Ontario, L5E 3G6, to help you design your sail away plan. This will be an intensive one-day workshop. Attendance is limited to 20 people.
Topics covered will include:
• buying and/or equipping a boat for cruising
• destination and route planning
• budgeting for your cruise
• safety at sea
• provisioning and much more
Contact our office manager, Jill Schaffner, for more information or telephone: (705) 484-0061
Cost in Canadian Dollars $175 per person or $275 per couple plus HST. Price includes seminar materials. Lunch/dinner is available at Port Credit Yacht Club’s restaurant.
Other Presentations in January:
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 - 7:00 PM, Canada
Port Credit Yacht Club 115 Lakefront Promenade, Mississauga ON L5E 3G6 Presentation: "Caribbean Cruising - Off the Beaten Path in the Leeward Islands" Open to club members and reciprocal club members Reservations required: (905) 278-7911 Directions and info: www.pcyc.net
Friday January 21, 2010 – 6:30 PM, Canada
Burlington Power and Sail Squadron
Fundraising Dinner for the Burlington Able Sail Program
Dinner Presentation: "Caribbean Cruising - Off the Beaten Path in the Leeward Islands"
Date: Friday January 21, 2010 - Cocktails at 6:30 pm, Buffet Dinner at 7:00 pm Location: King's Court, 1159 King Rd., Burlington, ON L7R 3X5 Open to the public. Reservations and tickets required. $25 per person For tickets call: Les Armstrong 905-637-2270 or Carol Krummenacher 905-335-4460 H or 905-388-8911 X240 W
Wishing you Smooth Sailing in 2011!
Sheryl and Paul Shard
SV Distant Shores II
January Newsletter – Cruising the East Coast of Sweden
Following the Toronto Boat Show I will do an update and continue the tales of our adventures cruising in Sweden with our trip up the east coast and Medieval Week Festivities on the mid-Baltic island of Gotland.
Thursday October 8 to Monday October 12 was the 40th Annual United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis MD and once again Paul and I and our Southerly 42, Distant Shores, participated in this wonderful in-water boat show. (See 15/11/08 Newsletter about about our trip south from Canada for last year’s boat show.)
Boat and equipment manufacturers from around the world display at this show, the largest in-water boat show in the United States. Every year it falls on the Columbus Day Weekend which is the Canadian Thanksgiving Weekend too so many sailboat enthusiasts from across both the US and Canada take advantage of the long weekend and fly or drive in to Annapolis making it a very festive yachting event.
Our wedding anniversary always falls during the boat show and it’s a fun way for Paul and me to celebrate all our years together with cruising friends attending the show. This year we celebrated our 24th anniversary!
This boat show was another great opportunity for us to share information with those planning upcoming cruises and to meet with viewers of the Distant Shores TV series. This TV series (also available on DVD on our online store) follows our sailing adventures to countries around the world and gives tips and techniques for safe and enjoyable cruising aboard a sailboat.
The Distant Shores TV series is broadcast across the United States on the high-definition channel WealthTV. Check the schedule on the Wealth TV website if you are in the US or Caribbean. In Europe, Asia and Africa you can see the programs on Travel Channel. We’ll be announcing a new Canadian broadcaster in the new year. We are currently filming episode 78 about cruising in the Chesapeake Bay.
This year at Annapolis we had the pleasure of working with Ben Davies, Sales Manager of Northshore Yachts (the manufacturer of Southerly yachts) who flew over from England for the boat show and also with the new American dealers for Southerly, Jack and Sharon Malatich, of Southerly America who are based at the Gratitude Yachting Centre in Rockville, MD.
If you are interested in a new or used Southerly yacht, Jack and Sharon are the ones to contact in the US. They are handling the sale of our Southerly 42 while we await construction of our new Southerly 49! (Read more about our new Southerly 49 in Paul’s New Boat Blog) You can also see the boat listed on Yachtworld.com under Southerly 42RST.
As a result of the boat show, Jack and Sharon have been booking appointments for test sails aboard Distant Shores and we will also be showing the boat at the upcoming Open Dock at Gratitude Yachting Centre in Rockville MD on Saturday October 24 from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. If you are looking for a fully-equipped ready-to-go luxury cruising yacht this Southerly 42 may be the boat for you! Start your cruising dreams now and contact the Malatiches for details. Tel. (410) 639 2777 or e-mail email@example.com.
In the next installment we’ll get back to cruising and tell you more about sailing around the Chesapeake Bay....
Sheryl and Paul
Aboard SV Distant Shores
I enjoy seminars since they are such a nice mix of formal and informal exchange of information. The classroom setting and style means a lot of information can be shared but the live interaction between seminar leader and seminar participants makes the whole thing casual and friendly, at least when the topic is about boating!
The Southerly 49 on display at the Southampton show, which runs until September 20th, is hull #1 and is headed for Australia. Our new Southerly 49 is hull #2 and is well under construction. It was fun to be at the show and get familiar with the 49 there by showing people around the boat.
There was a large fleet of Southerly yachts on display at the boat show from the 32 up to the 49 and with the beautiful summer weather that weekend, many people came out to see or try out the boats.
We also enjoyed meeting many fans of the Distant Shores TV series, which airs in the UK and 50 other countries in Europe, Asia and Africa on Travel Channel here. Northshore had set up a nice area where we could sit and talk to those people that dropped by to say hello and ask questions about outfitting a boat for long-distance cruising. It’s a two-way exchange since these sessions always raise interesting topics and give us new ideas to share with others through our magazine articles and TV programs as well the newsletters and New Boat Blog on our website.
On the Saturday night we gave a presentation at the Southerly Owners Dinner at the Royal Southern Yacht Club a beautiful club in the picturesque village of Hamble on the Hamble River and had a chance to meet and converse with many knowledgeable Southerly owners. Most had never cruised in the Bahamas so using excerpts from the Distant Shores Season 5: The Med to the Caribbean and Bahamas DVD we showed them what a perfect place the Bahamas is for shallow-draft cruising.
All and all it has been a great start to the boat show season! Next stop is the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis MD from October 8-12 where we and our Southerly 42, Distant Shores, will be at the Southerly America booth on Dock D. January 8-12 we’ll see you at the London Boat Show where our new Southerly 49 will be on display and then we’ll be in Toronto for the end of the Toronto Boat Show January 14-17.
There are lots of great new products and innovations on the market to make life aboard more comfortable, safe and pleasurable. As boats are hauled out and winter sets in planning next year’s adventures by doing research, taking a course, attending boat shows, reading a good book are all ways to deal with cold weather and keep the cruising dream alive until spring launch. Paul will be discussing the new gear we are considering for our new Southerly 49 in his New Boat Blog so we invite you to drop by the Distant Shores website regularly to take a look.