Crew Changes at Distant Shores & Upcoming Cruise of French Canals | Distant Shores Sailing Newsletters

Crew Changes at Distant Shores & Upcoming Cruise of French Canals

April 24, 2012

Crew Changes at Distant Shores & Upcoming Cruise of French Canals

Welcome Spring! The vernal equinox has passed and everything in nature is moving towards renewal and change. What fresh new ideas and projects do you have on the go? What new things are happening (or do you want to happen) in your life right now? Such are the questions I find myself asking at this time of year as Paul and I are making plans for upcoming voyages and new episodes of the Distant Shores sailing TV and DVD series. And by the way, we enjoy receiving news and photos from you about your sailing plans through the Distant Shores website or Distant Shores TV Show Facebook page. Thanks for sending.

Lots of new things are happening with us this spring and our first news is that we've had some crew changes on the Distant Shores team:

Jill Schaffner
(For many years Jill Schaffner has been managing the Shard Multimedia office answering your calls and e-mails while we're immersed in filming or at sea, fulfilling your DVD orders, serving as a liaison with broadcasters and members of the media, assisting with line producing, doing the books and handling the day-to-day administration required in the smooth operation of a television production studio. Having just moved to a beautiful new home in the heart of recreational boating country in Ontario's Lake Country, Jill has decided it's time to make the move to semi-retirement so that she has more time to spend with family and friends. She is still on the Distant Shores team, however, handling bookkeeping and other administrative tasks on a part-time basis and serves as an advisor to new crew members. Jill and her husband, Peter, both avid sailors, joined us aboard Distant Shores II in Scotland this past summer for a trip through the Firth of Clyde and Crinan Canal then up the coast to Oban so you'll see them in the Crinan Canal episode which is one of the new episodes in Distant Shores Season 8. Thank you, Jill, for all your hard work, patience, diplomacy, charm and dedication over the years.

Dawn Cox
We'd like to introduce you to Dawn Cox, our new office manager who will be taking over the day-to-day operations at Shard Multimedia. Besides bringing many years of office and management experience to Shard Multimedia we're delighted to tell you that Dawn and her husband Phil are avid boaters and anglers. Every day that it's physically possible to be on the water, Dawn and Phil are out on Lake Simcoe and the Trent-Severn Waterway (Ontario, Canada) aboard "Recluse", their Chaparral SSi 215 powerboat. So now both Power and Sail are represented on the Distant Shores team! But Dawn and Phil are good sailors too. They sailed with us in the BVI for a week aboard our first Southerly sailboat, the 42-footer, Distant Shores. Dawn and Phil's love of boating is shared by their children as well. Son, Zeke, and daughter-in-law Jaime, own and operate Brennan Marine in Gananoque, Ontario, Canada. Welcome aboard, Dawn!

Tony Cook

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Tony Cook of who for many years has been webmaster for the Distant Shores website. Tony, like the rest of the Distant Shores team, is a very keen boater and he and his wife Annie, are especially dedicated to boating safety education. They both are active members of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons. Over the years they have served on the Bridge of the Toronto Squadron and York West District and are currently National Officers. Tony is the National Communications Officer and Annie is National Recording Secretary and the Chair of the 2013 Annual Conference committee and AGM which will be held in Toronto. Tony is a man of many talents. Besides his passion for boating and skills as a journalist and webmaster, Tony also has a passion for art and he paints magnificent watercolours. Tony has decided to focus his attention on his painting so has closed down since he is now involved in many art shows displaying his work and working in his studio creating new works of art to keep up with demand. We wish Tony all the very best with this exciting new venture! You can see samples of Tony's paintings as well as learn about upcoming art shows in the Toronto area where you can view and buy his beautiful watercolours at

Follow us on Twitter
Another new thing for spring is that we are now on Twitter and are sending out daily Tweets with helpful information about cruising, boating safety and equipment, and travelling. Starting on May 1st we will be back on board our Southerly 49 sailboat, Distant Shores II, in England preparing to cross the English Channel to France heading south through the canals to the Mediterranean so will be sending out daily (when possible) Tweets about what's happening on the voyage. Follow us @DistantShoresTV and please re-tweet any messages you think your friends would find helpful. Thanks for helping us to build our following!

Cruising the French Canals this Summer
The biggest “what's new this Spring?” is that we are beginning new sailing adventures starting on May 1st when we return to Distant Shores II where she has been stored in the yard at Northshore Yachts on Chichester Harbour in England for the winter. We'll spend about 10 days in the area preparing the boat for her summer cruise to France and when the weather looks good will cross the English Channel to Le Harve on the north coast of France.

(This is a Photoshop extrapolation of what it WIL LOOK like...)
Our plan is to travel the inland waterways from there to Paris and all the way south to the Mediterranean coast travelling through delightful and historic countryside while we do. This will definitely be a delicious cruise since we're travelling through wine and cheese country! Food is definitely going to be highlight but we've planned lots of walking and cycling along the canals as well to keep the calories in check.

We will take the mast down at Le Harve and have it stored rather than carry it on deck through the canals and then it will be shipped to us on a truck when we get to the south coast. Over the years, we've made transits through many canals with the mast on deck and it makes manoeuvering awkward so on this canal trip we're not going to carry it. We'll write more at the time about how we've arranged this, what the cost is and how it all works out.

Our route plan is to go south through the River Sein to Paris, then down the Nivernais Canal to eventually meet up with the Rhone River which we will take all the way south to the Mediterranean coast. However, due to a lack of rain, we've learned that the Nivernais Canal is experiencing very low water levels so, depending on conditions at the time of our arrival, we may have to go to Plan B and take the Marne Soane route to the Rhone.

Here is a map showing the two possible routes.

We'll be posting blogs on the website and updates on Facebook and Twitter throughout the trip and invite you to share in the adventure!

Well, we must get back to packing. The next post you receive from us will be from England.

Until then,

Sheryl and Paul Shard
SY Distant Shores II
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