Today was a hectic one, made moreso by the fact that I couldn't get to sleep last night and woke up quite early, ready to crush and destroy the alarm clock blaring beside me. Tomorrow morning is beginning to look like it might well be similar...
I had two seminars to give at Cruisers U, an educational forum here in Annapolis for boaters planning on heading out cruising. The roster of speakers includes some of the best known sailors in the world, and I am very humbled by the fact I have been selected to be amongst these sailors whose abilities and accomplishments in this sport far exceed mine.
My talks today were on Cruising the ICW and Cruising Cuba - both popular topics. Because this seminar is US based, I made substantial last minute revisions to the ICW seminar to reflect the interests of those attending and the most recent information from my just finished trip north - and I'm pleased to say that this seminar was particularly successful. The Cuba seminar was well attended - not up to expectations but I was speaking opposite Gary Jobson, so what was I to expect?
As usual, Americans long to sail to this forbidden (to them) land and experience the Caribbean as it once was - and my goal was to give them a sense of what they were missing, and some ideas on how they might accomplish their goal - legally of course. Fact is, more and more US sailors are traveling to Cuba and then heading on into the Caribbean, thus avoiding US restrictions on going there. On my last visit to Marina Hemingway, I met a number of US boaters doing just that, in boats from 27 feet to a 100 foot plus US registered megayacht.
The crowd at my ICW seminar was particularly friendly and we had a lot of fun and laughter - the best chuckle was when someone noted that a water bottle was shadowing part of a chart projected onscreen where I was highlighting a navigational problem. He suggested, to much laughter, that there was a 'bottleneck' causing the problem in that area, and I responded by moving the bottle and stating that we had saved the US Corps of Engineers the trouble of dealing with this problem.
Always great to speak to a receptive audience and they had lots and lots of questions at the end - another good sign that you've engaged your group.
Tomorrow I've got the Cuba seminar again, then the SAIL Magazine luncheon, then an opportunity to wander the show and touch base with industry friends.
This boat show also features the maritime flea market, at which you can find some great deals. I scored an on demand propane water heater, so hot showers on board will soon be the rule - and since I'm feeling 'impish' today, I'll ask if anyone cares to join me to lather up once it's installed? (ps Doc, that invitation was NOT for you...)
Doc, who traveled up from Florida with me, has been busy posting photos and comments on Facebook about our trip. I came back to the hotel to find dozens of remarks and tags awaiting me - including some clever jabs at me which I had more fun defending myself on.
Here's a photo of my new water heater.... the best part of a tankless unit when used on a boat in the Great Lakes is that as long as you have propane....you have hot water. How nice is that? Now I've got a generator and/or solar energy to power hair dryers and a hot water shower capability. Gypsy Wind will be just like home...only better!
What more could a wandering sailor ask for? Depends on how impish he's feeling I guess!