1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: March 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Too much fun - Boat Shows to Bahamas edition

It's been a busy couple of months and, I admit it, I've been careless about keeping up the blog with so many other things to do...like enjoying the warm Florida sunshine...so...
A quick recap - after the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally ended in Miami in mid December, I spent a couple of weeks recuperating at No Name Harbor. I then cruised back north to Cocoa Florida, where I am still, to park the boat while Aduana and I went up to the Toronto Boat Show. It was great fun to meet up with so many of you there, and also later on at the Miami Boat Show.
Returning from my annual dose of winter weather, I got to work on some deferred maintenance issues - as in VERY deferred maintenance, like repairing a soft foredeck.
Lesson learned - when you install a windlass, or do any sort of work that involves breaching the deck's fiberglass skin, always drill out the area, fill with resin, and redrill the holes. Otherwise you end up with a very challenging repair job a couple or so years down the line. I should have known better, so now you can learn from my experience.
On the bright side, my Quik windlass is now very strongly mounted on a very solid foredeck, and the electrical connections have all been upgraded. I'm quite pleased, even if it did take what seemed like forever. Ok, I've been taking life easy....I admit it. That's what you're supposed to be doing, out here, when you're not fixing your boat.
The next must-do project is a new genoa, using a Sailrite kit. Some of you will remember I also sewed my own mainsail several years ago. This project will be a lot easier with that experience behind me. Be watching for an article in Cruising World on this project in the future.
For those planning on doing the ICW, this next item will be something of interest - in September's Sailing South issue of Cruising World, be watching for my article on 'the Highs and Lows of the ICW'.
This article will address the issues of bridge heights and shoaling problems on the ICW. With cruisers purchasing larger, 'ICW friendly' boats, masts are now very commonly over 60 feet off the water, with the controlling height of the ICW supposedly being 65'. Well, that isn't quite true, and I'll be discussing it, and how to deal with the problems of low bridges and tall masts.
As well, I'll be discussing the current state of ICW shoaling, the problem areas and how to deal with them.
If you, or anyone you know, is planning an ICW voyage, this will be a must have issue - and I told my editor I'd tell y'all that! Don't let me down!
The 2017 Sail to the Sun ICW Rally is coming along very well, with just under a third of the available slots sold as of the beginning of March.
I've upgraded the site so that you can now sign up and pay directly from the site, along with other changes promised last year - so you see, I really haven't been that lazy after all. 
As in years past, we will have the one day Annapolis seminar, the great parties, the sundowners, touring and all the rest of that great stuff that makes doing the ICW so enjoyable. For more details, check out the 2017 Sail to the Sun ICW Rally page
The Rally is so enjoyable in fact that I will let Sail to the Sun ICW Ralliers Frank and Mary Grace Stitch tell you about the S2tS ICW Rally Reunion held recently in the Exumas. Several of the Ralliers who were stateside flew in for the event, and...well, here's the link to Let It Be's blog article - Sail to the Sun Rally Reunion. Just to give you a taste of the fun these guys are having, the photos here are from Marg's blog above, linked here again.
S2tS Rally members hanging out...
Tom and Louise in the Exumas...
This particular Rally group has been hanging together since the rally formally ended in Miami in mid-December. Several of them crossed the Gulf Stream as a group, and they've been meeting up in the Abacos and Exumas for the last several months - snorkelling, sailing, dining aboard each other's boats, dining out, basically destroying their livers if you really want to know...but they've been having a blast.
This is of course what a Rally is supposed to be about - the cameraderie of good friends having a great time together. I cannot tell you how proud I am to see this....and almost as proud as I was when I found out from the group's FB page that they were entering the races in George Town, Exumas, as the Sail to the Sun ICW Rally team! They placed third in their class, which was pretty darn good I think - and rumour has it that had they not taken time to sit down for lunch together rather than tend the sheets, they just might have come in first. This is a bunch that understands what the priorities are!
That's it for now - as always, you can follow the adventures of Aduana and myself via the Sailing and Cruising page on Facebook.

S2tS Ralliers snorkelling over the reefs