Wow, how different attending the boat show is now than it was the first time we went in 2012. My only real sailing experience in 2012 had been in February of that year when I completed several ASA classes. We did not know anyone at the show, most of the booths represented things I knew nothing about and Frank had almost as much to learn as I did.
Things have certainly changed in the intervening five years; thus proving that you can teach old(er) dogs new tricks since now I understand a decent amount about the products available in those booths.
But more importantly, we have met so many people through our travels, this blog, the FB page and by participating in events we encounter in various anchorages, that our weekend was as much about meeting with friends as it was scoping out new products and information.
STTS Rally Reunion (Photo by Ken Reynolds)
We had an absolute blast this year reconnecting with friends from the 2016 Sail to the Sun Rally and all of us were very fortunate that Susan and Kevin of s/v Radiance hosted us all for several gatherings at their home.
Talk about fun! Get a group of sailors together, with plenty of good food and libations, then throw in shared travel for two months down the ICW and the conversations become lively and varied. We cannot thank Kevin and Susan enough for opening their home to the Ralliers and anyone else we knew in the area!
STTS photo courtesy of Bill Ouellette.
I would love to share all the excellent pictures I took this trip, but I failed at photojournalism this weekend. I took all of ONE picture and that was of a huge motor yacht. I wish I had been more cognizant of my photo opportunities because I would have at least taken a group picture of all the 2016 Sail to the Sun Ralliers who returned. We ended up having 10 of the boats represented at dinner on Sunday night! WOW. And that doesn’t include our fearless leader, Wally Moran. We had better than half of the Sail to the Sun 2016 boats. Impressive!!
Personally, I am not sure Wally was prepared for how well our group melded during our STTS Rally. We were really fortunate to be part of the Rally and Frank and I are grateful to Wally for providing the venue for us to make such excellent friends.
Mindy and I last Halloween; could mean trouble.
In addition to STTS folks, we met up with a few people we had met through our blog, some other sailors we met in our travels and our fellow Jabin’s Yacht Yard friends Mindy and Ron of s/v Follow Me. LIB and Follow Me have been trying to catch up in various anchorages this year without success so we decided to make the meet up happen in our original stomping grounds. Of course this meant we had to share drinks and dinner at Ebb Tide, a bar popular with the locals and within walking or biking distance of Jabin’s Yacht Yard.
This hurricane season has made us all very aware that things are replaceable and people matter most, which made our reunion with these friends just a bit sweeter. Thank you dear friends for making time to visit with us and for sharing laughter and plans!
One unique and uplifting aspect of the boat show this year was the booths set up for hurricane relief to help the many islands and people so impacted by this horrible 2017 hurricane season. The Annapolis Boat Show established “Hands Across the Transom,” in an effort to encourage support of the Caribbean Islands. Organizations participating in the Hands Across the Transom effort included Virgin BVI Community Appeal, Pusser’s Hurricane Relief Fund, BVI Recovery Fund, Virgin Gorda & Bitter End Yacht Club Staff Irma Relief Fund, and Sister Season Fund. I overheard a lady selling #bvistrong t-shirts say they had sold over 450 shirts. GO PEOPLE!!
You too can support BVI and have a shirt like hundreds of your friends!
We also spoke with a couple of the BVI charter groups and I was impressed with the attitudes of all of them. The positive attitude and focus on rebuilding was clearly evident. Of course there was also fatigue, but the overall impression was one of moving forward and not languishing in sadness. We also heard that boat sales were brisk, so eventually the charter companies will be filled again with great boats available for vacations.
Both TMM and CYOA had several new sailboats launching from factories in France and those are expected to arrive very soon. It sounded like the charter companies were targeting mid November or early December for sending out chartered boats. I was really happy to hear the date was that soon.
Frank and I did make some purchases during the boat show and per our usual modus operandi, did a LOT of research and information gathering. I will dedicate a blog to what we learned and our purchases very soon.
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