Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Babies, Boat Shows and Sailing Idols

The boat show was a blast.  We got to catch up with some old sailing friends, meet up with a bunch of our great sponsors, and shake hands (and even exchange some hugs) with a few of you great folks.

Isla had a blast running around the aisles pointing out all the boats and, in general, just being her adorable little self.  Despite being at the show for over four hours, she was well behaved and happy - and even sat through an hour long seminar without making hardly a peep.  The "Earning While Cruising" talk put on by our friends Paul and Sheryl Shard was very well attended and Scott and I had fun getting our feet wet with presenting.  There were so many great questions raised and, in retrospect, I realized there was so much more we could have added so stay tuned for a more in-depth blog post from me on making a living while cruising because it's a very meaty subject that requires more discussion.

Another highlight was meeting some great sailing idols.  While I didn't get to attend their seminar, the intrepid John and Amanda Neal of Mahina Expeditions were there and we got to chatting about a possible collaboration in the future.  For those of you cruising sailors who don't know who they are, you should check them out now.  They were a HUGE inspiration to us and their website became (and still is) a go-to reference for us when boat shopping.

We also had the honor to be introduced to the esteemed Gary Jobson, editor at large of both Sailing World and Cruising World Magazines, sailing commentator for ESPN, former America's cup racer and president of US Sailing (among many other things).  Aside from all that, he just so happens to be a father of three girls, with one set of twins in that mix so it was fun to have that in common.  When he heard we were following in his footsteps he gave me a big hug with a knowing twinkle in his eye, which I wasn't sure to take as a warning or a blessing (haha).  We had a wonderful time talking casually with him and you'll see more of him on the blog soon.

While we weren't really at the show to shop, there was one product that caught our eye as something we would like to get for our boat.  The owner of ATN (you might remember we had their gale sail on Rasmus) was there demonstrating a single-handed mast climbing tool called the Mastclimber Both Scott and I were very impressed.  We have no affiliation with the product or company, but we plan on adding this piece of gear to our sailing kit when we head back out.  Hoisting Scott up the mast is hard enough as it is, doing it with three toddlers running around would be a veritable Chinese fire drill.

Another thing I learned at the show was that I am now at the stage of my pregnancy where I don't think I can be on my feet for five hour stretches anymore - at nearly 34 weeks, I am really feeling it if I over exert myself and so these next few weeks will be spent laying low and working on a few writing projects I have lined up.  Luckily for us, Scott's lovely mother has been in town this past week and has been a huge help in playing with Isla and helping me out so I can lay low and, quite literally, take a load off.  I'll gladly take the rest while I can because our lives are about to get (the very best kind of) crazy in the next few weeks!


Unknown said...

The mast climber is a very good tool. Diann and I have one. One option for descending is to have your partner release the halyard and slowly let it "down". That's certainly quicker and less effort than reversing the ascent proceedure.

(Darn girl, you look like you are full of twins!)

under30undersail said...

Oh I'm so jealous that you met John Neal! We were given his book Log of the Mahina about his travels in the south pacific on his Albin Vega and that was one of our big inspirations to buy a Vega and go cruising.

Courtney - SV YOLO said...

We are going to order a mast climber! Thank you for the recommendation. I had to go up the mast a week ago in an off shore harness (it was all that was left on the boat by the previous owner) and almost ripped my groin muscle. I was sore for 2 days.

Anonymous said...

I've been following you guys for a while now but finally found something i'm qualified to comment on!

Every sport has stuff that crosses over from other sport, and this is an instance where sailors have figured out what rock climbers have known for decades. I've been rock climbing longer than I've been sailing and an ascender set-up is an essential part of every rock-climbers gear for self-rescue if a rope gets jammed.

If you're thinking about picking up something like that kit, go to your local outdoors store (or REI / EMS / whatever you have in Chicago) and talk to the climbers about ascenders. You can get a lot more for a lot less.

Another knot every sailor should learn but most don't is called a prusik hitch, which is just a knot that takes the place of the fancy metal ascenders. Very simple and nearly foolproof.

Best of luck to you guys, you are an inspiration for all of us arm-chair young cruisers!!

Sue said...

Hubby uses prusik knot lots to climb the mast. It works really well but a knot we haven't tried yet is the Bachmann it incorporates a carabiner in the knot which may make it easier to slide.

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