1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: January 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Polar Vortex...Sorry About Your Luck...

Oh, the weather outside is frightening....I mean, there's snow - well, a snowflake or two in Georgia, but I have yet to hear reports of any crossing the Florida state line. This, of course, is why I travel south every winter. After nearly 50 years in central and Northern Ontario, I finally figured it out - spending five to six months of every year shovelling snow, looking at snow, cursing snow, praying for it to leave, I decided I had to get out. That's when I bought my boat...
Oh, I did make an attempt prior to that. One year, I decided in November I would ride my motorcycle to Florida from Ontario, leave it at a friend's place and fly down to it a few times over the winter, then return north with it in the spring. I was all set to leave on Saturday - and the previous Tuesday, it snowed. I can't begin to tell you how upset I was - I rolled the bike to the street, fired her up, put her in gear and promptly found myself underneath a 780 pound object.
I can't begin to tell you how upset I was that entire winter.
I'm aware that there are still some snowbirds heading south, not yet as far as Florida in this, the worst year for cold in the ten years I've been doing this. I'm hoping they're tied to a dock tonight, with a heater plugged in. And there are those who are living aboard in places like Port Credit, outside of Toronto, which is really cold, or in Annapolis, where the above photo was taken by my friend Mike - I swiped this pic from his Facebook page. You've got to really love boating to live aboard in these conditions.
A quick update on the Cruisers' Hangout - A Night with the Experts - since this amazing webinar featuring the top cruisers in the world - the Pardeys, Neals, Shards, Liza Copeland, Pamela Bendall, Tania Aebi...we've had nearly 900 views - that's on top of the 175 who attended the live event - on youtube. I'm working now on editing the production, and adding a ten minute interview with - well, that would be telling, but it's an exciting and interesting interview with one of cruising's big BIG names.
If you haven't seen this webinar yet and your goal is to go cruising, you can view it HERE. I'm working now on our next Cruisers' Hangout, but if there's a specific topic you'd like us to cover, let me know through the comments or via the Contact Form on this page.
Until then, stay warm. Or join me, here in Florida, cruising south on the ICW.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Amazing boat rescue video

A friend and colleague of mine, Charles Doane, who is an editor with SAIL Magazine, was recently airlifted from a badly damaged catamaran stranded 300 miles east of Virginia. Essentially, the boat was hit by a rogue wave just after passing through the Gulf Stream. Pushed backwards on its rudders, damaging both of them severely, the boat was only able to turn to starboard, even with full power on the starboard engine.
After taking time to see if they could effect repairs, and realizing it simply couldn't be done, they contacted the US Coast Guard to be taken off.
Below is the amazing video of this rescue - just stunning to watch these men in action. I got a chuckle out of the fact that they also rescued the beer cooler - just watch!
Following the video are some links to news articles about the rescue. Also, just posted now, is the link to Charles own blog and his post about what happened here - Charles Doane - an astounding tale.

Newspaper article link

p.s. don't forget to answer our vitally important question from yesterday's post...

And now, from the lighter side....

It's been a heck of a week - the successful Cruisers' Hangout Webinar, a busy busy boat show - I'm tired of being so serious.
So - without further ado - a question that has bedevilled mankind since - well, since Gilligan's Island went on the air.
As most of you know, Russel Johnson, who played the Professor, recently passed away. The news reminded me that I'd never fully resolved in my mind a burning question - Ginger, or Maryanne?
Men know automatically what I'm asking. Ginger, the sexy sultry movie star, or Maryanne, the quintessentially sexy girl next door.
So, guys - weigh in here. Which one is it? Ginger? Or Maryanne?
And for you ladies....a bit easier choice....the Professor? Sexy, good looking and smart. Or Gilligan? Goofy, good hearted and adorable.
Which is it? Let's hear from you folks...

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Thank you everyone!

Paul and Sheryl Shard, Lin Pardey at the Toronto Boat Show
Thank you everyone who came to, helped promote, talked about, blogged about and built the buzz about 'Cruisers' Hangout - A Night with the Experts'. This google hangout for cruisers was superb, with lots of folks in attendance and lots and lots of questions.
That brings up the only problem we had, and that was my fault...many of you here on LiveBloggin' expected this webinar to be more about the ICW than it was intended to be, and a great many questions showed exactly that. Mea Culpa, I should have been more clear that this webinar was about cruising in general. There will be ICW centered webinars in the future though, so stay tuned.
It simply wasn't possible to respond to all the questions and I apologize for that, but here's the good news - ALL of the questions you sent in will be answered in very short order, in the edited version of 'Cruisers' Hangout'. That will be posted in about a week to two weeks on both YouTube and here on LiveBloggin' - it's a great deal of work to do it right as you can imagine. Plus - be watching for a super special 'extra' segment I hope to add to it - this will be a real treat to a great many of you.
A great number of people on social media gushed about how much they enjoyed this webinar, and there were many calls for another one. That being the case, remember that you read it here first - we're already planning the next 'Cruisers' Hangout'. If you have ideas on the topic or topics you'd like to see covered, let me know. More on this in a later post.
Lastly, I'd like to thank my guests - Lin and Larry Pardey, Sheryl and Paul Shard, John and Amanda Neal, Tania Aebi, Liza Copeland and Pamela Bendall. They had some fabulous stories to tell, some excellent advice and offered a real glimpse into what the cruising life is REALLY all about.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Were you paying attention?

It's been an exciting Sunday here at the Toronto Boat Show, and tomorrow will be an even bigger day, with tomorrow's Google Hangout webinar, Cruisers' Hanngout, A Night with the Experts, at 7:30 New York/Toronto time.
Those of you who have been paying attention will have noted that I've added a new page here - and that page is a live feed for Cruisers' Hangout - yes, that's right, so if you should have any difficulty in linking up to the Google Hangout, just come here to LiveBloggin' and click on the link just below the photo of Gypsy Wind - or click on  THE LINK and your browser will open up a page here with the live feed.
The only drawback to this is that you can't use the Q&A facility that Google has for questions - but you can text your questions to (410) 849-9694 and I'll put them in the queue for our experts to answer.
And if you haven't yet signed up - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? The link to sign up is at https://plus.google.com/events/cj0mk5bit80f03it7bmbge7qphs
See you tomorrow!

So today I sat in on the Pardey's Storm Tactics Seminar...

..not only sat in on it, but LiveBlogged it on Facebook while learning about heaving to, reefing, storm parachutes and more great stuff.
Tomorrow, you'll have the opportunity to listen to the Pardeys', the Shards, Tania Aebi, Liza Copeland, Pamela Bendall and myself discuss cruising. Best of all, you'll be able to get YOUR cruising questions answered by these pros!
Questions such as one someone asked of me while I was blogging on Facebook - do these heaving to techniques work on a catamaran? Best answer: Join us tomorrow night on 'Cruisers' Hangout - a Night with the Experts', and find out for yourself...
(for the record, that question wasn't asked of the Pardeys today....so tomorrow night, I hope someone thinks to ask it)
Sign up for this amazing Google Hangout at this link here...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

So I spent an hour sipping rum with Lin and Larry...

I know, I know, that sounds like bragging, but the Pardeys are really down to earth folks - it could as easily been you there instead of me and it would have made no difference to them. They're really cool folks.
Naturally, we spent some time discussing Monday's upcoming 'Cruisers' Hangout - A Night with the Experts'.
I have to tell you, based on what I heard, this is going to be an absolutely amazing Hangout.
Lin and Larry are going to talk about their core philosophy and what changes have occurred over the years - and IS IT STILL POSSIBLE to “Go small, go simple, go now".
Following that, I spend some time with Pamela Bendall, another of our participants and she's got an interesting history for you as well.
In other words, DON'T MISS THIS AMAZING EVENT! Click here on this link... 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Are you ready for this?

Monday, January 13 at 7:30 eastern (NY/Toronto), what will be one of the world’s premiere webinars on cruising will be held LIVE on YOUR computer screen. That’s right - this group of the world’s most knowledgeable sailors will be talking directly to YOU, ready to answer YOUR questions.
So - are YOU ready for this? Here's a quick checklist for you - 
Have you cleaned off your computer screen for the best viewing? 
Found the most comfortable chair in your house? 
Purchased, chilled and have ready to sip, your favourite sundowner beverage? 
And, most importantly, even though it’s winter for most of us, have you slipped into a t-shirt, shorts and flip flops? 
Because that’s how real this Cruisers’ Hangout is going to be. You’re going to be in the cockpit with Lin and Larry Pardy, Paul and Sheryl Shard, Tania Aebi, Liza Copeland, Pamela Bendall and host Wally Moran, Contributing Editor from SAIL Magazine.

Sign up now, at this link here: Cruisers Hangout. See you Monday evening.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

YOW! The Buzz is Building...

I just took a look at the visitors's stats for the past 24 hours...over 1200 hits in the last 24 hours. Of course, to get those numbers, I needed a little help from my friends - the Pardeys, Shards, Tania Aebi, Liza Copeland, Pamela Bendall!
Seriously, Monday's upcoming webinar is going to be an AMAZING event - do you know that, outside of the poles, there is no place on earth this group hasn't sailed to? This group has achieved FOUR circumnavigations, one of them singlehanded, countless crossings of the Atlantic and Pacific, drank thousands of gallons of rum at sundowners....er, skip that last one would you?
These are the cruisers who wrote the book - let me make that books - on cruising (nod to the Pardeys). And if they didn't write the books, they did the video (nod to the Shards here). There are over a dozen books on cruising from this group - countless videos and how tos, innumerable seminars and presentations...and Lord only knows how many cockpit sessions with friends!
Frankly, if you want to learn about cruising, THIS is the webinar to watch.
Monday night, January 13 at 7:30 eastern (NY/Toronto) - go to the Google Hangout Page to sign up for Cruisers Hangout - A Night with the Experts

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


Come Cruising With Us...
By now, most of you have figured it out - we're doing another amazing Google Hangout, this time featuring the speakers from the Toronto Boat Show. These speakers are all acknowledged cruising experts and, between them, have sailed virtually every corner of our world. You recognize the names, now get up close and personal with them in this online webinar - bring your questions, because at least 45 minutes of this 90 minute program will be dedicated to answering YOUR questions about YOUR cruising.

Here's the official announcement:

Join SAIL Magazine Contributing Editor Wally Moran plus special guests Lin and Larry Pardy, Sheryl Shard (Distant Shores), Liza Copeland, Pamela Bendall and Tania Aebi for 90 minutes of cruising wisdom from the pros. 

Whether you're a new or experienced cruiser, or a wannabe, discover what cruising is truly all about from the people who are out there and doing it. Best of all, get your OWN questions answered live and on air during this truly amazing webinar. We look forward to having you join us Monday, November MAKE THAT JANUARY 13, at 7:30 pm eastern (New York) time.

You can join this Google Hangout by clicking on this link - Cruisers' Hangout - A Night with the Experts

Update #2 - The Big HINT!

Ok - the most amazing cruising webinar ever is looking to happen on Monday, January 13 at 7:30 pm eastern US time. And just who will be our guests at this amazing event?

Well - some hints....

What female sailed around the world with just a cat as company?
For our next guest, you need to look to distant shores...
Another has written two books and her boat on the west coast will 'steel' your heart...
Another speaker sails with the world's most amazing pup....(this one's a gimme!)
And our last two guests will only do it as long as it's fun...

Now, how's that? Can you figure this one out? Once you do, you'll realize just why this is going to be such an amazing seminar. And, you'll be able to ask the panel the questions YOU need the answers to. Don't miss this amazing webinar!

If you can come up with the names of our speakers for this Google Hangout, I'll provide you with a free download of 'Sailing South, First Timer's Guide to the ICW'. Use the comments form on this page, let's see who the clever ones here are!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Update Numero Uno - the BIG TEASE!

Ok - the first detail you LiveBloggers need to know is the date and time - at this point, the most amazing online cruising webinar (I am not kidding you about this) that you may ever see will be held either Monday, January 13 or Tuesday January 14, at 7:30 until 9 pm, eastern time.
The second detail you need to know is that you can join up and join in with your questions and comments on this Google Hangout by simply signing up - and get your cruising questions answered by....
...And that is the Big Tease - just who are the speakers at this amazing cruising webinar?
Stay tuned folks....this is going to be SO worth it.
The countdown begins...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Update - New Google Hangout on Cruising...

Ahoy LiveBloggers - stay tuned, I'm working right now on what could be the definitive - and I mean that, THE definitive - webinar on cruising ever held.
More details later this week, but so far, the initial planning is looking solid!
I wish I could say more, but it's all yet very tentative at this point. Trust me though when I tell you that if you have any plans to cruise at some point in your life, you will NOT want to miss this webinar.
It's going to be that good.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Did Santa Forget Something?

Boca Chita Key, in Biscayne Bay
Hello all, and belated Season's Greetings from Aduana and I. I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas season (or holiday season for the terminally PC) and that Santa was good to you. But....just in case he wasn't - I found (courtesy of LiveBlogger Daren Magness) some really great boat deals online.
Unfortunately, the 63 foot Oyster with a crew of former Hooter girls was not either in my dry bag (hung up by the propane heater with care), nor on the list of boat deals here, but LET'S ALL REMEMBER - my birthday is next month, and it's a big one ending in a '0'. I continue to hope...
Oh, in other news - Canadian LiveBloggers who are not frozen solid should be at the Toronto Boat Show, where I'll be showing off my suntanned bod - and doing seminars on the ICW and on Cuba. So, there's something for everyone, boaters, droolers and imps! Hope to see you there, I'll be watching for you!
This year's seminar line up at the Toronto Boat Show is absolutely amazing - I am just stunned at the caliber of the speakers.
First off, Lynn and Larry Pardey are speaking in their first time ever Canadian show. In addition to being interesting speakers, they are also really great, down to earth folks and you'll immensely enjoy meeting them. By the way, did you know that Larry is a Canuck? Yes!
Another speaker, Herb McCormack, hails from the publishing industry as do I - you'll have seen his writing in Cruising World, as well as other publications. We last met in Georgetown Bahamas, so there will surely be a few brews hosted sometime soon.
Paul and Sheryl Shard are of course at the show. Eternally popular with their Distant Shores tv series, they make cruising look easy! Hey, what am I saying, it IS easy! Sort of....btw, if you haven't picked up any of their videos, you're missing a true cruising treat.
John and Amanda Neal are once again at the show - I missed their seminar the last time around, but NOT this time. I've heard nothing but great things about them, and this seminar. This seminar is NOT to be missed if you plan on any serious cruising.
There are two speakers discussing how to buy your first boat - you should check this out, since a mistake here can be both expensive and VERY frustrating - like having to replace both main and genoa the first season because you didn't know what you were doing when you bought your first boat...'nuff said.
Liza Copeland, ever popular, returns with an interesting group of seminars....I first heard her speak at Strictly Sail, St. Petersburg Florida, in the late 90s, and I still find her excellent advice from that seminar applicable to my sailing today.
Tania Aebi, another world famous sailor, is also speaking. She was one of the first female solo around the world sailors - at age 18 in a 26 foot boat. I've not yet met Tania, but always looked forward to it.
Another female solo sailor, Pamela Bendall, will be speaking. Her book, What Was I Thinking, pretty much sums it up - at least for those of us who've gone cruising!
And, last but surely not least, there's myself, speaking on cruising the ICW, and also on Cuba. Here's the total Speakers List - check it out and mark your daytimer for the seminars you want to see.
And this is just a partial lineup of the show speakers - I'm really looking forward to this.
Lastly, here's the links to some really good boat deals I mentioned above- check out the Seidelmann and the Watkins - if you're looking to do some cruising, both of these boats will get you nicely on the water for well under $10k - Inexpensive boats