Strictly Sail 2013.. er, 2014?!

Strictly Sail Chicago – 2014

We skipped a year! Well, we didn’t skip the show, just the post. I assure we were there, and soaking up the sights, sounds and info like sponges as usual.

Strictly Sail Chicago is hands down one of the best shows in the country for sailors of every kind. Racers? Day sailors? Cruisers? Curious-Georges? There’s is something for everyone! Since we have discovered it we have been faithful attendees.  Every year we purchase our admission tickets and climb around on a display boat or two, attend many hours of FREE seminars on a variety of topics from upgrading your deck hardware to managing relationships, and I never leave without having a few “Ah-ha!” moments.

For example: Did you know that it is illegal for a business to make a color copy of your passport? A few of you are probably rolling your eyes, and thinking, “Yes, little one, we did.” Well, how about this? Did you know that you can personally make a color copy of your passport at home, and then take it and the passport with you to a notary, and have it legally stamped as a “Certified Likeness?” Next time you travel out of the country and head into a foreign town for a shopping day or what have you, you can leave your passport safely in your luggage or hotel safe and take the certified likeness  with you. If you lose it, or it gets stolen it’s useless to anyone who picks it up. BUT! What if something were to actually happen, and you needed to prove who you are? Well, that color copy serves it’s legal, trouble free purpose for you, or if your original passport it lost while in a foreign place, that certified likeness GREATLY expedites the processing and issuing you of a new one. (Thank you, Lin Pardey for your Paperwork of Cruising seminar!)

We, also, get to meet so many great people. It really is fantastic. A few years ago I met Bob Bitchin’ and his wife, Jody. SUUUPER fun and friendly folks, and great resources for information, and of course, awesome sea stories to tell. I get my picture taken with at least Bob, and Jody, too, if she’s available, and they are never short on  hugs and smiles. If you are not familiar with their new magazine Cruising Outpost, please follow my link!

Me, Bob Bitchin’, and Jody of s/v Lost Soul and owners of Cruising Outpost Magazine – Strictly Sail Chicago 2014

This year we were excited to meet several more BIG NAMES in the sailing world!

Paul and Sheryl Shard of Distant Shores put on several seminars this year, and spent a fair amount of time down in the Author’s Corner of show meeting and talking with people. They were a truly lovely couple. We spoke briefly during the first day of the show, and after that it seemed they never missed a chance to go out of their way  to say “hello” to us each time they saw us again, be it in a seminar, or just walking in the same direction during the show. I was so fascinated with them that I didn’t think to get a picture with them. They were very busy, and I didn’t want to take up any more of their time either, but I  have no doubt we will meet up with them again. Please go check out their television show and their adventures here –
Distant Shores!

Scott and Brittany Meyers of Windtraveler fame was also in attendance. They did a guest speaker piece during one of the Shards’ seminars, and can I just say their daughter, Isla, is just as much of a charmer as you would expect!? Probably even more so! And the twins are due to make their arrival pretty much any minute – WOW. They were, also, completely swarmed with people wanting to meet them and take pictures – as expected – so we didn’t add to that chaos, but it was really a great moment for us to be able to put voices and live action to their stories. We’ve been following their blog since before they bought their first boat and left Chicago! Please go take a gander at their page here – Windtraveler – or just click the link on our blog roll on the left side our our page, and you’ll soon see how delightful and addicting they can be!

We were amazingly fortunate to meet Lin and Larry Pardey this year, as well. They have been sailing the world for 48 years, and only very recently have become land based once again. As genuine and kind and generous as you can imagine, these two were wonderful. Lin is a great presenter, and they have more experience and information in their little fingers than I can absorb in just a few short days. They have written several books, and recently, Herb McCormick, published a biography of their lives. I was privileged to have all three of them sign my copy, and Lin and Larry signed my copy of their first book for me, too. I hope to one day be anchored in the bay near their home in New Zealand one day, just so that maybe I can learn more by osmosis or something. One thing is for sure, we’ll be inviting them to dinner on our boat and bringing the guest book out at the END of the evening!* If you’re up for some delightful reading – whether you’re a sailor, or just a fan of true story adventures –  please check out their books. They have many, and you can do a search on Google or Amazon to find them all, but here are links to two:

Cruising in Seraffyn, by Lin and Larry Pardey

As Long As It’s Fun, the Epic Voyages and Extraordinary Times of Lin and Larry Pardey, by Herb McCormick


Me, Lin Pardey and Larry Pardey of s/v Seraffyn and s/v Taleisin, and Evan – Strictly Sail Chicago 2014


*During one of Lin’s seminars she explained that in the UK it is signaled that your evening as a guest on another person’s boat has ended when the guest book has been brought out and signed.  Naturally, this was exemplified by a humorous story of one couples’ very confused encounter with another vessel. They worked all day to clean their boat and prepare dinner for guests. In their over-excitement, when the guests arrived they brought out the guest book, so that they wouldn’t forget before the end of the night. Unfortunately, this politely and promptly ended their night – quite a bit sooner than they had expected… as in before dinner was even served!!

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