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Miami Boat Show Seminars
Marine Weather with Chris Parker – Chris Parker is a name cruisers run into on the internet quite often. He is the chief forecaster for the Marine Weather Center. I have read from several people who have depended on Chris’ forecasting to make sure their travels are safe. Chris’ seminar was similar to one we went to in Annapolis by Lee Chesneau. It went over basic concepts of weather and weather forecasting, and explained how to read weather surface charts. Weather is one of those topics which the more we hear it, the more comfortable we will get with using the tools available to us.
Force 10 – Storm Sailing Strategies – John Kretschmer is fascinating. He is a dynamic and funny speaker. While he did talk about storm tactics, he also regaled us all with some of his most extreme sailing stories. John’s website includes information about booking berths on his offshore sailing workshops (in which all of 2014 are sold out). John discussed the pros and cons to various storm tactics, which is an entire blog post of itself.
While John has a website and blog, his Facebook seems to be the best place to follow his adventures.
Safety at Sea with Marine SSB – Taught by Captain Marti Brown, this course discussed the ins and outs of SSB communications. I learned a lot, but I know my Captain had already done a lot of research.
Fifteen Upgrades for Your Boat – Presented by George Day of Blue Water Sailing, this seminar was a discussion of the top 15 things that are most vital on your boat for a happy cruising life. My favorite was number 15: a blender for sundowners. That’s why we do it, right?
Rigging – Presented by Colin Mack of Mack Sails, it was very clear the Colin was extremely experienced. He talked about ensuring the quality of your hardware and maintaining it. He also showed us examples of failures in riggings, and talked about why those failings happened, and what to look for in your own rigging, especially chain plates.
Atlantic Crossings: Lessons Learned from 20 Transatlantic Passages – Presented by John Kretschmer again. This was my favorite session, mostly because it gave us inspiration and encouragement. A lot of people raise eyebrows at the fact that we are going to cross the atlantic ourselves, but John’s words were that it has to do a lot with confidence. My Captain and I are confident we can do it and that’s what matters. John also talked about pilot charts and the necessary set up for an Atlantic crossing.
Para-anchors & Storm Drouges – Presented by Zach Smith of Fiorentino This was another presentation where Zach clearly is an expert and knew what he was talking about. He discussed how to pick out your para-anchor and best-practices for deploying and retrieving. While we were the only multihull people in the room, Zach took the time to briefly cover multihull scenarios.