1 LiveBloggin' the ICW

Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 Sail to the Sun ICW Rally

Yes, it's official now. The Sail to the Sun ICW Rally will begin on October 17, 2016, and end in Miami on December 15, 2016.
For those who followed the Rally this past fall, you already know about the great time we had. Here's the big secret however - most people presume that one goes on a rally of this sort for competent guidance, assistance in navigation and other boating related issues. All true, but....
The big reason people choose to rally south is for the friendships! Think of it...you've left your home, your job (YAYYY!), your children, your friends and family, your social groups....you and your partner are all alone on your boat now and facing some very new challenges. What better way can you think of to face those new challenges other than with a rally full of new boating friends doing the same thing as you are?
What you'll discover at the end of the Sail to the Sun Rally, or really, any rally of this type, the Caribbean 1500, the Salty Dawgs, and so on - as so many others have - is that you have a wonderful new group of friends with whom you've shared sunsets and sundowners, sunrises (too many of them for some!), challenges, great anchorages, fabulous parties, wind, weather and really, everything you go cruising to experience.
When you have problems, you have help available. When you have concerns, you have advice from caring friends. When you have a birthday or other event, you have friends to party with.
Two years later, the ralliers from my first rally still maintain an active private Facebook site and keep in touch, visiting with one another whenever possible. Some are well into the Caribbean, others are back in the Great Lakes, but they keep in touch and share their goals, dreams and plans with one another.
My most recent Sail to the Sun ICW Rally has a public and a private Facebook site - you can see the fun we had last fall right here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/WaterwayGuideSailtotheSun/ You'll have to scroll back a bit, since the Rally ended in December, but it's worth it to see the good times we all had, from Deltaville VA all the way to Miami, and points inbetween.
Along with those new friendships comes lots of great parties, and formal welcomes from the many communities and marinas we visit - such as our huge blowout bash in Cocoa, FL....
Mayor Henry on the left....Cat and Brad with him.
even Mayor Henry came out to greet us. We also had a waterfront pizza pub as our local sponsor - talk about a cruiser's dream!
Let's talk about the practicalities... what about all those difficult areas of the ICW you keep hearing about? Well, dealing with them, that's my job.
I plan our passages so that our boats will be able to safely and without any drama transit the shoal and difficult areas of the ICW. This past trip, we had two boats with 7 foot draft, and no problems at the most serious problem areas.
I also leave adequate time for us to manage weather issues, should they arise. With luck, it's sunny and warm with balmy breezes all the way south, but when it's not - there are adequate lay days available that the bad weather doesn't have an impact on our trip.
On top of that, in the months preceding your trip, I'll be providing tips and suggestions to help you get ready - provisioning, boat setup, navigation requirements and so on. And if you have a question, I"m there to answer it, or find the answer for you.
It's all about living the dream - living YOUR dream, on your terms. I understand that, having been a full time cruiser for nearly 15 years now. I know the challenges you face because I've been there and dealt with them, and helped others through those same challenges as well. It's all about the experience.

Let's get to working on your dream, starting this fall. For more details on the 2016 Sail to the Sun ICW Rally, go to the Rally Page and use the links there to request a brochure. If you have questions, you can email me from that page, or via the popup on this page.
I look forward to hearing from you, and having you join us on the 2016 Sail to the Sun ICW Rally - and helping you realize YOUR cruising dream!