One warm spot for the otherwise ice-bound Midwestern sailor is Strictly Sail-Chicago, the sailing-centric boat show that unfurls annually, usually the same weekend as the Superbowl, at Navy Pier. A traveling show that's held in various watery locations around the country (Baltimore and Norfolk, Miami and St. Pete), Strictly Sail is a welcome respite at the end of our reliably brutal Midwest Januaries. Billed as the nation's largest all-indoor boat show, it fills Festival Hall with all things nauti:
It's an opportunity to do anything to satisfy the water-deprived sailor's soul, from trying on a 38 cm boat shoe, to boarding a 50 foot boat. The show also offers a plethora of seminars concerning everything from celestial navigation to boat organization, from cloud interpretation to diesel engine maintenance. I don't know what this guy was lecturing on, I just dodged in to take a pic:
It was either "Standing Rigging Basics: How to Tune Your Rig," or "Charts, Compass and GPS." So there you go.
This year we attended with our friends Dave and Margo:
You met them earlier. We sailed the Greek islands with Dave and Margo a couple of years ago. Here we were aboard Donousa, a 41 foot Beneteau that delivererd us through the swelling seas of the Agean:
We took advantage of the opportunity Strictly Sail offered to climb aboard another luvly beauty to recreate the toast:
We look decidedly less celebratory in this pic, don't we? It was January, for crissakes. It was damn cold outside. But it was a nice opportunity to start dreaming about the next time we'll be together in a balmy locale, steering a big pleasure craft to some exotic destination.