We have a teenager on board. India turned 13 last week without much fanfare. Ryan and I both came down with some nasty crud. If not for our flu shots last fall, it would have turned into a full-blown case of influenza. Being ill on a boat is not fun. My parent’s made a brief appearance for India’s birthday but quickly retreated back to Idaho upon seeing how ill we were.

Fortunately, India’s birthday party was already scheduled for this weekend. We will be sailing to Seattle with a boat full of teenagers and Ryan’s sister. When India said she wanted an overnight sailing trip for her birthday party, we were thrilled. We are keeping our fingers crossed this is a sign she may be coming around to the idea of living on a boat. It is also entirely possible she is just looking for a reason to go to the comic book store in Pike Place Market.

Now back to the illness, or rather, what activities were thwarted by the sudden onslaught of the aforementioned plague. The Seattle Boat Show lasted two weekends. We had a full five days of seminars planned. We were only able to make two.

Friday, January 29th, was the first day of the show. I was able to attend Friday the 29th and Saturday the 30th. We were only able to make the last day of the show, February 6th after that. This was pretty disappointing as there were several seminars we were hoping to attend.


  • The first seminar on cruising with kids was entertaining, but was geared towards families with kids under the age of ten and dealt with cruising in the eighties. A lot of the information was really outdated.
  • The second one on night navigation was informative, but almost verbatim out of the USCG pamphlet.
  • The third one we attended on diesel engine basics was okay. The presenters for this put a lot of time into selling themselves and not much time on the topic. We could have received the same information out of a book. In fact, their handout was photocopied from a book with an advertisement for their off-shore sailing lessons included.
  • Seminar number 4 was on cruising on a budget. It was really bad. The speaker started out by telling you to buy the cheapest boat you could find without any refrigeration, water maker, etc. She went on to talk about how to get around having insurance by purchasing a policy for a month and then presenting the canceled insurance certificate to marinas and customs. This practice is also known as insurance fraud. Then she said you want a cheaper boat so the locals won’t think you have money and start asking you for things and bothering you. Next she started dissing Microsofties and it went downhill from there. We walked out after twenty minutes. We couldn’t believe they had this woman as a speaker where vendors are trying to sell boats. We were expecting tips and tricks to save money such as, where to stay and avoid, shopping local and tourist traps. This was just bad.

After the seminars, we wandered through and started to look at electronics but Ryan was fading fast so we headed home.


Ryan woke up, rolled over and announced I was on my own today.

  • The first seminar today was on gear needed for offshore sailing. I ended up with a West Marine checklist, which will be handy, but could have been downloaded from West Marine without sitting through the seminar.
  • Number two was on blue water sailing. Most of the seminar was spent on what type of boat not to get for blue water cruising. There was a strong focus on mono-hulls and which ones to avoid. There are a lot of mass production boats designed for charter, which are not suitable for an ocean voyage. First, we already have a boat. Second, our boat is already rated for blue water sailing.
  • An informational meeting on the Coho Ho Ho, which is a cruising rally from Seattle to San Diego was the third seminar for the day. This was a good hour. We may be doing this; at a minimum there is a preparation seminar series included in the rally fee, which looks very informative.
  • Surviving Storm Conditions came next. Step One: Avoid storms. Step Two: Watch the weather (see Step One) Step Two: Have appropriate safety gear. The only references made about catamarans were all, “you don’t want to do this with a catamaran.” There was no mention of what you want to do if you are in a catamaran; they only said what not to do. On the plus side, I did learn we don’t really need a storm main because our main has three reefs built in.
  • The last seminar I was able to attend was on twin engine docking. I only stayed for a few minutes after it because apparent this wasn’t going to apply to our vessel. The seminar was focused on powerboats.

By this time, I was starting to feel the onset of flu-like symptoms and decided bed was an excellent idea.

We spent the next few days not moving much.

Saturday, February 6th, we returned and took a good look at all of the electronics. Just to break things up a bit, I am going to make this a separate post.


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