We had a great time at the Vancouver Boat Show over the Family Day weekend. We wandered round talking to various people about insurance, local marinas (for when Doug and Illusion return to Vancouver) and options for heating and lighting on the boat. I was excited to meet the lovely people staffing the Bluewater Cruising Association stand – they were very reassuring about the fact I don’t have a clue about sailing and I look forward to heading to some of their events while Doug is away.
Doug and Mikee (crew member Deb’s partner, who will be going down to New Zealand to help prepare the boat) stood around for hours having fascinating conversations about rigging options. Meanwhile I tried to work out what the various boat parts are called. Doug was pleased to find a MacGregor to show me around. He’s told me before that it’s a boat that divides opinion and I definitely got a sense of that as we talked to various people at the show – seems it’s a make that people either love (those who own or sail them) or hate (those who’ve never sailed them!). We also made it to a couple of the seminars – I especially enjoyed listening to Wayne Lutz talk about living off the grid on his floating house on Powell Lake. Funny and a great story-teller – I’ll have to check out his books. There were various other writers there too, and though I didn’t get to hear all of them speaking, I enjoyed chatting to the very friendly guys at the BC Marine Author display booth.
In fact, a highlight for me was realizing how friendly the sailing community is. Everyone was happy to chat and share stories about sailing – this is a group of people I think I would get along pretty well with. Warm, open and quirky – perfect combination! The other good discovery occurred on our second day (we bought a two-day pass which was a good deal and gave us loads of time to see everything) while exploring the outdoor section of the show down at Granville Marina. We were with our friend Malcolm who was visiting from Scotland (and who on his regular work trips is our personal supplier of Yorkshire tea, digestive biscuits and other English essentials) and wandering from boat to boat, I realized that although it was fun to check out the huge, very expensive power boats, my tastes are actually pretty simple. There were some seriously impressive boats to look at, but the smaller, simpler layouts were definitely more my thing – the ones where you actually feel like you’re on a boat. This was a relief for Doug, who was wondering when to mention the lack of giant TV screen, piano or bar on Illusion.
Overall, a great show with loads to see – and it got me really inspired and excited that this is a world I’ll get to be part of soon!