Sailing South

The final official event of the SAIL Magazine ICW Rally was the “Sailing South Seminar,” a full day of seminars on destinations south, including continental breakfast, lunch, one-on-one with the speakers, and a Q&A session. This all-day event was open to the public for registration, capped at 108 participants, for $125/couple. Rallyers received free admission as part of the Rally. We were at capacity with a waiting list, filling seats as a few registrants canceled at the last minute.

The event was held at The Corazon Cinema and Cafe, the oldest brick building in St. Augustine, in the historic district across the street from the Lightner Museum. It was an intimate setting that allowed the boaters to sit in on a presentation, mingle in small groups, or chat with the speakers. Here is Sara Lewis, who with husband, Monty, created the Explorer Chartbooks to the Bahamas:

Lewis Bahamas

Rally co-leader Mark Doyle spoke on the Dry Tortugas, suggesting that this unique archipelago 70 miles off Key West should be on every cruiser’s bucket list. He covered logistics such as weather windows, routes, anchoring, provisioning and permits, highlighted with some beautiful photographs.

Doyle Dry Tortugas

Mark Thompson covered the Caribbean, both the Leeward and Windward Islands. As a charter captain, sailing instructor, and a former full-time Caribbean resident, he has had lots of experience with this myriad of islands, each with its own culture and boating opportunities.

Thompson Caribbean

According to the attendees, one of the major draws of this event was the latest news on cruising to Cuba. Don and Cheryl Barr, author of Yacht Pilot’s Cruising Guide to Cuba, described some itineraries for Cuba’s north and south coasts. They addressed questions of crossing from Florida and official procedures. This was followed by a short Q&A session with Peter Swanson of PassageMaker‘s TrawlerFest and formerly of, on the regulation details for American-registered vessels hoping to visit Cuba. Yes, it is possible, but it isn’t yet as simple as cruising to the Bahamas.

Barr Cuba

Thanks again to Lisa Tarlecky of St. Augustine’s Cruisers Net who stepped in to serve as Event Manager for the day. Now, on to destinations south!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *