Sailing Plans

The kids and I had a great time at the Earls Court Boatshow in downtown London last weekend. In fact, the exhibition center was just a few steps from an Underground Station.

This totally indoor show was lightly attended, but I liked the atmosphere and emphasis on sailboats over powerboats. I guess the story is that the big London Boat show used to be held in this location, but was moved to a larger space in the Docklands (Excel Center) part of London. It’s taking place next month, but this year they brought back the Earls Court show as well.

Highlights? There was a big indoor pool with a couple dozen boats in it, including Gipsy Moth IV, Hanse, Gemini and others. My kids got to scuba dive for the first time (for free) with an instructor. We saw James May’s classic sailing convertible car from the TopGear TV show. We checked out a new Hans Christian 41 T. We saw a range of restored classic wood racing sailboats. We saw a display of wrecked but recovered boats, and read their stories. We saw classic wooden boats being made. We walked through a restored long boat for the first time.

One thing we learned years ago is that boat shows are good for discounts on sailing classes and cruises. This boat show was no exception, so we pretty much planned our 2008 sailing year and pulled the trigger on reservations and payments.

In January, both my wife and I start our RYA Dayskipper Theory courses. Thirteen Monday nights in a row for me to complete the coursework. My wife goes on Wednesday night. The courses are 6 to 10 p.m. in offices in downtown London with On Deck Sailing.

In April, I’ll finish up my RYA 2 certification with a weekend on the Solent with BOSS.

In May, my wife does a seven day cruise across the channel to the Channel Islands and back, and finishes her Dayskipper Certification with BOSS. (Our kids do their Optimist classes at [URL=””]Welsh Harp[/URL].)

In June, I do a seven day cruise across the channel to Normandy and back, finishing my Dayskipper Cert. with BOSS.

In July, we’re back in the US, and I have a three night cruise on the Columbia River planned with my brother on our Cal 20.

Overall, we had a great time. Here’s a photo gallery from the trip:

Eve Diving

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