This weekend we visited Miami to give our very first seminar as part of PassageMaker Magazine’s CruiserPort at the Yachts Miami Beach show. CruiserPort offers free boat education seminars and Randy, Corey and I were invited to speak about our experience cruising to the Dry Tortugas. Before our presentation on Friday, we met up with Peter Swanson, event content manager (and former-editor-in-chief), of PassageMaker Magazine so we could get our media credentials. This was our first time attending this show and it was quite overwhelming—the amount of money tied up in these yachts and mega yachts was astounding! Peter immediately took us to the CruiserPort tent where we would be giving our seminar and assisted us with whatever we needed (even hunting down some ibuprophen from the Nordhaven folks for me—thanks Peter!). When it time to start, Randy, Corey and I each talked through our parts—I introduced the Dry Tortugas along with some facts and history and then took us through the pre-trip, Randy explained getting there, anchoring and snorkeling and diving spots, and Corey discussed fishing. By the time the presentation was over, we had about 10-15 folks sit in even with the difficult conditions of sun glare on the screen and a squeaking in the tent that would not let up. Overall, I think the seminar went well, even though I rushed my part a bit (I am NOT a great public speaker). We already have a list of tweaks and changes to make to our upcoming presentation at TrawlerFest in Stuart on March 1st.
Once the seminar was over, we walked the show and took a break for some beverages at the Goslings Rum tent. It was warm and very sunny that day so breaks were needed throughout our day walking the show. At one break in the very crowded tent, Randy offered to let 3 young folks have a seat at our table. We found out that they were crew for a 42.67M (140′) Benetti yacht that was up for sale at the show. We discussed what it was like living as “yachties” and the fun and challenges that they endured. It was very interesting to learn about this way of making a living. When we got up to leave, Randy asked about getting a tour of the yacht (most yachts that size require an appointment) and they were happy to oblige us. Since we were nice enough to give them a seat at our table, they told us to give their name when we visited the yacht. We set off looking for this giant yacht and were granted a tour by another friendly crew member. We were told this yacht was out of Ft. Lauderdale and used to charter guests. We were blown away by the mass and luxury of this vessel—none of us had ever been aboard a boat this size. It goes without saying that it was decorated and outfitted to the max! We were so very thankful for the experience in getting to tour this amazing yacht. For anything interested, it is for sale.
After we were good and worn out from walking the show and being around so many people in general, we headed back to the hotel and tiki bar for happy hour. Corey headed to the beach with his surf board (are you surprised?). After dinner, we called it an early night with plans to head to the Miami International Boat Show on Saturday morning. The show we visited on Saturday was the main show with the smaller boats and a lot more vendors. This show is huge and we got to visit it for about 3 hours before heading home. While there, we met up with one of Randy’s clients and his family and walked the show for a bit. We would have loved to stay longer at this show, but we needed to get back to Fort Myers since we were watching my parent’s dogs. While we love Miami, we were glad to get out of there. There are so many people there and so much traffic. It was nice to get back to our quiet little area on the Gulf Coast.