My annual blitzkrieg of the Annapolis Sailboat Show begins like most everyone else; park at the Navy Marine Corps stadium and take the shuttle buses (yellow school buses) the 1/2 mile into downtown Annapolis. It was getting on in the afternoon, Trade Day, and this weekend has been the rainiest of the year so their weren't many in the bus into town, just the diehards. Up towards the front, three sailors started a conversation about cruising sailboats. One had flown in from Milwaukee and owned a Sabre 28, one had come from Chicago and owned a Moody 43 and there was a third fellow in a green rain jacket who I never got his boat type, though I did catch that he had served as a jib-trimmer on an E-scow. Since I'm not a cruising type, I half-listened to the their banter; cruising and racing in an around Lake Michigan, the advantages of propane outboards, where can you go with the 6' draft of the Moody 43.........Getting close to the first downtown disembarkation stop, the guy in the green rain jacket pronounced loudly enough to jolt me out of my trance, "I read Tillerman's blog. It's about an old guy who's trying to improve his racing of the Laser." Wow! His fame is widening! Hmmmm....maybe in a couple of years, Tillerman can also have lines snaking out of a liquor store, waiting for his autograph on his favorite beer brand.
As an aside, the couple sitting just in front of me on the bus, asked the question of typical newbies; which stop was the main show entrance? I said it was the last stop. They then asked if there were a lot of sailboats to look at in the show and would they be able to see them all in one day. I replied that it depended on whether they were gawkers, like me, or buyers. If you were a buyer you would want more than one day at the show. It turns out they had flown in from Dubai, they were definitely buyers and they wanted a sailboat to ship back to Dubai. They were going to make one salesman a very happy camper. (Unlike me, who had more or less emptied his billfold to pay the parking fee.)