Hey, we know you love the Pacific Northwest, but half the point of cruising is the ability to escape the familiar. (Or maybe you’re divorcing or being hounded by the IRS. Midlife crisis stuff. Whatever.) TrawlerFest in Bremerton has the strategic info you need to find Margaritaville. May 16-20 at Bremerton Marina.
Let’s start with the hard part, getting past California. In his seminar “Seattle to San Diego, The First Big Step,” Devin Zwick will share the tips, tricks and strategies to make passages south as safe, comfortable and as much fun as possible. Zwick is a hard charging delivery skipper for Nordhavn, and he’s been up and down the West Coast more times than he can count.
Take over, Pat Rains. Author of Mexico Boating Guide and Cruising Ports: the Central American Route nautical guidebooks, Rains pulls out the charts to reveal the five most reliable stops for port clearance, diesel, sound night’s sleep and weather refuge on Baja’s Pacific Coast.
Then Rains takes attendees around Los Cabos and into the Sea of Cortez for a close look at the very best winter cruising circuits (marinas, anchorages, fuel docks, boat yards) and summer circuits (hurricane holes, fishing maps) and where these circuits overlap. She’ll also touch briefly on commuter cruising for those who may plan to leave the boat down there and fly back and forth for a while.
The name of the seminar is “Baja California, and the Sea of Cortez,” which leads to her second offering “On to the Caribbean Through the Panama Canal.”
Rains wrote the guidebook on how to take a boat from Florida to California. Now she reverses the course, taking her audience in the other direction, past the Sea of Cortez, along Pacific Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Costa Rica, through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean Sea. She will discuss many of the nearly 1,000 destinations in her book. Plus safe approaches from the sea, safe anchorages, where to find a marina slip, fuel, water, provisions, how to clear in and out of the various countries or find a ship’s agent, where to find boat yards, marine repairs and services.
Some of you may balk at the notion of crossing 5,500 nautical miles of water just to get to Miami for a rum punch under the palm trees. For you we have Ken Fickett, boatbuilder and storyteller (but I repeat myself). In his seminar “The Opposite of Northwest: Three Easy Ways To Get a Boat Over to Florida,” Fickett will review how Pacific Coast boaters can cruise Florida and surrounding waters without going through the Panama Canal or around The Horn.
And where else but Florida can you enjoy the wretched excess, goofy human behavior (Talkin’ about you, Capt. Ron.), ugly politics and…the best birdwatching in the world?
While you’re in a tropical state of mind, it should be worth noting that old Sol isn’t just for skin cancer anymore. As Matt Mortensen and Chris Brignoli argue in “Solar & Battery Technology Come of Age,” maturing battery and solar technologies could transform boating as we know it. Lithium iron phosphate batteries and solar panels can substantially reduce your carbon footprint while fueling your dreams of escape.
- General Admission to all three days of TrawlerFest’s In-Water Boat Show
- Unlimited access to seminars (Tuesday-Saturday) (Diesel Engine course and Boat Handling Hands On is available as part of the VIP package)
- Entry for one to Thursday’s Dinner and entertainment.
- Entry for one to Friday’s Docktail Party
There is also a three-day VIP package for $399, which provides similar value for Thursday through Saturday seminars.
Most PassageMaker fans know that TrawlerFest is more than a seminar series. The event’s in-water boat show, runs Thursday, March 2-4. Dozens of power cruisers will be open for inspection on the docks and vendors will be on hand to demonstrate products and services.
SEMINARS: Tuesday, May 16 – Saturday, May 20
IN-WATER BOAT SHOW: Thursday, May 18 – Saturday, May 20
120 Washington Beach Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337
Kitsap Conference Center at Bremerton Harborside
100 Washington Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337
For more information, visit www.passagemaker.com and navigate to TrawlerFest>Bremerton, or call 443-745-7785.