Saturday, May 10, 2014

Do One Thing, And Do It Well

Thanks to Dockside for allowing us to hang out all afternoon
We would have been long gone had the winds not kept us hunkered down in Boot Key Harbor.  And while I've been cursing them, it is thanks to these very same winds that we serendipitously had the pleasure of meeting Mark and Diana Doyle, producers, writers and creators of On The Water Chart Guides.

Bruce and I purchased these guides before leaving home, to use as our primary source of information about the anchorages and marinas along the US East Coast.  We also have two of the Skipper Bob's books and several other cruising guidebooks, and with our recent decision to forego the Bahamas this late in the season and continue on up the East Coast, we have been using them all in our planning, but the layout of the On The Water Chart Guides is by far the most useful and comprehensive of the guides we have.

While we were languishing in the harbor wondering what on EARTH we would do to entertain ourselves until a weather window materialized... we were delighted when we heard Mark check in on the morning Net aboard Semi Local.  We knew the boat name and I told Bruce "that's the guy who wrote our cruising guides!"  And we've been following them on FaceBook as well!  So Cool!

We met Mark and Diana while on our way to the weekly SSCA luncheon at the Hurricane on Friday and had a lively conversation about Cruiser Internet connectivity, of all things.  Mark and Diana are essentially running a business from their cruising boat and can be considered knowledgeable in all things related to staying connected while cursing.  I will admit that his setup is a bit over my head, however at least I now know what is possible.

Yep that's our guy... glomming onto my books!
Today we attended a "Round Table Discussion" about cruising the ICW, more specifically the Atlantic Coast.  Mark did a marvelous job of guiding the conversation to keep it entertaining and informative... to the tune of FIVE HOURS!  Yes, we didn't get out of there until 4 pm!  Where DOES the time go???

I knew that Mark and Diana had recently taken On The Water Chart Guides to non profit status.  What that means to me is that I bought the books when they were still going at the "for profit" rate.  What that means to YOU is that you can now obtain the Cruising Guide, AND the Anchoring Guides we bought at the more attractive "non-profit" price!  What I didn't know before now... is that they have also produced a VERY SEXY eBook version for iPad that includes everything you get in the paper anchoring guides, PLUS extra photos and voice overlay that make these the MOST exciting thing since long hot showers!  And if you buy the e-version, you will get the updates which come out about twice a year. I'm in a swoon....

The lucky few...
I know I'm beginning to sound like a commercial, but really, just sitting with Mark for a few hours has me so impressed by their commitment to "Doing One Thing And Doing It Well".  I suggested that they might do a Gulf Coast Cruising Guide as there are no good ones available.  Mark's response was that he would rather continue to cruise the AICWW and produce the updates that keep their product at the top of the heap.  And for that, I'm grateful!

But you don't have to take MY word for it... Practical Sailor has given On The Water Chart Guides the nod in a recent comparison of the forerunners of the Cruising Guide industry.  You can see the report from this most trusted name in the sailing world for unbiased critique of all things nautical.  The Doyle's books have been designated as "Best Choice" in the Piloting and Anchoring categories.

Meeting the Doyles has been such a happy coincidence as we head North after a short jaunt down to the Dry Tortugas, and I look forward to delving into these guides in search of SOMETHING that he may have screwed up!  Don't worry... I'll find it!  He can't be THAT good!!!

I have no monetary interest in promoting these guides, I just really think that when I find something that is exceptional, I want to share it with everyone who will listen.  So give the website a look and if you're in the market for some really good Cruising and Anchoring Guides of the Atlantic ICW... look no further.

Seems like we're always sitting around these days!
P.S. Oh, and I can't forget to give a big THANK YOU to Eric and Kim Stone at Dockside for letting us sit here all day taking up space!  And for the little boost on our ticket at the end!  Bruce and I came back with some friends in the evening and I was FINALLY able to see Eric Stone perform... I didn't want to leave Boot Key Harbor without ticking that one off the list!  And it wasn't creepy at all that Eric looks just a little bit like my Ex-husband...

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