Dave and I were figuring out the ins and outs of Sint Maarten: where to get Internet, laundry services, provisions, water, ice cream, and other essentials. As we dinghied around, we passed by Distant Shores. Paul and Sheryl Shard are a couple of our sailing heroes and their programs played a big role in inspiring us to become cruisers. On their Distant Shores program, they do a great job of introducing the cruising life, cruising destinations, people and interesting cultures. It is simply amazing to have gone from couch sailors to real sailors and now here we are in the same anchorage as Distant Shores! We passed their boat several times as we ran errands and explored the lagoon before we finally worked up the nerve to call out to them. “Ahoy inside, Distant Shores,” I called out. It took a moment, but suddenly there was Sheryl large as life right in front of us. Soon Paul came out and joined her. Now to go off on a small tangent, I just want to explain the odd feeling of meeting them in person. Dave and I have watched all of their seasons and episodes. We have watched them mature in their filming and editing skills. We have gotten to know them through their show. Now, say you meet a movie star, perhaps Tom Hanks. His face is extremely familiar but his role changes and he is a different person every movie. It is impossible to know who he truly is. But in Distant Shores, Paul and Sheryl are, well, Paul and Sheryl. So we feel like we know them well but they have never seen us before in their lives. It really does feel odd.
We introduced ourselves and they were just as nice as can be. They glanced around and asked which boat was ours. “We are all the way on the other side of the Causeway Bridge,” we explained. We described our boat, asked some questions, complimented their work, and had a really great chat. They asked if they could take a picture of us for their Facebook page. Of course! So we posed on our dinghy and asked if we could take theirs as well for our blog. They were interested in our blog and said they would add a link to it. How nice is that? Sheryl asked if we knew about the dinghy drift that night. It was announced on the cruisers net. No, we hadn’t because we forgot about the cruisers net and hadn’t listened yet. So Sheryl extended an invitation to join. If anyone is interested in their documentary style shows, Distant Shores, they are on the Travel Channel or you can order their DVDs. I believe you can see samples on YouTube as well.
We had planned on watching the Pacquaio vs. Mayweather fight that night, but Dave decided he’d rather take the opportunity to meet more cruisers. We hear the fight was a disappointment anyway, so we are glad we changed our plans. We did meet several new people. George from Wild Cat was a wealth of information of places to stop and places to avoid due to violent crimes against cruisers, such as Union Island, St Vincent, and the south side of St Lucia. Malcolm and Sue from Kool Kat are a couple Dave had been following on their blog. Jeff and Izzy from Izzy R kept us laughing while sharing information. Everyone brought potluck foods that were passed dinghy to dinghy and coolers of drinks. It was a fun and insightful evening. We made the right choice to forgo the fight and attend our first (and surely not our last) dinghy raft up party!