In a bit more than an hour, the lines of people waiting outside of the grand exhibition hall at Navy Pier will enter the 14th Annual Strictly Sail Chicago show. Today is day three of this 'Sailboat only' show that runs until Sunday the 1st. The lines of cars down Illinois St. and onto Lake Shore Drive are long. Licenses plates from around the country are on display: Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and even a few New York and Florida plates.
As the country's largest indoor sailboat show, Strictly Sail is the mid-winter break for sailors accross the region and even accross the country. The crowds were large and consistent yesterday for day two.
Everyone's smiles were large as people climbed aboard the latest boats from some of the world's largest manufacturer's on display. In my many conversations, I couldn't help but think. "Do these people read newspapers?" The world 'as we know it is ending'. Things are crumbling. I'm being facetious, because if you read and breathe into being the words in papers accross our country- you would believe this.
You see, it's different for sailors. We are a conservative kind. Conservative in the fact that we respect the things around us. Since mother nature provides us with the winds that propel our watercraft, we fully respect the fact that at any time- things change.
There is a saying about the winds in Chicago. 'Don't like the winds you see, stick around- they'll change'. So as sailors we persevere, endure. We are respectful of the elements. Mostly we are appreciative of this sport so many are passionate about.
Activity has been brisk and if this continues to translate into sales. All will be well. There are many values in this economy. Smart buyers know that. Maybe that is what is driving attendance. Perhaps it may be that as sailors- we know a fresh breeze is upon us. The smart sailors are preparing to be on the front end of this weather front so as the winds pickup, they'll be ready to capitalize and enjoy the wind!
See you at the show!