Sailing adventure continues in Season 5 of the Distant Shores series with international cruisers, Paul and Sheryl Shard. In this DVD set the Shards conclude their cruise of the Mediterranean by sailing the west coast of Italy, visit Sicily, then sell their boat in Malta. In the search for the new go-anywhere cruising boat they visit the London Boat Show, charter a catamaran in the Virgin Islands, then have their new Southerly 42 sailboat built in England where they begin a new adventure sailing south to Madeira, Canary Islands, then transatlantic to the Caribbean and the out islands of the Bahamas. Also includes an episode on the Trent-Severn Waterway in Canada.
5-1 / #53
The season begins in Malta where Paul and Sheryl prepare their 37-foot sailboat, Two-Step, for a westward passage out of the Mediterranean. They are there in time for the start of the prestigious Rolex Middle Sea Race where mega- and maxi-yachts from around the world compete on a circuit of destinations in the Central Mediterranean. Following the race they make the emotional decision that after 18 years of sailing aboard Two-Step it's time for a new boat. Their search for a new boat begins at the London Boat Show in England where they investigate the latest yachts and participate in activities there. While in London they stay with friends living on a sailboat on the Thames River.
- USVI - Distant Shores 5-2 25 mins
5-2 / #54
While the wet winter winds howl throughout the Mediterranean the Shards store Two-Step for the winter and fly to the Virgin Islands where Paul and Sheryl sail with friends on their 45-foot motor-sailer Diesel Duck based in the U.S. Virgin Islands the heart of the cruising scene in the Northern Caribbean as well as the home of tree-top camping. From here, they sail to the pristine island of Culebra in the Spanish Virgin Islands of Puerto Rico, then on to the British Virgin Islands to learn about Queen Conch.
5-3 / #55
The Shards' next adventure in the Caribbean is to sail aboard a 40-foot catamaran with friends who are experiencing bareboat chartering for the first time. Paul and Sheryl meet them in the British Virgin Islands for an intensive week of sailing, snorkelling, and exploring these verdant and historical islands while learning about chartering and sailing a multi-hull yacht.
5-4 / #56
In the spring, Paul and Sheryl return to their own boat, Two-Step, in Malta just in time for the Good Friday processions where there are island-wide events of street theatre and spectacle. Paul and Sheryl make plans for their final cruise aboard the boat they have sailed together for nearly 20 years - a voyage up the west coast of Italy to Naples at the foot of Mount Vesuvius which they climb, and later investigate the ancient city of Pompeii, once buried by lava and ash of the volcano.
5-5 / #57
From Naples, the Shards sail south along the west coast of Italy. They cruise along this majestic coastline stopping at small harbours as well as visiting some of the new high class marinas and resorts being developed in the region such as Maratea and Tropea. In Sicily, they meet up with Two-Step's new owners for a week's hand-over cruise down the coast of Sicily and to Two-Step's new home in Malta.
5-6 / #58
While the new boat is being built in England, Paul and Sheryl return home to Canada for a summer of boating with family and friends on the cottage lakes and waterways just north of Toronto. They participate in local sailing regattas and regional summer festivals, join in the “pick-your-own” harvest, and also improve their barbecuing skills. But boating doesn't end in the summer time in Canada's Cottage Country. The Shards show the contrast of winter where fun on the water continues with ice boating and ice fishing on Lake Simcoe.
5-7 / #59
At the end of the summer, the Shards fly to England to oversee the final stages of construction of their new cruising boat, a Southerly 42RST. Between visits to the Northshore boat yard near Chichester, they explore destinations on the south coast including St. Michael's Mount and an organic farm in Cornwall, and later visit ports around Falmouth with sailing friends aboard their classic wooden schooner. At the end of November the Shards launch their new boat and prepare for a voyage south to the Canary Islands.
5-8 / #60
The Shards begin an eventful season of cruising aboard their new sailboat with a shake-down cruise from England to Madeira where they arrive late in the season in time for Christmas celebrations on the waterfront. Next stop is Las Palmas in the Canary Islands were they prepare for the boat's first transatlantic passage and are joined by British sailing friends, Wayne and Angie. This episode is high seas adventure as Paul and Sheryl and their crew sail the new boat across the Atlantic Ocean. During the 3-week passage, they celebrate New Years at sea, face good weather and bad and deal with the isolation of being away from land before concluding their voyage in Antigua in the Caribbean.
5-9 / #61
After crossing the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean, the Shards sail north to explore the Commonwealth of the Bahamas beginning with the remote Family Islands of the Bahamas starting with Mayaguana and Acklins Islands in the south. The Bahamas lie in a huge expanse of shallow water and the Shards are keen to investigate life in the settlements while testing out their new shallow-draft sailboat in the quiet anchorages here. They also dive the spectacular reefs here. Next they sail to Acklins where they try the technique of beaching their boat on the salt flats of the Bight of Acklins, renowned for bonefishing, and later celebrate Mother's Day with the residents of the Lovely Bay settlement.
5-10 / #62
The Crooked Acklins Atoll lies on the outer banks of the Bahamas and the Shards begin their exploration of Crooked Island at French Wells. Here they discover unique underwater creatures living on the salt flats and learn about the importance of mangroves to natural land preservation and reclamation in this region exposed to hurricanes. Next they visit the settlement on Long Cay where cascarilla bark, used to flavour the Italian aperitif, Campari, is harvested. Crossing the banks to Dollar Harbour they encounter whales and a traditional Haitian fishing sloop and after some tricky navigation through Hog Cay Cut arrive in George Town where local sailors have tamed several stingrays.
5-11 / #63
George Town on Great Exuma is the main settlement in the Exuma Island group of the Bahamas and from here the Shards begin their voyage north through this tranquil cruising ground. They first stop in the remote Brigantine Cays where they dive in a cave which is home to huge tarpon. Seeking shelter from an approaching “norther” they discover an unusual characteristic of starfish. In Cave Cay they meet a retired oil baron whose retirement project is to develop an environmentally friendly haven for boaters. In Little Farmers Cay they explore a cave and learn the importance of the mail boats to survival in the out islands. Their final stop is Black Point where they meet the artisans of the straw market whose weaving is crucial to the economy of the settlement.
5-12 / #64
In the Northern Exumas, Paul and Sheryl discover the wild natural Bahamas. In the Bahamas Land and Sea Park they meet the Park Warden, a “washed ashore” sailor who introduces them to wonderful reef life, and on hikes around the islands they learn about the plant and reptile life. In Hawksbill Cay they explore Loyalist plantation ruins and conclude their voyage in Nassau in time for the Labour Day Parades and celebrations.
5-13 / #65
Paul and Sheryl travel north to Canada for the summer where they explore the lakes, rivers and cuts of the Trent-Severn Waterway in the province of Ontario. They take down the mast in Lake Simcoe and learn how to safely go through over 40 locks in the Canal including 2 unusual lift locks as they pass through picturesque towns and historic villages on their way to Lake Ontario.