The classic R boat "Bernida," which won the inaugural Port Huron-Mackinac Island race in 1925.

The classic R boat "Bernida," which won the inaugural Port Huron-Mackinac Island race in 1925.

This month, I attended the Miami International Boat Show for the first time in four years (that’s what having a baby-now-toddler will do for you). Not only was it wonderful to be back in South Florida, visiting with colleagues and seeing the latest and greatest in the marine industry, I received two great honors from Boating Writers International.

The first was in BWI’s Annual Writing Contest. I received a Merit Award in the “Profiles” category for my feature story “Resurrecting a Legend,” which appeared in SAILING Magazine in January 2011. It was a thrill to have my work recognized in front of my fellow boating writers, many of whom I have admired since I was an enthusiastic University of Wisconsin journalism school student attending a Miami show with my family in the early 1990s. I also took pleasure in sharing an inspiring story to come out of my beloved Great Lakes — not just the story of the classic sailing yacht Bernida, but the story of a young Mackinac Island-based craftsman named Roman Barnwell, who never gave up on her.

The second honor: Following the general meeting, I was seated as a member of BWI’s Board of Directors. I will serve in this capacity through the end of 2014, and I couldn’t possibly be more excited! A heartfelt thanks to all those who voted for me in the recent election; I promise to do my very best to serve the organization and my fellow writers and editors.

So, February was a good month. A great month, in fact. Now I just have to get my head around the fact that I’ve traded South Florida sunshine for South Dakota prairie winds… my Timberline Media team heads to the Cheyenne River reservation on March 8 for 10 days of photography, writing workshops, “Passion for Fashion” volunteering and quality time with good friends. Stay tuned!