Featuring Rockin’ Ron & Cool Karen
from s/v Sea Dancer
From late January to April, you can enjoy one of Sea Dancer’s Rock ‘N’ Roll dances at Chat ‘N’ Chill. Sometimes it’s “Ribs, Rum & Rock ‘N’ Roll” themed on a Tuesday night, other times it’s some fun theme that the forever creative entertaining couple Ron & Karen have made up. Whatever the theme, it promises to be a fun-filled evening of dances, contests, jokes and prizes for all who attend. To find out when the next party is, sign up for our RSS feed, email updates or visit our Facebook page for details.
Here are excerpts from a great article about the George Town Cruising Regatta featuring “Ron & Karen on Sea Dancer” entitled “Good Morning, George-Town!” from Cruising World Magazine.
by Herb McCormick
Rockin’ Ron is ready. The tools for his job are close at hand. It’s 0745 on a blustery morning in the otherworldly harbor of George-Town, the glorious centerpiece around which life revolves on the striking island of Great Exuma, in the Bahamas. Assembled near Ron in the comfy center-cockpit of his Morgan 45, Sea Dancer, are these crucial items: a large cup of coffee; a pen and legal pad; a boom box; and, finally, the device that will play the central role in the upcoming enterprise, a VHF radio switched to “high.” Down below, the Rockin’ one’s better half, Karen, operates a second VHF.
At the stroke of 0800, Ron switches over to Channel 72, hits the boom box “on” switch, and presses the transmit button on his cockpit-mounted VHF. As music cascades across the vast anchorage via the dozens and dozens of boats tuned into the broadcast, Rockin’ Ron, with the polished delivery of a seasoned radio DJ, lets her rip:
“Good morning George-Town and cruisers! And what a night it was! This is Rockin’ Ron and Cool Karen aboard Sea Dancer, broadcasting to you live on WGTWN-VHF 72. Welcome to the 29th annual George-Town Cruising Regatta.” At sea and on land, listeners will be updated on topics ranging from today’s special at Eddie’s Edgewater (meatloaf) to tomorrow’s big awards ceremony (and the Rockin’ Ron Dance Party) at the beach bar (and unofficial regatta headquarters) called the Chat ‘n’ Chill. We’ll learn that John on Buddy needs crew for his trip to Puerto Rico, that Doug on Bad Boy is flying to the mainland and is happy to take any “flat, stamped mail,” and that Bob on Kavali House is offering “safe, secure, non-liveaboard boat storage” over in the anchorage known as Hole 3.
When all is said and done, Rockin’ Ron wraps it up quickly: “I’m going to sign off here, switch to 6-8, and go back to low power. Have a great Exuma day. The net is clear.”
Like everyone else in this (and almost every other) cruising community, Ron and Karen Sobon aren’t known by their last names; they’re “Ron and Karen on Sea Dancer.” Having retired from their respective careers in New Jersey—he at Verizon, she in commercial real estate—they’ve been making an annual pilgrimage to George-Town for 10 years now. “That seems to be a good average for how long people last,” said Ron. “We’re there. We’re the oldies now.”
Though working the George-Town Cruisers Net, which is an ongoing, year-round affair, is supposed to be a week-long duty before it gets passed to another cruiser, Rockin’ Ron, because he’s so good at it, has been asked to take over for the duration of the Cruising Regatta. He’s happy to do so, as it fits in naturally with the prevailing vibe, which has brought him back year after year.
“It’s the camaraderie,” he said. “Everybody helps everybody. If someone’s dragging anchor or has some other issue, people are running over to help you out. There’s just such a good attitude. What we always say is that George-Town is the way the whole world should be.”
Rockin’ Ron is a cool cat, and I have other questions for him, but he has to run. The other day, he was on the four-person team that made it to the finals of the ridiculously competitive Regulation Volleyball Tournament—there’s also Fun Volleyball for mellower players—and today he’s off to compete in the tennis tournament. The following bears mention, because along with the general George-Town attitude, another recurring theme among the cruisers is afoot. Like many of the folks I’ll meet at the event, Rockin’ Ron is trim and fit, vital and energetic, and could easily be mistaken for a 50-year-old. In reality, he’s 67.