Meet our Presenters

Paul and Sheryl Shard

Paul and Sheryl Shard

Bestselling authors and award-winning filmmakers, Paul and Sheryl Shard, are known to worldwide viewing audiences as the fun-loving and adventurous hosts of the Distant Shores sailing adventure TV series which airs across Canada on Travel and Escape Channel.

Both Canadians, the Shards grew up on the shores of the Great Lakes in Mississauga, Canada, and as schoolmates shared a love of the water and boats, outdoor adventure, photography and drama. Paul's first ever photography assignment was to document the high school play in which Sheryl played the lead role of Antigone. The rest is history...

In 1982, they both graduated from York University in Toronto, Sheryl with a Fine Arts degree in Theatre and Paul with a B.A. in Computer Science. Before their marriage in 1985, they worked in their respective fields gradually building their stage, film and camera credits while stashing their savings to fulfill a shared dream of building a boat and documenting their adventures sailing to foreign lands.

After 16,000 hours of combined work the couple built their first boat, a Classic 37 sailboat which they named “Two-Step”(the Shards love to dance). They launched her in Lake Ontario in 1988 and in 1989 set sail on their first international voyage travelling south to the Bahamas, across the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean, then on to Madeira, Canary Islands and Brazil, returning home via the Caribbean. The experiences of this epic voyage, which included underwater encounters with sperm whales and sharks, became a one-hour documentary, Call of the Ocean, which aired on Discovery Channel in 1994 and launched their television careers.

Following that, the Shards co-produced the 17-episode series, Exploring Under Sail, with Canadian director, Peter Rowe (Angry Planet). Their latest series, Distant Shores, now 91 episodes and still growing, brought them back across the Atlantic Ocean to further explore countries of the Mediterranean aboard Two-Step. In 2007 “Two-Step” went into retirement and Paul and Sheryl moved aboard a new Southerly 42 sailboat which they named “Distant Shores”. The boat was built in England and the Shards sailed from there to Madeira and the Canary Islands, then made a transatlantic crossing (their 4th) from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean where they filmed season 5 and 6 of the series exploring the islands of the Caribbean, Bahamas, the eastern coast of the USA and the Great Lakes. In 2010 they sailed from England to countries of the Baltic Sea for Season 7.

The Shards have won two WorldFest Film and Video Production Awards for Best Sailing and Water Sport Documentary and the Distant Shores series now airs weekly in over 200 territories in 24 languages on Travel Channel, WealthTV, and Sailing Channel. Early seasons aired in Canada on Women's Network and Canadian Learning Television and now airs on Travel and Escape Channel.

The Shards also inform and entertain travellers through writing. They are the authors of the best-selling book, Sail Away! A Guide to Outfitting and Provisioning for Cruising, currently being updated to a third edition; they have an award-winning web site and blog on www.distantshores.ca, and are contributing writers for Canadian Yachting (columnists since 1994), Cruising World, Sailing, Latitudes and Attitudes, DIY Boat Owner, Practical Boat Owner and Blue Water Sailing magazines.

Paul and Sheryl have now travelled to over 60 countries and colonies around the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean, Mediterranean, North and Baltic Seas; have sailed 85,000 nautical miles and have crossed the Atlantic Ocean four times.

Last summer, 2011, Paul and Sheryl documented a voyage from England to Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Isle of Man, and France for Season 8 of the Distant Shores TV series. They are now preparing for the Season 9 voyage through the French Canals, to the Med, Canary Islands and transatlantic to Caribbean.

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Paul and Sheryl Shard

Paul and Sheryl Shard

 

Presenter of:

Distant Shores