Neil deGrasse Tyson, Steven BullScience popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson cruised the waters of New York harbour with UWindsor alum Steven Bull for an episode of his television program Water Ways.

Boating show smooth sailing for grad

Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities in North America, but it has been “tragically underserved” from an entertainment perspective, says Steven Bull (BComm 2005).

To fill the gap, his production company Bullitage Media created Water Ways, which just began its second season of weekly broadcast on Global TV.

The show celebrates the boating lifestyle, Bull says: “from destinations to the latest and greatest watercraft to incredible stories from those who make their lives in, on, and around the water.”

He credits his UWindsor experience with helping to launch his career.

“My time at Windsor was truly formative,” Bull says. “The marketing foundation laid down by my professors at Odette have underscored the business realities of partners and sponsors and helped me start and grow a small business.”

Plus, a stint writing for the alumni magazine View inspired him to pursue a career in journalism which included several years at CBC Windsor.

He repays that debt by dedicating the 10th of 13 episodes, “Canada’s South Coast,” to Windsor-Essex. Bull, who also hosts, said the challenge is to balance showcasing a region’s offerings for those planning a trip while being interesting for those with no intention of ever visiting.

“In Windsor there’s so much to choose from it was hard to narrow it down,” he says, “but we feature kayaking near Point Pelee on Lake Erie, a sunset cruise on the Detroit River, a guided pontoon trip to Peche Island, and Sea-Doo rental and fishing guides on Lake St. Clair.”

He notes the program goes beyond travel and tourism.

“Anything in, on, or around the water fits the bill,” says Bull.

He spoke with UWindsor researchers and toured the Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre facility in LaSalle.

“The work the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research does is beneficial to everyone in the Great Lakes Basin, especially those who want to enjoy the healthy and clean waters,” he says.

The program airs in Ontario on Global Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Episode 10 is slated for Nov. 25.

Episode 3, airing Oct. 7, stars a special guest — popular science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson.

“I reached out to Dr. Tyson’s team telling them about the show and asking if he would be willing to give 20 minutes of his time to talk about the science of boating,” says Bull. “Not only did he agree to participate, he spent a few hours with us cruising the waters by the Statue of Liberty, which meant enough content to fill an episode.”

Other highlights of the season include attending North America’s oldest sporting event, the Royal St. John’s Regatta in Newfoundland; cruising the historic Canal du Midi in southern France; and a 1400 km journey from Toronto to New York through the Bay of Quinte, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, and the Hudson River.

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