Here in the Frozen Tundra of Wisconsin, winter is setting in – this weekend, temperatures didn’t rise above freezing, and snow fell in some parts of the state. I have my cold-weather running gear out – fleece-lined tights, wind-proof jacket, hats, mittens, and trail shoes – and my snowshoes are hanging in the garage. For now, I’m looking forward to winter.

I’m also still digesting all the great things I learned at PASS Summit and MVP Summit a month ago. I attended great sessions on Azure topics, professional development, and learned what’s coming in SQL Server 2016. I’m recharged from spending time with old friends and meeting new ones.

But I know myself, and I know that come mid-January, the cold weather and windy days will have me cursing winter. I know that I’ll be missing my SQL community, wishing for the first SQL Saturday of the year to arrive so I can spend time with friends that also happen to be geeks.

The good news is that I have a cure for all that will ail me mid-January: SQL Cruise. The Norwegian Escape sets sail on Saturday, January 30, 2016 and returns on Saturday, February 6. Seven fun-filled days of sailing, snorkeling, shuffleboard, and SQL Server training will happen between.

That’s right…adventure on the high seas! Pirates! Rum! SQL Server!

On the beach in Nassau after the best on-shore day ever

SQL Cruise 2015 – On the beach in Nassau after the best on-shore day ever

I’ve written about SQL Cruise before, and how it’s changed my career. It’s given me new friendships and strengthened old ones. Because of this, I highly, highly recommend anyone looking for a learning event with top-notch instructors and a very low teacher-to-student ratio consider SQL Cruise. The Technical Leads this year are an incredible group: Tim Ford, Grant Fritchey, David Klee, and Jason Hall.

I’m beyond delighted that Tim Ford, our fearless captain, has asked me to be a Technical Lead, too! I’ll be delivering two new sessions this year:

Everyday Extended Events

As a DBA or developer, you want to know what is happening inside SQL Server. Extended Events are the modern framework for finding and interpreting SQL Server’s actions. In this session, you’ll see practical examples to solve everyday problems, such as capturing queries and their resources, measuring wait statistics, tracking I/O for database files, and capturing index activity. Many useful features will be shown, such as the depth of events, filtering, and multiple target types!

Beyond CXPACKET: Understanding Wait Statistics

‘Time and tide wait for no man’, but SQL Server must wait for resources when executing a query. The lifecycle of a query is full of waiting, and SQL Server records when it’s waiting, why, and for how long. By learning how each query is executed, and observing how waits can accumulate along the way, you can unlock the secrets to what resources or code changes are needed to improve your query and server performance.

If you’ve ever considered attending SQL Cruise, today is the day to register! No one has ever regretted setting sail on SQL Cruise.