Monday, January 13, 2014

Different Strokes

Boot Key Harbor

It seems trivial to say , "Different strokes for different folks." We shouldn't be surprised when cruising friends have very different choices about where to cruise, when and how. It shouldn't be surprising but it is.

  • Several cruising friends like to spend time at Diner Key in Coconut Grove. We stopped there last month. We spent two nights and one day exploring, then left because we saw nothing appealing or interesting about that place.
  • Several cruising friends like to spend time at Miami Beach. We stopped there once. We spent two nights and one day exploring, then left because we saw nothing appealing or interesting about that place.
  • Ditto for Charleston, SC. Ditto Fort Lauderdale. Ditto Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth VA, and Savannah.
  • We like Vero Beach. Part of the attraction is the great friends we make because the marina makes people raft together. But many other cruisers refuse to stop at Vero ever because of the rafting.
  • We (and 250 other boats) like Marathon where we are right now. But 400 boats prefer to winter in Georgetown, Bahamas. The things we hear about Georgetown make us say, "No Thanks."
  • The most famous stop in The Abacos is Guano Cay and Nippers Bar. We chose to not stop there numerous times.
  • Our very favorite part of the ICW is The Dismal Swamp Canal, Elizabeth City, and the upper Pasquotank River. 90% of cruisers choose to go the other way and have never seen those things we love.
  • We don't want to sail in the cold. Therefore, we rush each year to arrive in Florida no later than November 1. Many of our cruising friends do it very differently. They average only 20 miles per day on the ICW and take two months to get from Norfolk to Vero. By the time they arrive, they have seen much cold and many storms. If they want to cross to The Bahamas, winter weather patterns set in making crossing windows few and far between. On the other hand, they find places and things en route that we miss.
  • We took the inside passage from Biscayne Bay to Marathon this year. We made one stop in Key Largo, and did the whole thing in 3 days. Other friends doing the same made numerous stops and took 3 weeks on the same passage.

Every time I hear of friends enjoying things we shun, it creates self doubt. Maybe we could increase our fun if we hadn't made up our minds what we like and don't like. Hey, welcome to real life. At this point I should cite Robert Frost.

The Road Not Taken


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

1 comment:

  1. j. schieffelin1/16/2014 7:02 PM

    You are such intelligent, curious folks I am surprised you found nothing of interest in Miami or Coconut Grove.

    Miami Beach (particularly South Beach) offers very picturesque and unique architecture from the Moderne school. Really cool buildings and signage. Also very fun to people watch there -- all sorts of highly-dressed, slick and very not slick people strutting around. Some delightful, not expensive restaurants with awesome salads and fish.

    Coconut Grove has really beautiful neighborhoods if you walk a little way out of the town center -- handsome old Spanish style houses surrounded by dense tropical landscaping. Very atmospheric and appealing.

    Also wonder why Charleston has no appeal. Such a sense of history there, utterly beautiful old houses and buildings, many good restaurants -- it is a delightful city to wander around.

    I encourage you to take another look at some places you cruise through. You're missing rewarding experiences and sights worth seeing.


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