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Destinations

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by olderboater, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    This thread is at the urging of my wife. Whatever Belle wants, Belle gets. The topic is:

    Please tell your favorite destination or destinations for yachting and why.

    Rule number one: No negatives allowed. No least favorites and no arguing with others' favorites. It's individual preference and there is no right or wrong. Her rules.
  2. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Now we've only covered a small area in our limited yachting so far and we find something to like everywhere we stop, but if we had to list favorites, here they are.

    Key West:

    Incredible combination of things to see and do. We like the laid back and open attitudes but we also love the things to explore there. So much beauty and history. So many different things to do and see.

    Annapolis:

    It's doubly great. Great in it's own accord. We love walking some of the older areas and just stopping at the stores. We also love it's convenience within the Chesapeake. You can go out and enjoy the bay, you can head up to Baltimore, you can cut through to Delaware. We love getting out in the tender there and playing around. Plus the Annapolis Yacht Basin. We've never been treated better anywhere and they make it feel like another home.

    Myrtle Beach:

    Based on calling it a destination to anyone else, it probably won't rank at the top. Getting in and out isn't so great. But we do love the Grand Strand, especially in the winter. Plus the reason it's tops on our list and where we spend every Christmas holiday is that it was the first place we ever went together and we've basically adopted ourselves into a family there with whom we have a closeness that we'd never either experienced before meeting them.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    My two favorite ports on the east coast are Newport R.I., fun town with lots to see, and Beaufort N.C.. Beaufort just makes me feel 'at home'. Good people. Other than that my favorite port or piece of water is the one I haven't seen yet.

    P.S. Probably #3 would be Block Is., R.I. but that's in my back yard. So it's sort of 'Oh there again'.

    If I continued the list a little further there'd be Beaufort, S.C., Nantaucket, R.I., Sag Harbor, NY and St. Augustine, Fl.
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    Aside from KeyWest.

    1. Exumas- Staniel Cay up to Highbourne- beautiful, a wide variety of things to do (but all nature related)
    2. Charleston, SC.- Beautiful town, the ride up from GA to Charleston is Beautiful on the ICW. The town has many historic things to do as well as a wide variety of great food and great shopping.
    3. Key West- For reasons you mentioned
    4. St. Michaels, MD- beautiful, great food/sights.
    5. Ocean City, MD, it's a fun city with good marina's, lots of stuff to do on the boardwalk......
    St. Augustine- can also be nice with the fort, cobblestone streets, restaurants, shopping.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Hope we get some West Coast and other countries as well. We love making notes for the future.

    I love the answer of "the one I haven't seen yet." We've read many books of those circumnavigating and others doing long cruises. Several of them keep repeating at different stops that they've now found the most beautiful place on earth or the nicest people on earth. That's part of the beauty of the water and exploring, that each new place is such a wonderful experience.
  6. RER

    RER Senior Member

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    I second Ocean City MD. The boardwalk is right out of the 1960's and lot's of fun. Last time I was there was a week before Superstorm Sandy.

    Fernandina Beach FL. Last year we pulled in during the Shrimp Festival and it was insane. The 70's soft rock band Firefall was playing a concert on the grass next to the marina and the town was in full party mode.

    West coast of Mexico stay away from the big tourist ports and instead check out Barra de Navidad - and if you get that far don't miss Baja. Everyone knows about Cabo but what you really want to see is the Sea of Cortez - it is like no place else on earth. Start your trip out of La Paz.
  7. CaptCook

    CaptCook New Member

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    My dream itinerary would be going from South Florida to Cabo San Lucas:

    - Nassau 171m - Inagua 370m - Samana 321m - Puerto Rico 200m
    - island hopping to Venezuela (Cumana)
    - Aruba 388m - Columbia (Cartagena 392m)
    - Panama (Colon 275m - Puerto Armuelles 312m),
    - Costa Rica ( Quepos 156m),
    - Nicaragua (San Juan 200m),
    - El Salvador (Acajutla 290m),
    - Mexico (Salina Cruz 380m - Acapulco 323m - Manzanillo 313m - Mazatlan 305m - La Paz 243m.

    The major ports and miles are given as approximate points/distances for refueling. The actual stopovers may be different.

    Has anyone done that? Any recommendations?
  8. Mark Woglom

    Mark Woglom Senior Member

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    One of our favorite stops is Little Palm Island in the Florida Keys. It's an exclusive little resort, with the ambiance of a small tropical village. No cars, no kids, no bands, no cell phones. There are tame deer roaming the island, and everything is very quiet. Dining beachside during sunset is an awesome experience. Google it.

    One caveat. The dockage seems over the top expensive. However, it comes with all of the island amenities. If you consider what it costs to rent a couple of rooms for the night, it doesn't seem so bad. You're not renting a dock, you're renting a piece of the island. If money doesn't matter for a night or two, great stop, just west of the Marathon bridge.
  9. Viceroy

    Viceroy Member

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    The West Coast...please. From Puget Sound and through the San Juan Islands of Washington State, thence into the Canadian Gulf Islands and up into Desolation Sound. No need to go all the way to Alaska. You will find (May through September) ideal cruising stop, gunkholes, marinas and genuinely nice people and incredible scenery...most in calm and protected waters. Must know how to read charts and tide tables! Cheers, Richard.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Bald Head Island in North Carolina is that way too. Incredible place to see wildlife. Putting Little Palm Island on our list. Tried to go to their web site but it appears down, so next time it's up, we'll check them out. Do you know what size boats their marina can accommodate?
  11. Mark Woglom

    Mark Woglom Senior Member

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    Live in Gilford NH. Boat in Sarasota winters, New
    The main pier, on the west side, can accomodate a couple of big boats, probably 60 to 120 feet. They charge more money for that pier, and that is where they put my 68 footer last year. The slips on the north side (about 12 to 14 of them) accomodate boats less than 60'. The water on the north side is a bit skinny, maybe 6'?

    I'll have to look up Bald Head. Thanks.
  12. NorCalBoater

    NorCalBoater New Member

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    +++++1
  13. MountainGuy

    MountainGuy Member

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    And here comes Europe!

    Adriatic east coast, specially Triest, Italy, as you can stay directly at the city, not in an habour, same with Grado, Italy. Continue south to Croatia: Piran, Pula, Rovinj and definitly Dubrovnik, try to stay in the old town, not the new marina, as it is inside a channel, a little off the city!
  14. sharppractice

    sharppractice New Member

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    No UK stuff here so here goes.

    Yarmouth on the Isle Of Wight .. Like going back 30yrs .. Good pubs and friendly.
  15. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Absolut favorite are the exumas... Nothing comes close to teh variety and number of anchorages and scenery along with the privacy and lack of crowds. If there is one such area where you make good use of being on a boat, this is it.

    It is also easy to get to, safe and nicely sheltered so you dont have to worry about anyone getting sea sick :)

    But i wouldnt restrict to the highborne - staniel stretch and include the southern exumas as well, especially rudder, lee stocking, rat, etc which have some spectacular anchorages and even fewer boats. 6 to 7' draft is the limit down there though.

    Everybody ve taken there over the years has loved it, including those who ve travelled to the top vacationing spots in the world. Heck, i lived on st barths for 13 years and find the exuma much better cruising grounds than the NE carib.

    As far as one town destinations, newport RI obviously, Nantucket, Annapolis, Savannah and charleston. There are many other great little towns along the east coast, all accessible by boat, incl fernandina beach and cumberland island with its wild horses.

    Personally i find the keys to be nice in a small boat, under 50' and 5' draft, but way too limited in anything bigger. The tourist trap known as key west is best visited by car , really no point going there by boat.
  16. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We tried going a couple of years ago, 6' draft was a bit tight from what they said. I think it was $8 a foot but plans changed and we never made it. It is a very nice little island but probably best enjoyed staying at the resort.
  17. Belle

    Belle Member

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    Funny. We figured when we started that we'd probably get a hotel room once a week or so. Haven't done it yet. We've used their spas and fitness centers and restaurants and concierge's and even their room service a couple of places but back to sleep on the boat.
  18. travler

    travler Senior Member

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    I have pretty much been to most anchorages between the panama canal and the tip of the allutian chain as I have spent the last 40 plus years on boats in the pacific
    and I am still looking for my favorite spot if you like green trees and calm water
    (wich my wife demands now ) it is hard to beat any thing north of Puget sound but once you get above cape spencer it can be tough , we spend out 4 to 5 months a year on a boat crusing the north pacific and in my younger years have spent as much as the hole year on a boat any time you are out on a boat it like a vacation to me

    have fun john
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    A couple of circumnavigations we've read repeatedly have comments about "our favorite spot" or "most beautiful place in the world." They say that at one place but then they see another that inspires it and it goes on and on.

    To us, just the water itself is so beautiful. And when you get dolphins playing around you, there is nothing more beautiful. Belle even does as one in a book we read and gets to the bow and cheers their show and they honestly do respond to that attention.

    There are also some destinations that if you've been there enough it's like returning to one of your homes as you see your friends again. We've already got some marinas we especially love. Now we are not anchorage people at this point. We've done it a couple of times just to learn and experience, but we're still mostly marinas.
  20. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    Everybody has their own criteria when it comes to favorite place or cruising style so obviously we all going to come up with different places.

    Mines are...

    - water I can get in and enjoy. If it s too cold, murky, brown... I m not interested! So off the list goes most of the east coast, north of biscayne bay :)
    - there has to be a variety of things to do, of places to explore. No just a one destination place like the Dry Tortugas or the Florida keys which with any decent size boats have little to offer.
    - must be fairly sheltered so you don't get beat up between spots. I may be a little lazy but having to spend an hour securing everything is a pita. Give me some flat protected waters, will you?
    - distances between places have to be pretty short. My time (or the guests') is precious so spending 3 or 4 hours underway is mostly a waste of time.

    These last two basically eliminate most of the Caribbean and that s why the exumas are at the top of my list.

    NOw don't get me wrong, there are some great spots in New England, if you can get there between August 10th and sept 5th so you can get in the water for 5 minutes at a time without going into hypothermia. I love Newport and Bristol.... mystic or fishers sound. Cuttyhunk is great to spend a couple of days. Woods hole is as scenic as it gets and a night or two in Hadley Harbor, if you can fit in, is a must. Nantucket is beautiful.. Love it. Martha s vineyard, well, first of all there are too many tourists as the ferries are easier to get on, including a well known family from Chicago :). But again, New England is only enjoyable for a couple of weeks a year or you will freeze your behind...

    Anchoring vs marina is an interesting question. Personally I prefer spending more time anchoring out than being in a marina. While on charter we usually combine both and almost all the guests we ve had on board end up preferring anchoring vs docked. More privacy, better views and a special feel are what guests come up with when I ask them which they preferred. Obviously it comes down to picking the right anchorage with good scenery, protection etc. Not just anchor anywhere.