Thursday, October 9, 2014
Neither land nor sea
Now that my little 12 foot Ooze Goose boat is built I've been checking out different cruising grounds. My research has taken me from the Carolinas, south to Florida, and west to Texas.
Obviously this isn't a blue water boat. One name for this type of boat is “beach cruiser.” It's small enough to drag up on beaches and can dry out in the flats without damage. There are things only small shallow draft boats can do.
Florida has some nice boat ramps, but many of them don't allow overnight parking. Those that do have parking fees that can add up. However, I've discovered a number of unimproved ramps recommended for shoal draft boats. Those are mostly free and allow overnight parking. Better yet, they are are close to places I want to go to.
My boat is small enough to drag right on the beach. That gives us the option of either sleeping right on the boat or pitching a tent on the beach. We also have the option of staying at anchor in protected waters.
I've seen tiny boats like mine tucked way up little creeks where bigger boats cannot go. They can hide in the mangroves or get pulled into the vegetation along the water. There are lots of stealth camping options.
A tiny beach cruiser allows people to disappear. They can get into places bigger boats can't follow, yet be in marshy areas that discourage inquisitive land dwellers. I've even read of micro cruisers avoiding pirates by sailing in water too shallow for powerboats.
This type of travel can be done in a canoe or kayak. However, the Goose has more capacity than most kayaks. Better yet, it has a cabin which to get out of the weather or hide from biting insects. The ability to sail is also a huge energy saver. I bet it's a good fishing platform too.
People have island hopped across the Caribbean in boats no bigger than mine. It's risky, but knowledge of currents and the weather can lessen the risk. I've seen much more rickety boats that have safely made the trip from Cuba to Florida. Believe me, this would not be my first choice for crossing the Gulf Stream. However, in a zombie Apocalypse, it sure beats many many other options.
I hope be able at least post pictures this winter of our adventures.