Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Without a Boat

It's not that we don't have a boat, it's that we aren't towing it down to Florida with us this winter. It was a hard decision, but we are fairly sure we are leaving the sailboat home. I say fairly sure because we've been known to change plans suddenly and without notice.

The main consideration is the sketchy situation of Florida waters right now. Maybe we are being too cautious. Then again, there have been a lot of reports of debris in the water, new shoals, and missing markers.

Another consideration is that a lot of place we'd like to go to are not open yet. Some are scheduled to open during the winter or early spring. We don't feel confident about those places. Even if they do open, will they have everything up and running?

Since we aren't towing a boat, there are some places that will be easier to get into. Our van has good ground clearance so we can explore some interesting back country camping. We are well equipped for campsites with minimal facilities.

This year I'm bringing a complete solar electric system separate from the van's system. The van has a 105 watt panel mounted to the roof. I'm bringing along the solar electric system from the shed: 50 watt panel, deep discharge battery, charge controller, and 410 watt inverter. One of the things I noticed is that some of the off-grid sites are heavily shaded by trees. With the second system I'll be able to position it in the best place to get some sun.

Even though we aren't looking to bring the sailboat, we are water people. The inflatable kayak has been cleaned, repacked and ready to be loaded in the van. I've some new snorkel gear that I only got to use a couple times near the end of the summer. Most of our camping will be near some sort of body of water, be it river, lake or ocean.

We will be back on a sailboat eventually, one way or the other. Unless, of course, hurricanes wipe everything out all over again.



  1. With all of the marina damage due to this years hurricanes, it sounds like a good plan to forgo the boat this year. Gives you opportunities to scout before you have a towed trailer behind you. And new places to see without worrying if the trailer can be parked there.

    1. I can get the van into a normal parking space. That opens up a lot of areas. A lot of our travel plans will depend on the weather.

  2. Who knows? You just may find some interesting new places to explore.

    1. I'm looking forward to new discoveries. Also,we'll save a few bucks for the sailing kitty.