Sunday, June 30, 2019

Island Life

I was talking to the writer Marilinne Cooper at the Gorham New Hampshire farmers market. She had a table set up and was selling her books. I picked up her most recent mystery, “Snake Island.”

She has a home in New Hampshire, but winters in the Caribbean. All winter long I’ve been following her on Facebook. While I was trying to recover my health here in snow country, she was bouncing around the islands. She had a much better winter than I did.

Marilinne did mention that since the most recent hurricanes the Caribbean has gotten a lot more expensive. Big companies swooped in after the storms and purchased a lot of property. That drove the price of everything up.

However, it’s still pretty cheap to live on a sailboat. There are plenty of places where one can anchor for free still. I’m very familiar with that mode of living. You don’t have to leave the United States to experience that dynamic.

Florida is one of those places where waterfront living is pricey indeed. However, there are still plenty of places where one can anchor a boat. However, certain municipalities have taken action. Some places have put in mooring fields and others try to harass live aboards. Freedom scares the authorities and the wealthy.

Then there are those anchorages with a lot of sea hobos living on derelict boats. Some of those areas aren’t too bad, but others are pretty sketchy. I don’t mind being among them for a few days, but they tend to attract crazy people and law enforcement. That combination rarely ends well.

Personally, I enjoy the smaller and more remote places. Peace and quiet is nice to have. I’ve yet to get hassled by law enforcement. They tend to bother power boaters more than sailboats. There are a lot of checkbook captains who think they can buy a big power boat and drive it like a car. They keep the law busy. Having a small sailboat let me slip under the radar. Often they assume I’m day sailing, not on a longer trip. When the keel is lifted I can get into places power boats fear to tread.

The biggest thing you need is mobility. If one area gets too “lawful” lift anchor and move on. Looking forward to a warm weather winter. Maybe I’ll run into Marilinne Cooper in the islands one of these days.



  1. I hope next winter is a better one for you.

    1. I'm doing everything I can to make that happen. Taking care of my health. Getting into condition. Making sure I have the gear I need for travel and adventure. Sorting out my mental state . . .