Skip to main content

Carpe Diem (August 2015 Logbook)

Don’t panic. Yes, this is the August issue, which means the boating season is winding down for some of our readers in North America. Heck, we’re already working on our fall issues of Power & Motoryacht. One symptom of working two months out is you are often slightly confused about exactly what time of year it is at any given moment. 

Yet, rejoice, summer is still with us, and I for one plan on squeezing every bit of life from these next weeks. I confess it’s a little pathetic that I’ve now scheduled “Go Boating” in my digital calendar, which prompts me with pop-up reminders—but hey, whatever it takes.

To help you with your cruising plans, I’ve listed a few of my favorite anchorages. These are all those quiet coves where your senses are overtaken by your surroundings. Where family, friends, a simple dinner, and a good book replace urban sprawl. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love the city centers too. But after spending the week looking longingly at the commuter rail display to post my track number while I wait on the platform with the tired masses, a little solitude is welcome. I haven’t explored California and the Pacific Northwest much, so any advice I offer on that would be less than expert. Same with the Great Lakes, which are incredible, too. (Readers, I welcome your advice, which we’ll publish next month.)

These special little slivers of the planet will make you thankful for being a boater.

British Virgin Islands: Cooper Island

You like stunning sunsets? White beaches? Good food served by a friendly staff? Incredible snorkeling? Cooper Island and the Cooper Island Beach Club tick all the boxes. Make this the first stop on your next BVI cruise or charter. If you don’t fall into vacation mode as soon as you secure the mooring, just give up, you never will. 

Alaska: Meyers Chuck

I admit I often find myself on real estate apps looking for homes in this quintessential Alaskan fishing village, population 21, give or take one I’m zeroed in on a cottage where I can write the Great American flop while wearing my sea boots and a dirty sweater, filleting a salmon with one hand while typing with the other. Hey, a guy needs a dream. This remains my favorite spot when cruising the Inside Passage between Ketchikan and Wrangell. 

Connecticut: Selden Cove

I’m glad I lived along the Connecticut River a few years back. At first I thought Hamburg Cove, just above Essex, was the idyllic haven. It is—during the week. Then the locals quietly pointed me towards Selden Cove, tucked into the River’s eastern shore. This deep, narrow, winding creek takes a little getting used to until you realize that if you draw less than 5 feet you can enter one end and come out the other at high-tide with no issues. I’m a sucker for the smell of a saltwater marsh on a warm summer day, and this fills my quota. 

Florida: Little Shark River

I have my friend David Marlow to thank for introducing me to this sliver of the Everglades on the western tip of Florida during a trip from Marco Island to Key West. There is zero light pollution. So put on some bug spray, sit back in the cockpit and just stare at the star show above and contemplate the meaning of life. Oh, that noise you hear in the distance? Those are gators.

Maine: Buck’s Harbor

I’m vulnerable to any place that pulls on the old nostalgia heartstrings and this place causes a full tug-of-war. Grab a mooring, walk up the hill to Brooksville, and buy lunch at the Buck’s Harbor Market, and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.

Maryland: Dun Cove

This cove is tucked off the Choptank River and is one of my favorite destinations on Maryland’s eastern shore. I once spent two days anchored here during supremely foul weather, just working on a few projects below and reading. No cell phone coverage at the time. Ahh.

Bahamas: Plana Cays

If you’re ever making a passage between the Bahamas and Virgin Islands, dropping the hook for a spell on the leeward side of these islands to the west of Mayaguana Island is highly recommended. This is where I regroup, do a little service work, take a swim, and fire up the grill. You can’t go ashore, but the palm-lined beaches and crystal-clear water provide the ideal respite during any cruise.

Rhode Island: Dutch Harbor/Sheffield Cove

As a former Newport resident, I looked toward Jamestown to escape the summer crowds. This harbor on the west passage has moorings served by Dutch Harbor Boat Yard, overlooking scenic Beavertail. Grab a taco at The Shack at the boatyard.

One more piece of advice? Put this magazine in your boat bag, and tell everyone you’re going boating. There’s no time like the present. Oops—just got a meeting reminder telling me to “Go Boating.” I’m outta here.