To sum it up
15 March 2013 | Key Largo, Tarpon bay
Windy and cool
We are finally migrating back North, destination, St Lawrence River with a lot of stops between here and there. We will post our location and short info on each day's cruise as we progress. We will be stopping on the Chesapeake in May for a few weeks to visit friends and family and then on Memorial Day weekend we will head to the St Lawrence River.
To sum up our travels so far...
The trip down to Florida was fun albeit cold and windy at times. We did enjoy the cruise, we also saw a lot of beautiful scenery that no one could see from the highway or a plane so a boat is a great vantage point. I will say that the nicest scenery was in the Carolina's, the barrier islands and the pretty water made for some scenic vies, they also have a lot of sandy shores, limited numer of derelict boats, and a lot of wildlife both sea and land. Gerogia was the ugliest, the river banks were basically mud and the tides were such large swings that the muddy banks made the water muddy from the tidal flows. Georgia, thankfully is a quick two day transit and it will remain that way for us, nothing worth stopping to enjoy.
Florida is quite nice and in many places there is nice sandy beach to view and if so inclined, we could stop and enjoy on the dingy but we didn't do that too often. We did stop in Fernandina, St Augustine, Stuart, Vero, Jupiter and Miami/Ft Lauderdale (on our way to the keys). Out of all our stops in Florida, our favorite, handsdown is Jupiter. Jupiter is a very clean area with awesome beach access and a nice beach with many parks along the beach. The area is minimally commercial and the traffic was also minimal. We spent a month in Jupiter and without a doubt, if we had to pick now, Jupiter is where we'd prefer to settle; but we aren't picking yet!
The Florida Keys are a nice place to visit but wouldn't want to live here. There are a lot of derelict boats in Florida but the Keys have the most, and a lot of them are eyesores yet, YET, people are living on them despite there need to sink ot be sunk or be towed and destroyed, wuite unsightly. The Keys are also very busy, with minimal beaches available to cruisers and the main road through to Key West is extremely busy, crossing it is risky at best and frankly, living in DC's traffic was enough for my lifetime so the Keys are out for those reasons BUT, even more reason to avoid the keys for settling is that it isn't that warm here. We have had numerous days in the 50's and low 60's, add to that the never ending 15 - 30 (and we saw 40MPH) winds almost every day makes for a not so hospitable place for boating. The water is clear and pretty, but the weather is not so perfect. We also asked around to those who spend Summers here and they say it is HOT and HUMID with no wind.
Now, don't misunderstand, we had a great 7 months so far, we have suffered bad weather but overall, it has been wonderful seeing all the different areas but we didn't get to swim and kayak as much as we had hoped due to winds and cold. We didn't fish at all but we will on the River and next year in the Bahamas and we didn't snorkel very much. Next year, we are going to Winter in the Lower Bahamas, hopefully, warmer weather awaits. To sum up the Keys, it seems an area past its prime, the roadways is old and in less than stellar condition, the businesses, those that are still open, are in old dilapidated buildings in a low state of disrepair, many abandoned buildings, the marinas are old expensive, the natives are not so friendly unless you're a customer, seems the attraction is bars and restaurants, neither of which interest us so, the Keys, in our opinion, not so great. We would come back, but only as we transit through to the Tortugas or the West coast of Florida. nuff said!