However, in watching 'The Travel Channel' on TV, I frequently see a backdrop of sailboats in a harbor approximately 100 yards from the shore anchored with seemingly nobody on board. This makes for a picturesque backdrop to the scenery, but how do those people get to the shore since their boat is still 100 yards out?
Yes, this is a serious question, and I am embarrassed to ask.
Actually, to explain your observation, by state law when you tie up in almost any harbor, there is a requirement that all inhabitants are required to duck in the cabin whenever 'The Travel Channel' or 'National Geographic Channel' is filming so that it would appear that seemingly nobody is on board making for a more picturesque backdrop to the scenery.
Yours was clearly a serious question, but this was not a serious answer. The serious answer is that most small boat owners do as suggested above, typically either using an inflatable dinghy or kayak, or the water taxi to get ashore. I have seen people build very small, lioght weight, wooden dinghies that fit aboard as well, but small dinghies are very limiting.
For many years, for just this problem, I used a Sportyak II which is a surprisingly good roto-formed plastic, very small dinghy for what it is. It will carry two moderate weight adults in a pinch. I bought mine very used for $35 nearly 30 years ago. It is so light and convenient that even now I use it around my dock and I sometimes carry the Sportyak on my 38 footer.
The dinghy problem is one of the difficulties of small boat cruising.