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post #31 of 44 Old 07-20-2018
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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

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Originally Posted by jephotog View Post
I think the OP was looking for a place to liveaboard where he can go sailing in winter, while being near a city with women around his age. He is not looking to retire to Thailand or the Med.
A few decades ago when I spent a lot of time in English harbor... quite a lovely place... with excellent marine services support... there were many large charter boats which worked from there and of course were crewed by young female stewards in the age range sought by the OP. I suppose this could be a source for dates. My experience was that the social scene for a young sailor was limited in the entire eastern caribbean unless you found some expats working down there at resorts and so on. Best bet for that might be st Marten or the French Islands or the VIs

I suppose things have changed.

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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

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... Those who are worried about it, have chosen to be worried about it since mudslides are only a problem on certain hillsides with a certain geology. If you are worried about a mudslide you either live on such hillside or right below it...

While we do have forest fires on occassion, they typically happen in the forest areas where the population is pretty low and forest fires are much more likely to occur in the summer months when it is hot and dry...
Same thing about climate and problem areas in Florida so you've gotten closer to the point. Its a big place at almost 500 miles North to South along with 1,350 miles of coastline so you have to choose wisely and not head to a known problem area. To blanket the whole of either State as the same is a bit off.

I live here full time and know how many times I see a California plate or speak with a tourist from California driving a local rental car with a Florida plate on it. Yes its a two way street however plenty of Californians visiting here on a regular cadence.

My relatives in California live in San Diego, San Fransisco, San Marcos and a few other places and they ended up there in order to keep their jobs which is why they are scattered about. Most of them plan to retire in the Clearwater/St. Pete area in order to stretch out their retirement funds.

I had to get out of the North due to a crippling injury that made living through New England falls/winters/springs with their constant barometric changes very extremely difficult and my choices were San Diego or Clearwater and the cost of living was the deciding factor. I came here thinking "Oh boy how will I survive the oppressive heat everybody is talking about" and after a few years realized that it was mostly hype and things were not as bad here in Clearwater/St. Pete as the extremely vocal minority would lead you to believe. Not having to be on narcotic pain killers most of the year is a blessing plus the added perks of being able to do my own yard work, do my own home repairs, ride a motorcycle, sail along with engage in other outdoor activities year round are priceless. If I had listened to the vocal minority I'd still be on narcotics for pain and likely be a wheelchair bound shut-in now as the doctors predicted would have been the case since 1995.
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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

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Same thing about climate and problem areas in Florida so you've gotten closer to the point. Its a big place at almost 500 miles North to South along with 1,350 miles of coastline so you have to choose wisely and not head to a known problem area. To blanket the whole of either State as the same is a bit off.

I live here full time and know how many times I see a California plate or speak with a tourist from California driving a local rental car with a Florida plate on it. Yes its a two way street however plenty of Californians visiting here on a regular cadence.

My relatives in California live in San Diego, San Fransisco, San Marcos and a few other places and they ended up there in order to keep their jobs which is why they are scattered about. Most of them plan to retire in the Clearwater/St. Pete area in order to stretch out their retirement funds.

I had to get out of the North due to a crippling injury that made living through New England falls/winters/springs with their constant barometric changes very extremely difficult and my choices were San Diego or Clearwater and the cost of living was the deciding factor. I came here thinking "Oh boy how will I survive the oppressive heat everybody is talking about" and after a few years realized that it was mostly hype and things were not as bad here in Clearwater/St. Pete as the extremely vocal minority would lead you to believe. Not having to be on narcotic pain killers most of the year is a blessing plus the added perks of being able to do my own yard work, do my own home repairs, ride a motorcycle, sail along with engage in other outdoor activities year round are priceless. If I had listened to the vocal minority I'd still be on narcotics for pain and likely be a wheelchair bound shut-in now as the doctors predicted would have been the case since 1995.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you here except that mudslides and forest fires are not so much a climate issue in SoCal but a location issue because they only occur in certain areas. Secondly, most people living here do not live in those areas. Last but not least, for this topic it's not a concern at all because OP wants to live on a boat in a marina where neither of those have any chance of occuring.

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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

There are plenty of reasons to be afraid to live in California, earthquakes is not a reasonable one, as long as you don't live in Santa Barbara mud slides is not one either. Growing up in California I have felt maybe 4 or 5, the last one I rolled over and went back to sleep. The last two big California quakes happened last Century and killed under 130 people, Katrina killed 1800. I would guess close to as many people died in Hurricanes last year on the East Coast as died in California Quakes since 1906.

The cost of hurricanes, tropical storms, false alarms add up and subtract from the quality of life in Hurricane Country. If you have only lived in the South East you can consider it all an inconvenience but those who have survived a storm, lost a home or lost a boat, look at incoming storm tracks differently. You can live your entire life in California without being affected by an earthquake. Depending on where you live on the East Coast, you will be affected by Hurricanes at some point in your life, sometimes every 5 years or so.

The true reasons not to live in California: Fires, Cost, Taxes, Traffic, People (lots of them).

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post #35 of 44 Old 07-20-2018
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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

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Originally Posted by lschmidt25 View Post
So anyways, I'm looking for 3 main criteria:
1) Warm weather obviously

2) Cool places to weekend sail to, or places where I can cruise to and still work during the day with access to internet and electricity

3) Fun area surrounding the home base marina/mooring/whatever
For #3 (fun land-based area), personally I'd narrow down to some potential locations and then buy a couple plane tickets and go for a mini-vaca to check them out. We did that when evaluating a few relocation opportunities in our 20s, and nothing can substitute for actually being in a place for a weekend and just seeing how it feels.

For #2, personally I don't see a lot of the FL coast and So Cal as being great weekend cruising areas. There's not really anywhere to go (with maybe the exception of the FL keys and Catalina). I have spent time in Tampa/Bradenton area, and the weather can be great, there are some beautiful beaches, and some great daysailing conditions, but if you want to head out for a 2-3 day cruise, the options aren't that appealing to me. I think I'd get bored pretty quickly living on a cruising sailboat in that area.
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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

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For #3 (fun land-based area), personally I'd narrow down to some potential locations and then buy a couple plane tickets and go for a mini-vaca to check them out. We did that when evaluating a few relocation opportunities in our 20s, and nothing can substitute for actually being in a place for a weekend and just seeing how it feels.

For #2, personally I don't see a lot of the FL coast and So Cal as being great weekend cruising areas. There's not really anywhere to go (with maybe the exception of the FL keys and Catalina). I have spent time in Tampa/Bradenton area, and the weather can be great, there are some beautiful beaches, and some great daysailing conditions, but if you want to head out for a 2-3 day cruise, the options aren't that appealing to me. I think I'd get bored pretty quickly living on a cruising sailboat in that area.
A lot depends on your definition of a cool (interesting) place I suppose. To me its the normal everyday people and history of the area and not just a swanky club or glitzy tourist attraction.

There is a series of books called something along the lines of "One Tank Trips" that covers the area and there are an amazing amount of things to see and do in this area on or near to the Gulf or just a short drive inland. I have lived here almost 30 years now and have not scratched the surface.

A lot of history from the Spanish American War, Indian Wars, Spanish Occupation, British Occupation, WWII, WWI and Civil War here too.

One could also sail about and take on the Florida Maritime Heritage Trail which could take some years to do justice to. There are also county run Heritage Villages in many areas that showcase the founders of the area and how things progressed. At the local one they have opened a boathouse to highlight what Clark Mills, Morgan and McKay and others have done for the area and even hold workshops where you can build your own pram or dinghy. Sailing about the almost 1,400 miles of coastline to see and explore the old historic communities could take a lifetime too.

When you keep still for a few moments and really look at whats located close to where your standing things you never knew you never knew keep presenting themselves.
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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

My boat is in Marina Del Rey and I can fill you in on these:

1) Warm weather obviously
It's always around 72F during the day here, which is cool for me (I reside in Nevada), but it's perfect 'shorts and flip flops' weather. It's a little cooler in the winter, as was stated earlier in the thread. Also a little wet. LOL about mudslides- talk about thread drift....

2) Cool places to weekend sail to, or places where I can cruise to and still work during the day with access to internet and electricity
Also mentioned was Catalina, which is great year round, as are Channel Islands, though I can't vouch for the connectivity therein. The wind doesn't pick up until just after 11am and turns off like a faucet around 8pm. The wind is always fair, rarely over 12kt and swells vary from 2-3 to 4-5' regularly. The forecast is always pretty close. If you like yacht clubs, you can hop down the coast and use free slips for three days at most of them if you are a member that has reciprocals.

3) Fun area surrounding the home base marina/mooring/whatever
There is a path that runs from Redondo Beach, North through several beach communities, past my dock and many others in MDR and continues to Santa Monica. I routinely bike or run in either direction, depending on mood. There are more bars/restaurants around here than I can frequent. I have my favorites and the selection ranges from dive to super trendy within a stones throw. Lots of young professionals here, as West LA is basically an industry town (Movies/TV/Tech). Don't bring your car. Currently there are several basins under construction (dock replacement) and there will be an abundance of available slips soon. Prices are roughly $12'/month non-liveaboard. Add 50% for liveaboard.
Hope that helps!

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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

Coming from California, originally San Francisco and later Newport Beach, but now having lived in southwest Florida for 25 years or so, in my view there is no comparison and particularly in the winter months. In SoCal we had few places to cruise to save Catalina and the Channel Islands and, frankly, one can only do so many trips to Two Harbors or Cat Harbor before the charm wears off. Moreover, the ocean is very cold at all times of year in California so swimming, absent a wet-suit, isn't very enjoyable and, virtually wherever one chooses to go, it is crowded. Avalon is packed like a Sardine Can most weekends with boats less than 10 feet apart often times. For cruising the SF Bay area is somewhat better but colder than shadoodle most of the year unless one gets up to Suisun Bay where the water is a thin as is that in SW Florida but still freezing cold most of the year.

To each his/her own but, if it were my choice, the southwest coast of Florida would fit the bill nicely.

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

Keys are great but crowded in winter. SouthWest Florida from Sarasota on down to Marco is less crowded. Good marinas, anchorages, friendly folks. Ft. Myers would be better for someone younger. Marco and Naples is older crowd. Good anchorage and moorings in Ft. Myers. Lots of nightlife. And you can sail to Cabbage Key (north) or south to Lover's Key.
If you get down to Naples, I would visit but then head south to Johnson Bay, Isles of Capri. Pelican Bend has a good anchorage nearby. Marco River has good anchorages. South to Cape Romano is nice place for solitude and to take a friend for an overnight.

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Re: Where to go for winter sailing? Florida or California?

When wintering in Florida on a boat you will sometimes need more than a pedal bicycle or skate board to run errands around town but still not need to get on the Interstate however renting even a scooter can be a hassle and expensive over the long haul.

In Lantana Florida is the US Distributor for Di Blasi who makes a folding 50cc motorbike that some cruisers along with flyers carry with them since they fold up rather compactly, don't weigh very much but are street legal and great for exploring the local area without having to arrange for a rental car plus they get about 130 mpg Di Blasi has been in business for around 45 years now so they are not new at this. Much of the area around the Marinas in Clearwater/St Pete for example are 20 to 30 mph speed zones making these very practical.


Folded:
Length............................................ ................29 1/2"
Height............................................ .......................23"
Width............................................. .................12 1/2"
Weight (empty)........................................... .....64 lbs.
Storage Displacement..............less than 5 cubic feet.





If I understand correctly they also make a few electric models too.

Some companies use them to provide designated drivers (for folks that have had a few drinks and don't want to chance a DUI) who ride out to where you are located, fold the bike up in its bag placing it in the trunk of your vehicle and then drive you and your vehicle home for you so you won't be guilty of driving impaired. Once they get you home they unfold the bike, fold up the bag and are off to their next pickup and your vehicle is not left out in a parking lot where it can more likely get vandalized or stolen but is safely in your own driveway or garage.
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