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Covid probably stuck a lot of people in a rut. We are. Plans were to be elsewhere 3yrs ago, but we changed boats, which sat us back a year (but not a boring year), then covid stuck us on a dock for a year, then covid kept us more local (Bahamas) and not to where we originally planned. Looks like a repeat for this year.

We felt like we were in ground hog day in the Bahamas last year because we were retreading our old beaten paths. Then we headed out to some further flung areas we hadn't explored before and that was really refreshing - even though we got our butts kicked a couple of times with weather, our outboard crapped the bed, and we got ciguatera poisoning. It was still fun.

There is a point in cruising, and you might be at it, where the novelty is gone and it feels like the same old thing every day. Yes, even when you are anchored in tropical waters with beautiful views having nice snorkeling followed by cocktails and grilled lobster. I think everyone reaches this point, and everyone's response when getting to this point is different - some sell the boat and do something else, some move to winter cruising and summer house, some get a bigger cruising plan and set off for more distant shores, some just ride over that hump and keep going as they were.

Mark
 

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Similarly it can't be the Bahamas because the Bahamas are like the USA without the supermarkets. Its not "full of Americans and Canadians" its exclusively Americans and Canadians. You might occasionally see a European boat, or a Kiwi or Aussie but really, its American and Canadians.
Depends. The Bahamas are many, many islands spread out over a large distance. There certainly are the well-trod ones full of Americans and Canadiens and everyone else - more Europeans, Kiwis and Aussies in these places than elsewhere too.

Then there are wide swathes of Bahamain places were I've rarely seen any Americans or Canadians. Sometimes you see nobody at all for months, but mostly you are spending time with a few Europeans, Kiwis, and Aussies. The Americans and Canadians one does see in these places are searching for the same experiences as us, the Europeans, the Kiwis and the Aussies.

We predominantly spend time in these latter areas of the Bahamas. They tend to be too "uncomfortable" for North Americans, with no organized reindeer games.

I'm with SanderO on the E Caribe. We have spent much time there cruising and are way over it. Yes, there are pockets of culture like the French islands, but mostly it is homogenized and tourist-oriented. Mixing with the locals usually has a feeling of them doing so for a different motive than friendship or a good time, and language is almost never a barrier challenge. If you need boat work or parts, it is about as easy to obtain as in the US, so no getting out of one's comfort zone there.

The Western Caribe, South and Central America is entirely different. You really are in different cultures with noticeable and unique changes from one country to another, and often even within one country. You will learn some Spanish or not get by. Mixing with locals is not only necessary, it is highly rewarding and genuine. You will be self-sufficient with your boat.

On a different note, after several years of cruising actively year-round, we realized that the summer months are generally terrible cruising experiences. Too much heat, rain, lightning, bugs, no wind, etc. This is the same even if one decides to cruise the summers in the Chesapeake or even New England (to a much lesser extent, though). It is definitely worse further South.

So we started putting the boat to bed for those three worse summer months and expanding our experiences land traveling. We began by extending visits with our families, but also taking long trips to places we can't reach by boat. A few months in Peru, for example. Putting the boat away in Guatemala and taking extended trips into the mountains and countryside while using the boat as a base to regroup for a few days and plan another trip.

The only downside is that boats tend to break themselves if one is not actively using it and giving it the constant evil eye. I don't know how or why this happens, but if I turn my back on the boat, it does something stupid to itself. So there is always a mad dash upon returning from an absence to whip the boat back into shape to take off for the next 8-9 months of cruising.

Mark
 

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Am on Nantucket Sound now. Water clarity is like looking through clear glass to a sandy bottom. It’s beautiful here in the fall. And there’s solitude. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone. The water cooled off last week to low 70s. I didn’t test it today. But so beautiful.
Nantucket is nice, particularly this time of year after the tourist season. But what MarkofSeaLife is describing is a whole 'nother level of clarity and color. The attached sailing pic shows some of the blue, and the nurse sharks in the other pic are on the bottom in 12' of water.

We've sailed around the entire Caribbean Sea and some of the Med, and have never seen water like the Bahamas. The water there more than makes up for the flat, dry, ugly land parts.

Mark

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I have sailed through the Bahamas on a delivery. Water was incredible but did do anything in the way of land exploration as I had done in the Eastern Caribbean...which were fabulous for hiking. The Canaries were also great for dirt activities. I did anchor in some amazingly clear water. It was very cool to see the bottom,
Really not much on land in the Bahamas. Hiking is usually through scrub on short paths in beating sun with no vistas or much interesting to see besides goats. If you think goats are interesting.

Michele likes hiking the land because the Bahamas are in the major bird migratory routes, and she likes to photograph them. I stay in the water.

Mark
 

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Ironically, Polio still exists (and is getting worse) in certain countries only because of misinformation and conspiracy campaigns against the vaccine. This has allowed a new mutation to occur in the past year or two that escapes the vaccine. Otherwise, it would have been eradicated by now.

Mark
 
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