Idiot Afloat, Book II, Cuba, Bothwell and Boot Key Harbor: The Cruiser’s Divided Life
This was the windy winter of 2003-4, when Sharon sailed, changing crew along the way and often alone in the Bahamas, Cuba and to the Florida Keys. It is also the story of how a little 1945 Bothwell house became a cozy retreat for the time away from sailing. As a live-aboard in Boot Key Harbor, she got to know the eccentrics and artists there. And who could forget those scary hurricanes of 2005? More
Sharon’s boat, “My Detour”, is the Coronation Street of the Caribbean. The odyssey continues, picking up in July 2003 where Book I left off. The events unfold daily, the point of view expanded with e-mails to and from a growing list of friends.
This time, starting from South Carolina, we sail the ICW to Miami, hang a left, then explore the Bahamas. As a single hander, Sharon explains the difficult choices to be made selecting crew. Even in paradise there are pros and cons and men complicate that choice.
In addition, Cuba is often thought of as a controversial choice, and indeed Sharon had many surprises waiting in each port. While My Detour cruises Cuba’s north shore, Sharon seeks the Cuban culture, hidden from tourists at the all-inclusive resorts. She highlights the down-to-earth friendliness and integrity of the people. After discovering other cruisers’ Cuban experiences may have been different, she includes three appendices, each by different authors, for the broader benefit of any reader contemplating exploring Cuba by yacht.
After a wild sail north, My Detour anchors in Boot Key Harbour, Marathon, in the Florida Keys, which she paints as a fascinating microcosm of floating hippies and liveaboards.
Winter ends and Sharon returns to Bothwell, Ontario, to her land-bound adventure of renovating an old house into a comfortable home, near her family. Not to fear, there is more cruising to come, although, as Sharon admits, cruisers’ plans are written in sand. Although it is difficult to determine whether Bothwell or My Detour is her real home, one thing is certain: Sharon regales us generously with exploits of sailing, friends and family.
Excerpts from - Richard Herrington,
“New Horizons”, Royal Hamilton Yacht Club Newsletter, February 2013
Available ebook formats: