Skip Links

Best Day On The Water: Embrace The Adventure

Illustration of father pointing to the sky with his 3 children in a sailboat at night

Illustration: Gary Hovland

In January 1992, my wife and I, along with our son and daughter (ages 11 and 8, respectively), crossed Florida by way of Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf Coast. We’d left New Jersey in August and were living on our boat during a sabbatical from our teaching jobs.

We had made our way through the Okeechobee Waterway to Fort Myers, en route to the Keys. There were 20 knots of northwest wind, big rollers from the stern, and temps dipping into the high 40s (pretty cold for South Florida) when we popped our "chute" with no main and started the run.

The spinnaker was beautiful and the water sparkled. My son helped on deck while my wife and daughter prepared homemade gumbo in the galley. By late afternoon we were approaching our planned overnight stop, but finding a "hole in the wall" along a featureless coast was no easy thing before GPS. There was some tension on board before we spotted the red buoy that marked the entrance — right on our nose. We motored up the river and found a cove where we were completely alone. I turned to my family and said, "Well kids, we have finally found ... the middle of nowhere!"

We sat bundled up in the cockpit enjoying our tasty gumbo while looking at a million stars on one of the most beautiful nights I have ever seen — in the middle of the Everglades! My daughter read to us some of her school storybooks before we turned in to sleep the sleep of the sleepy.

My children are now grown, and my wife and I are grandparents, but we still talk about that trip to this day.

Related Articles


Click to explore related articles

lifestyle best day on the water


Roger Wood

BoatUS Member

Award-winning BoatUS Magazine is the official publication of Boat Owners Association of The United States. The magazine provides boating skills, DIY maintenance, safety, news and more from top experts.