Review by: Jeff
A Year In Paradise is one of those few cruising
books that I consider to be entertaining and informative without
boring the reader with GPS waypoints and endless log entries.
The Watterson’s are a retired couple who finally get to
fulfill his dream of cruising down the ICW to spend the winter
in the Florida Keys. Notice I said “his” dream.
His wife goes along on the adventure at first with anxiety,
but finds she enjoys the lifestyle and exploring the historical
areas along the way. Peppered with lighthearted humor, the book
brings to light the daily trials of cruising as well as the
adventure. There are plenty of pictures and maps included to
keep you following along as well as references to good anchorages,
marinas, and restaurants.
We all have our idea of the perfect cruising book
and mine is one where I can grab an atlas and look up the locations
as I read about the adventures. This book meets those expectations
with actual location names, history, and local folklore.
‘Deep Creek, a pleasant stream bordering
a town of the same name. The story goes that during his surveying
work for the canal, George slipped, fell into the creek, and
exclaimed, “That’s a deep creek!” The worshipful
locals, mindful of his destiny to become the father of their
country named the creek and their town after this solemn event,
enabling them and their successors to boast that “George
Washington slipped here”.’
Anyone planning a cruise will also find the Appendix
interesting. Though the author calls it The Boring Stuff, I
found good information on subjects such as finances, charts,
and even the best time to use the oven.
It’s my opinion that the book is nicely
written with detailed cruising information making it a useful
resource should you decide to follow in the Watterson's wake
on your own ICW cruise. At minimum, it’s a book to be
read by the fireplace after the weather has turned for the worse,
and we begin to dream of our own cruising adventure.
Editors note: Jeff and his lovely wife, Julie, are
building a large powerboat in anticipation of their own year (or
more) in paradise. Check their website: dreamwater/cosailor/