Dec 5, 2013

the port of call point system (aka, where should we sleep?)

looking out at all of the boats anchored in Cocoa
On any given day, we're mostly likely chugging along on our little boat, trying to cover a considerable distance before stopping for the night. Sometimes we anchor out in the middle of nowhere, and other times we anchor near a town or city. Picking the perfect place to sleep is a tricky little thing. There are a lot of factors to consider, some more important than others. When finding a place to drop our anchor for the night, we first have to decide how far we are willing and able to travel that day. Then we have to find a place that is somewhat sheltered from the elements, is shallow enough to drop the anchor but not so deep that we don't have enough scope (line on our anchor), and has appropriate underwater topography (mud, rock, weeds…). 

But that's all of the boring stuff that I usually leave to Riley. I like to employ the point system. If we're in the middle of nowhere, my only real concern is finding a place for Gidget to do her business.

Allison's Port of Call Point System

-Is there a patch of sand or grass nearby where we can take her in the dinghy? (This is harder to come by than you might imagine.) +5 points

If we're near a town or city, it gets a little more complicated.

-Is there somewhere we can shower? +5 points
-A grocery store? +5
-A library or coffee shop with wifi? +5 points
-A laundromat? +5 points
-A hardware/marine store? +5
-Is any of this within walking distance? +/- 500 points. (This one's pretty much a deal breaker.)


Of course, sometimes a shower or a grocery store can be worth upwards of 100 points. It's all about the priorities of that particular moment.  Any place that gets 510 points or more might even justify more than a one night stay! On the other hand, if the answer to all of the above questions is NO for more than several days in a row, we may try to find a marina at a reasonable price.


Last night we were anchored in Cocoa, Florida. It gets 15 points (land for Gidget, wifi, hardware and marine store). It's walking points are neutral, because whether or not that marine store really was within walking distance is still up for debate.

(It wasn't.)

8 comments:

  1. If you say it wasn't I'm assuming the debate is either with Riley or the Marine store itself. I would have thought it would be easier to find things you need within walking distance of places you can anchor, much like gas stations off the interstate.

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    1. Well, we did walk to it, but you wouldn't be able to convince me to do it again. ;)

      Usually we can find one or two of the things that we need. Grocery stores and showers tend to be the hardest to come by. I suppose that Grocery stores are usually more centrally located in a town, instead of near the water. And sometimes we anchor near a marina where we can pay to use a shower, but not always.

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  2. Thanks for taking me along on your trip! I really enjoy reading all of your posts :-) Maybe you could write a travel guide based on this point system?

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    1. Thanks for coming along!! ;)
      Haha, maybe… but it's not a very scientific point system! (Or so someone, ahem Riley, told me.)

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  3. At least you guys have a system in place. At least you two seem to make a good team and are able to make things work. I'd definitely agree with that point system but would probably place more points on the somewhere to shower part. :) Have a great weekend and hope you get to stay somewhere worth 525 points! -Iva

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  4. I most definitely like your system... You know, I hadn't even considered you're having to deal with Gidget's business. Duh! Enjoy Florida!

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  5. I cannot recommend anchoring at Cape Santa Maria Resort in Long Island Bahamas. We honeymooned there and it is SO amazing and beautiful! They don't have an actual marina to dock at but you're allowed to a anchor little deeper in the water, and then you can eat at their restaurant and use the beach. There's a marina in the middle of the island that y'all could use, but the resort is just perfect.

    Also, Key West is a super dog and bike friendly so it should be perfect for y'all! :)

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  6. Oh, that sounds so nice! If we make it over there I'll have to look into it! We're not sure at this point if we'll make it over to the Bahamas or not, we'll just have to play it by ear.

    Glad to hear it about Key West! We're really looking forward to spending some time there!

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