Boats Versus Snow Skis
Vic and I have returned to Fort Myers from our
annual Rocky Mountains skiing holiday. As usual, I
welcomed our return to warmth, green grass, blue
water and white boats nestled happily in their
back and knees also welcomed the opportunity to recover.
usual after our ski trip and as I return to the duties of
running our boat charter and liveaboard yacht school, I
find my mind comparing skiing and cruising.
in skiers the same qualities that I admire so much in
yacht cruisers. Skiers and cruisers challenge themselves
physically and mentally. Both love the freedom of
wide-open spaces. They appreciate the rewards to the mind
and general well-being that come from a well-planned,
scenery is spectacular and you feel on top of the world at
10,000 feet. Sea level scenery has its own psychological
rewards like the feeling of oneness with nature you get
when a pod of dolphins surfs your bow wave.
really enjoy skiing but, for me, each new ski vacation
seems to tilt the scales a bit toward cruising.
Consider the physical issue. Skiing takes its toll on a
body. I used to blame muscle and joint soreness on the
demands of runs like Deathís Door, Terminator and Hellís
Gate. But now we opt for ski runs called Wanderer, Lazy
Days and Easy Does It. And, still, soreness sets in.
What's next, the bunny slopes?
know the average drop-out age of senior skiers but I have
to think that back soreness, bad knees, faulty hearts and
high blood pressure commonly become tipping points for
telling your spouse, "Not this year, dear."
boats nor skis can stop on a dime so both skippers and
snow skiers are taught to give each other a wide berth for
safety's sake. I think boating does a better job of
teaching personal responsibility. This may be an apples
and oranges comparison, but one more often sees accidents
caused by another skier being out of control and I suspect
that most skiers experience a close call daily. Some
popular runs even assign the ski patrol to direct downhill
always a consideration.
and your family charter a boat, you'll pay a fee for the
boat and a bill for stocking up at a grocery. You'll pay
for an overnight marina slip or two but, to save money,
you can anchor up for the night in a no-charge cove.
costs are generally reasonable. Sailors pay a pittance and
motor-trawlers are especially miserly at the pump.
outfit yourselves with clothes to stay warm and
fashionable on and off the slopes. You rent or purchase
skis, buy daily lift tickets and refuel yourselves at
pricey on-mountain restaurants. You pay for condo/motel
accommodations. Your cruising vessel, of course, includes
your sleeping quarters and a galley. There's no charge for
tickets to the daily dolphin show.
going rate for skiing lessons is $100 per hour. If you
require a boat captain to handle the vessel while you
play, you can hire one at $200 a day.
just a guess but I would imagine that taking a family of
five on a week-long ski vacation would lower the bank
account by at least $10,000. Compare that to spending
seven days aboard a "floating condo." Your fully-equipped
trawler or motor yacht will cost half that.
Cruising gets the nod for operating temperatures. Here in
Southwest Florida you'll not hear the word "layers" to
describe boating outfits. On a boat we can cruise all week
wearing the same pair of shorts and a few tee shirts. At
the end of the week, the washing machine and its operator
have an easier time of it.
time next year my aches and pains will have done away and
I'm sure I'll be rejoining my fellow downhillers on the
meanwhile I welcome calls from all of you dyed-in-the-wool
snow skiers interested in chartering a slow boat through
our Florida paradise. That way you can do your own
enjoy the change of pace and scenery, warmer temperatures
and lower prices. Let me just add that it will be just the
right cure for sore back and knees.