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Boating Destination Reviews for Travelers Along the Eastern Seaboard

Cruise with the help of Capt. Cheryl Barr

Barr wrote her guides to the Down East Circle Route and Canadian Maritimes from her own experiences.After a frustrating, often wind-against-tide cruise down the St. Lawrence River in 2001 with no guidebooks, Capt. Cheryl Barr decided to write her own. “A Complete Cruising Guide to the Down East Circle Route” follows a 2,400-mile clockwise cruise from New York City to the Great Lakes, down the St. Lawrence River, through the Canadian Maritimes, then south along the New England coast.

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Island allure

Photos by Onne van der Wal

The islands beckon — the warm breezes, the friendly people, the rum punches and reggae bands. “Don’t worry, don’t hurry, take it easy.” Yet more than anything else it is the island waters that stir our imagination and remind us that there is more to life than the 9-to-5 treadmill, the cold and gray winters — and “Survivor.”

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An enduring contradiction

Havana’s Hemingway International Yacht Club turns 20, and, yes, there will be fishing tournaments

Ernest Hemingway in his element aboard Pilar, his 38-foot Wheeler Playmate.Something happened back in 1992 that surely had the late revolutionary Che Guevara spinning in his unmarked grave. Cuban leader Fidel Castro gave permission for a new yacht club in the suburbs of Havana.
The Soviet Union had just withdrawn its troops and had quit sending the Castro government more than $2 billion in annual subsidies. The land of “rum, rhumba and revolution” had entered a time of crisis known as the “Special Period.”

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A taste of Tarpon Springs

Soaking it all up in the Sponge Capital of America

With dockage among downtown boutiques, Greek restaurants and the sponging fleet, Tarpon Springs, on Florida’s west coast, is delightfully unusual in a state that’s been succumbing to condominiums and other non-marine waterfront development.

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Sponges are the city’s lifeblood

The sponge industry brought thousands of Greek families to Tarpon Springs in the early 1900s.Along Dodecanese Boulevard, you’ll wend your way through dried, sorted sponges piled on the sidewalk. At the Sponge Docks, fishermen in rubber boots tromp on mesh bags of wet sponges, squeezing out any organic residue. Lines of drying sponges hang from boats’ rigging. Shops are nearly bursting with yellow, finger, flower pot and wool sponges. Their tough, resilient skeletons compress easily, absorb up to 25 times their weight in water and can be quickly wrung dry.

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