Review by: Jeff Blunck

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/