Undaunted Curiosity

Boating America's Coasts and Waterways Volume 1 - British Columbia to New York City

by Douglas W. Ayres



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 8/15/2006

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 7x10
Page Count : 618
ISBN : 9781412088558

About the Book

This is an adventure book. But an adventure without either fright or special effects. An adventure which took 10 years, which a couple and their dog(s) enjoyed immensely. This book is the recounting of the cruise of a lifetime. It tells the adventures, life lessons and beauty of the first half of a voyage of 26,000 miles by water, all within the territorial waters of America - the United States and Canada. The journey was predominately within inland waterways, but covered most of all four North American "coasts" as well.

The book is entertaining and instructional. Entertaining by providing fascinating, interesting scenic and historical highlights, and "boater tales" gleaned from 10 years of literally almost circumnavigating North America by traversing the vast majority of its navigable waterways and coasts. Instructional to those interested in travel and boating. And informational, relating how to buy and equip a boat, and to plan and execute cruises, both major and minor. Tidbits of information are inserted where intersecting with the entertaining, providing responses to "situations" encountered, enlightening, significant, and humorous. The "tales" range from amusing to hilarious, but they too provide information and instruction useful to those interested in boating and sightseeing cruising by boat. One goal of this book is to illustrate how relaxing, enjoyable, educational and magnificently scenic and satisfying boat travel is within North America.

This book relates a literal voyage thru history - the history of two nations and their first and formative transportation system - coasts, rivers and lakes, and some really old canals. This saga encompasses four boats, thousands of gallons of fuel, hundreds of stops, and the water covered over 10 years at the ideal sightseeing speed of 10 miles per hour. In other words, utilizing the waterways of North America to see what's there, in historic and scenic depth - out of pure Undaunted Curiosity.

After some brief personal boating historical and instructional "stuff", The adventures related in this Volume I encompasses the Colorado River Lakes of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah; the California Delta; then the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers of Washington, Oregon and Idaho; and all of Puget Sound and most of British Columbia, as well as the Pacific coast, Canada to Catalina. The Journey then shifts to the Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama Gulf of Mexico coast and the internal waterways of those States. Literally traversing the Mississippi and Alabama State line its full north/south length by water opens up to a 38' cruising boat most of those States, and all of Tennessee and Kentucky, deep into the great mountain ranges of the Eastern United States, all by water, not by trailer boat.

Succumbing to the "bigger is better" syndrome, this Volume I relates the transition from 27' to 38' to 54' vessel, the latter with ground transport of two Honda 80 motorscooters. Thus all coasts of Florida from Pensacola to Key West, the Atlantic Intracoastal, across the State via the Okeechobee/Caloosahatchee; then to Disney World via River and boat, are experienced. Moving northward exploring the coasts and side rivers of each of Georgia, South and North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey to New York City are viewed thru the eyes of an explorer of history and scenic beauty. Tampa, Miami, Jacksonville, the "low country coastal islands", Savannah, Charleston, both Wilmingtons, George Washington's Dismal Swamp Canal, and the wonders of the world class harbor of Hampton Roads all are explored in depth. But the real wonderment is secured in the hundreds of small towns and historic sites of the coastal United States that are visited. More history unfolds via the Chesapeake Bay and its scores of inlets, then Washington, Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and on into the Big Apple of New York City. That latter port is a guaranteed tear jerker when entered from the Atlantic Ocean, by viewing the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the skyline of Manhattan gradually rising into view.

Volume I ends with a week's tour of NYC. Volume II soon will continue the "voyage of curiosity" thru the rest of the Northeastern U.S. and Canada, crossing Ontario by way of canals; the Great Lakes and the Rivers Mississippi, St. Croix, St. Marys, St. Lawrence, St. Clair, Hudson, Missouri, Ottawa, Des Plaines, Illinois, Ohio, Monongahela, Allegheny, Big Sandy, Kaskaskia, Great Kanawha, Muskingum, Kentucky, Arkansas, Verdigris, Green, Red, White, Black, Old, Atchafalaya, and Yazoo. And Canals Rideau, Erie, Oswego, Cheyboygan, Trent-Severn, Cape Cod, Cape Ann, Barkley, and Soo. And many cricks [creeks].

About the Author

DOUGLAS W. AYRES was reared "up a holler" in land-locked West Virginia, near the Eastern Continental Divide end of the historic James & Kanawha Canal, the ÒGrand PlanÓ of which intrigued him. Fascinated from childhood by river boat travel tales, after a successful and satisfying career in city management, consulting, business, and as a Graduate School Professor at three universities, Ayres and wife Pam Òwent boatingÓ.

PAMELA S. AYRESÕ superb career paralleled that of Doug, she growing up in Kansas and Iowa. Thus nearing retirement these two orderly people became boaters, dedicated to cruising ALL the coasts and navigable waterways of North America, and some streams that werenÕt really navigable. In all they covered 26,000 miles in 2,475 elapsed hours over 1,300 days of 15 years, and explored 683 different locations enroute. That is the equivalent of a trip around the world, but within the U.S. and Canada, resulting in this first Volume of two describing in exciting tales a Voyage of Unbounded Curiosity, or the Trip of a Lifetime.

So far as can be determined, no couple has ever done what this book relates Ð cruise the vast majority of AmericaÕs waterways. How many wives would agree to spend major portions of 15 years and $1.36 million indulging and accompanying and abetting her spouse as he fulfilled his childhood boating dreams?

Unbounded Curiosity of what was around the next river bend consumed 15 fantastic years of the Ayres' lives. Now, when queried ÒDid you tire of boating?Ó the instantaneous response by both is "Absolutely not! We miss cruising. But we found ourselves repeating waterways. So it was time to get an RV and see what we had missed between the rivers. We loved cruising America immensely!"