Getting to a Tropical Paradise Without Leaving the Ground

  Or at least, without leaving ground and sea level. And,in this case, the highly manicured paradise of Old Bahama Bay, with carefully placed palms for maximum effect. 

I arrived on Wednesday in my sailboat. I took Amtrak from Newark to Charleston, South Carolina (316 lbs CO2), where the boat had wintered.  I had a pleasant sail down the Wando river to the Charleston Harbor marina in Mount Pleasant (one gal. Diesel, 20 lbs CO 2 for the docking operation).  On Saturday two good sailing friends, Justin Bloom and Dave Burden, joined me and we headed out into the open Atlantic.  After a moderately rough and wet and cold first night of sailing,we got to a sweet spot and had a lovely  four day passage, almost all under sail. We had to run the engine for a few hours when the wind grew calm, but the seas did not, in the middle of the Gulf Stream.  All told, about five gallons of diesel to make the 400 mile passage. Split three ways, that’s about 33 pounds of CO2 per person.  

  For comparison, flying here would have been about 1,000 pounds of CO2. And you don’t really need a boat and offshore sailing skills too get to this particular Paradise at ground level  – pack a family of four into a hybrid, make the road trip from New York to Fort Lauderdale, and grab the daily ferry to Freeport, and you could get here with about the same carbon footprint, still without leaving the ground. Probably quicker, too.


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