Let's face it, winter is not the best season for boating—especially if you live in the northeast US. So for those of us who've seen the Farmer's Almanac prediction for the winter of 2014-2015, here are a few warm-weather escape ideas.
1. Mallorca, Spain
Mallorca is part of the Balearic island chain in the Western Mediterranean. With a harbor skyline dominated by a cathedral built in the 1200s, it's always obvious that (as Dorothy would say) you're not in Kansas anymore. At 39 degrees north, the dead of winter may be a bit chilly and quiet, but the mild Mediterranean climate makes late fall or early spring a perfect time for a visit. And according to Zuzana, Mallorca's "size, weather, history, and beach aspects provide the perfect combination for a bareboat charter."
2. Puerto Rico
This is an easy tropical getaway from anywhere on the east coast. Although the airport is well-known to Jimmy Buffett fans as a place that you "don't wanna land," its size makes direct flights possible from most major east coast locations. The island is surprisingly varied in terrain and remoteness, including the central rain forest. At the western end is the village of Rincon, a surfer's paradise. And both bareboat and crewed charters are available, for those who want to spend their entire vacation on the water rather than looking at it.
3. Hope Town, Bahamas
This place is a photog's dream, and professional captain and writer Zuzana Prochazka thinks it's where Sherwin-Williams send their craziest paint colors. Boat access is easy and well-marked, and there are even some cultural options ashore in addition to the beaches you'd expect.