Since Sophie and Bailey made their first appearance on the cover of Marinalife’s Summer 2014 issue, several members have wanted to know a little more about them. We talked their owners, Bob & Dori Arrington, into letting us follow them on their winter adventure. These two Portuguese Water Dogs are no strangers to sea travel, having spent their entire lives traveling on Bob & Dori’s boat, Liberdade, their 54-foot Ocean Alexander Trawler. So hop on board with Sophie and Bailey as they head south to their favorite ports on Liberdade, which by the way means “Freedom” in Portuguese!
The Carolina coasts are famous for quaint seaside villages, rich in history and proudly preserved, local merchants welcome cruising boaters to stop and stay for a while. We did just that in the picturesque town of Southport, N.C. Located at the mouth of the Cape Fear River, Southport is a great base to use while visiting other nearby communities such as Baldhead Island and Wrightsville Beach. Abbi and John at Southport Marina made us feel right at home. A short walk from the marina brings you to an eclectic collection of shops and restaurants around the old harbor and fishing village. A slightly longer walk takes you to the wide assortment of merchants in the beautifully preserved downtown area. One of the town’s greatest treasures is its collection of well-cared-for historic homes.
St. Augustine, Fla.
It was a cold December and January as we made our way south through the Carolinas and Georgia, but arrival in St. Augustine finally gave us a day warm enough to sit on the front of the boat and enjoy the sunny afternoon at Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor. Sophie and Bailey particularly enjoyed it, given the fact we had trimmed their coats for warmer weather before leaving.
Vero Beach, Fla.
Vero Beach was one of our favorite stops. We were welcomed into a small group of cruisers that use Vero as their base for the winter. Many coming from as far away as Canada. We are already making plans to stop at Vero Beach City Marina next year to reconnect. Sophie and Bailey made friends with Brandi, a 3-year-old Portuguese Water Dog that took them to her favorite beach for a romp in the waves. Vero Beach has earned its reputation as “Velcro Beach” because of how easy it is to get stuck there. With a great main street shopping district, beautiful board walk and beach it’s hard not to want to just stay for a while.
Boca Grande Key, Fla.
Many think of Key West as the end of the Florida Keys, but the Keys continue for another 60 miles with 25 more Island Keys to visit. It’s just that none of these are permanently inhabited. Boca Grande Key, approximately 12 miles west of Key West certainly has plenty of inhabitants on warm sunny weekend days. This is a favorite destination for boaters out of Key West. With warm shallow water and a protected beach, it’s a great place to anchor the boat and enjoy a picnic.
Marco Island, Fla.
Traveling on the boat each day makes it difficult for Sophie and Bailey to get enough exercise. Being members of the working dog group, retrieval was one of the Portuguese Water Dog’s primary jobs on commercial fishing boats. There was a nice beach next to the Marco Island Marina where they could swim out and bring a toy back to us. I guess it also didn’t hurt they knew a small treat was waiting for them if they brought the toy back.