The Endless Vacation: Long-Term Travel Canoeing Trips

Ida and Barry Little practice independent living and travel, in the bahamas, by canoeing.

| January/February 1977

  • Empty Canoe
    The Littles have spent three years living in a canoe and paddling their way through the Bahamas.

  • Empty Canoe

It's that time of the year again. The time when early winter's crispness and the novelty of those first downy snowfalls rapidly begins to turn into the monotonous, gray, icy sludge and slush of late January, February and early March. Wouldn't it be great to trade this whole mess in on some kind of carefree, come-and-go-as-you-please, beachcombing life in the tropics? Wouldn't that be great!? Impossible, of course, here in the late 1970's, but, nonetheless, great! 

"Yes, it is great," say Ida and Barry Little, "but not at all impossible. Because that's exactly the way we've lived for the past three years, and we've done it all on far less money than you'll probably believe possible!" 

My husband, Barry, and I enjoy independent and isolated nomadic living. So we really thought we had it made 11 years ago when we kicked over the traces, bought a 40-foot ketch, and began island hopping up and down the West Indies and along the northern coast of South America.

Eight years later, however, we'd both had our fill of that way of life. The ketch was a constant expense and every safe anchorage for a boat of that size, we'd found, was too populated by curious natives and/or other ships and yachts for our tastes.

"There must be a better way," we told ourselves. "There must be a way for us to enjoy an endless round of sailing, swimming, fishing, shelling, contact with wildlife, and — most important of all — solitude and privacy. And there must be a way for us to do all this on little more than pennies a day."

Live in the Bahamas

And that's exactly what we've done for the past three years. We've come and gone as we pleased throughout the Caribbean with summer side-trips that have taken us as far north as Ontario's Wilderness Lakes region. We've sailed and swum and snorkled and fished and shelled and beachcombed and otherwise luxuriated in the wonders of some of the earth's most beautiful places. And we've done all this for day after wonderful day after glorious day. In blissful solitude and privacy. And on the very thinnest of thin shoestrings.

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