Portsmouth, New Hampshire — where
Diana was temporarily keeping her sailboat, and Mark was outfitting his C&C
to go cruising — Cupid’s arrow struck. A
year later, the pair had sold their boats and
bought a PDQ 36 catamaran to set off on
a two-year cruise with Diana’s young son,
Morgan, in tow. The trio took in Canada,
the Great Lakes, Maine, the Bahamas,
the Dry Tortugas, and everywhere else
in between. While using several cruising
guides, they noted a few omissions. “Many
had been written more like prose and that
didn’t work,” says Diana. “We started to
think about what information people really
needed right at the helm. And maybe it was
having a child onboard, but we also wanted
to know things like how a place had gotten
its unusual name.” Those thoughts eventually became their first book, Managing the
Waterway: Hampton Roads, VA to Biscayne
Bay, FL (ICW), published in 2005.
The Doyles were certainly qualified to
launch the new guides. Mark had recently
retired from high tech, specializing in color
digital imaging, and also had a 100-ton
USCG Master’s License. Diana, a former
university professor with a Ph.D. from Yale,
holds a 50-ton USCG Master’s License.
Their guides and electronic charting series
have led them all over the country. They’ve
just finished their fourth publication, An
Illustrated Cruising Guide to the Great Loop
Inland Waterway: Chicago to Mobile (Volume
1: Chicago, IL to Paducah, KY).
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YOUR BOAT DOCKING
Diana Doyle and her son Morgan wait at the
Great Bridge Lock in Virginia.
They recently sold the catamaran and
invested in a trailerable 22-foot C-Dory
Pilothouse workboat that’s become their
home away from home. Unlike other cruising writers, the Doyles’ smaller boat means
they can go into every anchorage, which
they do, without fear of running aground.
“We’re writing for larger boats but we
can gunkhole everywhere,” Diana says.
www.managingthewaterway.com — A.D.
If you’d like to see someone included
in This Boating Life, a boater who’s also
done something extraordinary, e-mail
your suggestions to editor@BoatUS.com