Adventure is a way of life for the Ronson’s. When Chris retired from car racing in 2002, he and his wife Jan hopped aboard their yacht, the Yianoula, and cruised for several years to places as far north as Bar Harbor, ME, and as far south as Grenada. Their adventures have proven that retirement can be even more exciting that race car driving. This cruising lifestyle brought them even closer together in retirement.
“I grew up on a boat. I had a boat before I could drive a car. My heritage is Greek—that’s probably where I get my love of water and boats. My wife, on the other hand, is from Colorado, where water is in short supply,” said Chris.
Jan continued, “Chris was a scuba diver. I was the person who was stung by jellyfish when I was 5 years old, so I had to overcome my fear of the water. In retirement, we both became PADI certified divers, and now we share the experience of diving. We often dive from the boat—it’s a nice travel opportunity to meet people and share stories, and it’s fascinating to see the sea creatures and the squid dance in the water in front of you.”
Adventures Bring Us Closer
“We took a little outback tour in Dominica, just north of Grenada, several years back. We hired a local guide to take us to a waterfall (this tour eventually became an eco-tour). We were following white marks on trails, fording a river numerous times, and that before long, it became a mid-calf deep, roaring river. When we got to the final waterfall site, we ended up hugging a rock and inching along on a six-inch path. It was nothing that you could do in the States, but we did it. And wow, it was incredible. We were so close to the waterfall. It was quite an endurance event, but, events like that bring us closer together.”
“Another time, when we were living in St. Maarten, we decided to just catch a little plane to Saba (a small Caribbean Island with great diving). It’s absolutely beautiful, but I don’t recommend going by plane. We approached the island runway by plane from a cliff. Actually, one side is a mountain, and three sides are cliffs. The pilot missed the runway the first time—it was only 2,500 feet long. Then, he tried to approach with the tailwind. He landed and came to a stop on the edge of a cliff—the wings were hanging on the edge of a cliff. When we got out, there were three men standing next to a truck with ladders to save us if needed, as this is a normal occurrence. It’s an experience we’ll never forget.”
The Next Adventure
Every year the Ronson’s would travel up and down the Intracoastal Waterway, stopping in destinations like Southport, NC, Hilton Head, SC, and Savannah, GA. Each trip, they’d stop in Brunswick, GA, where they happened upon the Troupe Creek Marina, a quiet, deep-water port. They fell in love with the area—with the land, the wildlife and the weather—so much so that the Ronson’s decided to buy it, develop it and live in it. Today, Hidden Harbor is a private, gated community of 26 three-story, three-bedroom, three-bath townhomes, each with unobstructed vistas of waterways, saltmarshes and coastal islands.
With 868-feet of brand new deep-water docks offering shore power, water and over 15 feet of depth at low tide (MLW), it’s a perfect place to dock your boat and live the boating lifestyle year-round.
“We are the owners, developers and builders,” Chris said. “We’re a small, husband and wife team, who came out of retirement because we love the area. We built Hidden Harbor knowing that we would be one of the owners. We’ve built the property to the highest standards, and the townhomes come with many significant green aspects. We’ve even secured 90 percent financing with Wells Fargo.”
What’s your next adventure? Perhaps, you won’t have quite the excitement of the Ronsons, but adventures can await retirees looking for a fun-filled lifestyle at any turn.