When sailing or boating, there are many choices for harbors. Whether on the Great Lakes, the Pacific Ocean, or the Atlantic Ocean, there are busy harbors and harbors that are barely discovered. One must decide when coming in to port what type of port one would most like to put in at. There are pros and cons for both, as they offer their own unique feel and opportunities. One may as well put a decent amount of time into weighting such a decision, because there are certainly enough ports to choose from that one is better off being satisfied with his or her choice. There is no reason not to be, so the pros and cons should be broken down and laid out against each other, so that each can decide for themselves which port best suits their needs and desires.
A busy port will often already be very full of boats. There may be more slips, of course, because the port most likely did not just become busy over night. Still, those slips may all be full if one is going into a port that gets a significant amount of boat traffic. This can be very frustrating, especially after a long voyage when all one wants is to get back onto the shore and experience the destination that one has come so far to enjoy. It can also be frustrating if anyone on board the ship is seasick, as they will want to get off as quickly as possible, and will not be able to in a timely fashion if there is nowhere to dock the boat.
On the other side of the coin, if the trip was short and everyone is feeling fine, sitting in a busy harbor can be a fun experience all on its own. The ship may have to drift outside the harbor for a while, waiting for a slip to open up, but the sailors or boaters will get to relax on the deck, share some beverages in the sun, and watch all of the other boats coming and going. There are some very beautiful and interesting watercraft out there, and the boater may have a chance to see them up close, something they would not have at a less busy harbor where there was less traffic.
The obvious benefit of avoiding a busy harbor is that one will be able to put in at a smaller harbor very quickly. This is nice for getting the hassle of tying up the boat out of the way, getting on shore, and enjoying the amenities there. However, one may find that there are not all that many amenities to be enjoyed. Harbors usually run hand-in-hand with the towns that support them. It is like tourism anywhere. If the harbor has a lot to do and see, it will be busy. If it is not busy, it could be because there is nothing to do on the shore and so no one wants to go there anyway. There are exceptions to this rule, as always, but it is something to keep in mind when planning a trip.
Again, it all depends on what one is in the mood to do. Avoiding a busy harbor is a good way to find something new, that perhaps no one has really noticed yet. It is also a good way to go if one is a fan of nature and the wild in its pristine condition. Busy harbors are often centered around busy towns, and that means a lot of development, housing, and storefronts. If one is after this sort of lifestyle, that is great. However, if one wants something more secluded where one can see animals and natural wonders, these are much more easily found at slow harbors where there is not enough money coming in to support a bustling town.
The boater should choose carefully, so as not to be disappointed, but should also take heart in the fact that no choice needs to be final. One could sail into a busy harbor, watch the boats for a while, and sail back out to go on down the coast to someplace less busy. It is all possible, and both types of harbors offer something to be enjoyed.