We have a family and live aboard in Florida
- though we are unching out again for a while to the Bahamas
around mid June.
I am not going to profess to know every square inch of Florida, but I know a bit of it pretty good. I could and can live anywhere and like you, we are cruisers. What was important to us was having some ability to communicate and keep our fingers in our businesses some (IE, internet
connection), have a secure marina, a place where we could venture out on weekends if we did not want a longer trip, and be relatively secure in a storm.
We chose (for the second time) Fort Myers
Beach. We actually live at a marina where there are several other kids living aboard
around us - most of them my kids
ages (6&9). There are a lot of places to go and things to see around here. You can also test your longer distance cruising skills with a run to the Keys or Tortugas. The cost is probably a LOT less than Ft Lauderdale but I cannot comment on Melbourne. If you want to put your kids in school
for a little while, the Beach School
(pretty much only beach kids are allowed) is about as close to a private school as you will get in a public school system. Very small classes
, lots of funding
, and very good teachers. The negative of the Beach school is that they stop at 5th grade. After that, your kids will have to be taken off-island to continue their education in the public system.
Negatives of this area are that it is further away from the Bahamas
and the water
in the immediate area is brackish. Draft
can also be an issue. If you draw much more than 6, you will probably get tired of running aground all the time or revolving your life around the tides.
Anyways, there you go. Hope that info helps.