In the 1970s, Love Dean embraced a life on the water, living on and operating sailboats and powerboats. She qualified for a U.S. Coast Guard license and operated her own boat, specializing in environmental and birding tours throughout the Florida Keys. Her book Reef Lights was published in 1982. Ms. Dean moved to Hawaii in the late 1980s and published The Lighthouses of Hawaii in 1991. She returned to the Florida Keys and published another book about lighthouses, The Lighthouses of the Florida Keys.