Florida Boating

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


By Barb Hansen
February 2011

Fellow Americans. Tonight, the State of the Union is, in a word, stressed.

Too many don't have jobs. Car fuel and groceries cost more. And you will die soon because of man-made global warming.

What happened to the American Dream?

What happened was everybody went online 24/7 and forgot what it was like to sit down together with the family at dinner. Instead they grabbed a take-out pizza and on the way home they texted friends just to say they were on the way home and that they were eating pizza. That's the new normal for dinner, you know.

What happened? Twitter happened. Texting happened. Instead of spending quality time with their family Americans tweeted 100 acquaintances in 140 characters or less.

Tonight, countrymen, I propose that we invest in a national program to rescue the American Dream.

I call it, Race to the Boat.

Tonight we are privileged to have with us in this chamber men and women who represent millions of boaters from all 50 states. Some sail. Some cruise. Some fish. Young ones ride a big inflatable behind a boat driven by their dad. Some paddle kayaks into remote backcountry areas where few have gone before. Some venture out and sail vast stretches of the wild blue yonder. Just for the fun of it.

Please stand, all, and accept the admiration of the American people who recognize, as do your elected representatives, that you live by the creed that made America great. You depend on yourselves. When you need support you look to your family, your neighbors, your close friends. Not the government.

We now understand that boaters and their lifestyle – work hard, then relax – show us the way to reclaim the American Dream.

Tonight I am proposing that all Americans follow your example and go boating at least seven days every year. Because, as you have said, when you're on the water everything feels right.

Every state in this union has lakes, rivers and bays or boating. I recommend a one-week cruise in the beautiful barrier island paradise of Southwest Florida where the subtropical weather is comfortable all year long.

If you don't have a boat of your own remember you can rent or charter. Here's my recommended itinerary for seven days in paradise.

On day one cruise to beautiful Sanibel Island, shelling capital of the world.

Day two. Put in at Cabbage Key where you can order the famous Cheeseburger in Paradise and tack a dollar bill on the wall with your name on it. Hey, it goes to charity.

Day three. Watch dolphins surf your bow wave. Watch roseate spoonbills, herons, storks, hawks, kingfishers and ospreys.

Day four. Anchor up behind Cayo Costa Island and take a swim in the Gulf of Mexico. Return to the boat. Take a nap. Catch a fish and grill it fresh for supper.

Day five. History buffs will want to see where some of America's infamous pirates held sway 200 years ago. Gasparilla Island was named for Jose Gaspar. His band of buccaneers stationed themselves so they could quickly approach ships and relieve them of their valuables.

Day six. Useppa Island is a must-see. Accessible only by boat, it takes its name from Jose Gaspar's significant other, Joseffa. This island recently opened The Collier Inn, an elegant b-n-b with 11 suites.

Day six. Cruise again. Stand on the bow and let the subtropical breezes blow remnants of stress away. See if you can spot the manatees.

Day seven. Welcome back home. Landlubber again, give yourself permission to return calls to your friends, check your Facebook postings and Tweet away. They'll want to know what happened to you. Tell them you've been recapturing the American Dream.


Post a Comment

<< Home