SUMMER VIEWS OF FLORIDA
By Barb Hansen
This is the low season in Southwest Florida.
Now we’ll try to get ready for another January-May season. We’ll check engines and sails, refinish teak and other brightwork. We will make sure that all the power and sail yachts are close-to-perfect. And we’ll be scheduling the most popular boats for another high season.
It feels good to back off a bit after a hectic high season of chartering boats and teaching boating. Our schedules are less busy. We can kick back, take a deep breath and get out and enjoy the beauty and adventure of Florida that we love to tell our customers about.
I love the low season but, alas, this year I’m conflicted. As it turns out the phones are ringing and we are getting some low season yacht charter trips set up and now I am wondering, is Louisiana’s oil misfortune our good fortune? I don’t know. I want to think that our low-season charter customers love us for all the right reasons.
I was born in Florida – that makes me a “cracker,” I guess – but I grew up in Indiana so I know what the weather there is like. I’ve been back in Florida for more than 25 years. And it has been in the past quarter-century that I have learned to love our summers and autumns as much as I love Florida’s winters and springs.
I call June bird-toddler month. I just saw a little blue heron picking off fiddler crabs on the seawall. Every day egrets and herons little and large high-step it along rows of bushes and pick off lizards that weren’t paying attention.
You see. There is a lot going on. You just have to know what to look for.
By July clouds are popping up in the afternoons. Usually they’ll bring an afternoon shower to cool things off. The clouds create spectacularly colorful sunsets. Our winter charters don’t get to see those kinds of sunsets. I wish they could be here for that.
Anglers love Florida in the summer. Summer is when fish are biting. Boca Grande Pass is world headquarters for catching a tarpon, king of inshore gamefish. I’m told that our fish don’t bite well in the winter; the water’s too cold for them. See, it’s all relative.
I know, I know. The summer months are warm and humid. That’s why we start work a little early and quit a little early. Shade is our default position. Also, maybe you’ve heard, it’s cooler near the water. And some boats even have air conditioning.
October, November and December bring delightful temperatures to Southwest Florida, almost as perfect as January-May although, for sure, we keep an eye out for tropical weather. It might come our way. It usually doesn’t.
This is the low season in Southwest Florida and I’m high on it but something nags me about it. Why, this midwestern transplant wonders, don’t more people visit Florida in the low season? Didn’t they get the memo? Florida is spectacular in the low season. And it’s on sale.
We love our wading birds. We love our game fish. We love our sunsets. We love our beaches. They are squeaky clean, by the way. So is the water. Come see for yourself. I think you’re going to love it, too.
And all you media types – you know who you are -- if you're reading this, you can just stop it with the Be-Very-Afraid oil leak "news." It ain't working.