I was browsing you-know-what and read something a
parent posted online. I Googled manatees.
It was about Florida manatees, of course, but this
entry reminded me about the wonderful age of 10.
And, may I suggest, it also was about why cruising
in Florida ought to be on the summer vacation
to-do list for every young family.
It was posted on an online form and the parent
wrote, "We just got home from our wonderful
trip to Sanibel for the first time. We saw a
mother manatee nursing two babies near the
lighthouse close to the shore on Friday Aug. 7…
She also had about five other babies waiting their
turn just poking their little noses out of the
water. What an awesome sight for my 10 yr old
daughter and me."
This was an awesome sight and awesome times 100, I
think, because it was shared by a parent and
10-year-old. Ten-year-olds – I'm sure you know
this – are the perfect age for an experience like
this but, hey, I'm sure this would be a wonderful
thing to see for all children above the age of
reason up to and including their parents.
The thing is, seeing manatees and frolicking
dolphins in the wild is not at all unusual in
Florida in the summer, especially when you're on a
boat. They call this the "low season" but manatees
and dolphins don't know that. For Florida’s
wildlife, summer is the high season.
By the way Sanibel, mentioned by the parent of the
10-year-old, is one of our famous Gulf barrier
islands and it helps shape the popular, protected
cruising corridors on either side of Pine Island.
Here at Southwest Florida Yachts the summer pace
is a tad more relaxed after a busy "high" season
of chartering vessels to snowbirds escaping the
cold up north. In the summer the calls often come
from moms and dads asking what summer cruising is
like because this is summer vacation and their
kids are out of school. They've done Disney, and
they are so over Disney.
Oh it's very good, I say. Then I'm off on a
summertime is the best time riff. Cruising is the
just right thing for a family with children to do
on summer vacation.
I tell them about seeing manatees and dolphins in
the wild. I tell them about seeing a thousand
wading birds feeding on a shallow flat and a
thousand stars twinkling from the dark sky at
night. It's summertime. Living is easy. Fish are
I like showing off our lovely part of Florida to
visitors during the low season and I’ve always
thought it way too sad that so many fail to come
here at a time of the year when Florida really
This is "Real Florida," as the tourism people call
it. It really is. And the cruising is easy.