Southwest Florida Yachts


My Gratitude List
By Barb Hansen
November 2012

Thanksgiving holiday reminds us to be grateful for the good things in our lives.


I read an article about one Thanksgiving meal hostess who asked family members and guests to write out and bring a list of things they were grateful for.


I know what's on my list.


Vic, my husband, is at the top. We've shared so much together and supported each other through tough times and good. I remember back to 1984 when we got married, and just a few months later, started our new charter boat and liveaboard school business.


We were living on our sailboat at the time. Those were simpler times, but we faced many challenges. Vic did all the vessel maintenance. I cleaned the boats. We kept the phone in a dock box to be sure not to miss a call for a charter or a class reservation. We were thankful then, as we are now, for our good health and ability to physically do our jobs.


Good idea, Vic!


Don't tell my dogs and cats but they are second on my gratitude list. That's Skye, the border collie, and kitties Pearl, Lola, Lily, Holly and Lefty. We rescued them from bad circumstances. We are thankful we found them, and we are thankful they found us.


What is it about our pets that make them so important to us? I really don't know. Is because they are so non-judgmental? I'm reminded of a prayer. "Lord, please help me be the person my dog thinks I am."


My girlfriends. We walk, we talk, we lunch, we laugh. They are always there for me. I hope I have opportunities to return their favors and kindnesses.


Our work has been immensely rewarding right from the start almost 30 years ago. We own and manage Southwest Florida Yachts, chartering boats for cruising and sailing the spectacular and protected barrier island waters of the Sanibel-Captiva-Pine Island corridor. Our instructors at Florida Sailing & Cruising help boaters become superior boating and sailing skippers. We built this company, I'm proud to say, but the warm and thankful boaters who charter with us and take our live-aboard boating courses have made me a better manager – and a better person -- and I am grateful.


Loyalty surely ranks as one of the most prized virtues a person can have. We have many in our firm with that attribute but the model is our manager who just celebrated 25 years with us. Thank you, Marc. You inspire us all.


I'm grateful that I live and work in this beautiful area, at a marina at the water's edge. Seeing it from the deck of our boat while underway is amazing. I love the big colorful wading birds, manatee families chomping on seagrass, dolphins surfing our bow wakes.


Our Florida weather deserves to be on this list. Growing up in Indiana I loved summer and fall but planning to do something in the outdoors was always preceded by the phrase, "If the weather is okay…" I never hear people say that in Florida.


Our home is my last but not least item on the gratitude list. At the end of the workday this is where I plop my weary self and download disappointments and little victories to my support group. Thank you, Vic. Oh yes, thank you, too, Skye, Pearl, Lola, Lily, Holly and Lefty.


Home is where the heart is.

Click here to visit out Sailing School website!

Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

©1989, 1999 Southwest Florida Yachts, Inc. All Rights Reserved. This website contains
original copyrighted graphic and textual material created and owned by Southwest Florida Yachts., Inc.
Reproduction and other use of this material without the express written consent of Southwest Florida Yachts, Inc. is prohibited.