Sailing off the coast of Southwest Florida in
the beautiful Gulf of Mexico during the winter
is wonderful. However, I want everybody to know
sailing those same waters in summer is pretty
Sure summers on land in Florida are warm, but on
the water off the coast you have the benefit of
our natural air conditioner, the waters of the
Gulf. There is a distinct difference between
landside temperatures and those on the Gulf to
the benefit of boaters.
As you awaken here on a summer morning,
temperatures are typically in the low 70’s. Many
boaters cruise or fish from sunrise to lunch
when they head to shore for their noon meal and
time for shade and protection at a marina. After
lunch, there’s time for a dip in the pool and a
The day’s highest temperatures will occur by
midafternoon, usually in the low 90’s. However,
along with the heat comes the afternoon Westerly
sea breeze. The wind gradually fills in making
it a great time to head out for a sail. Just
watch out for the afternoon rain showers. This
late-day weather pattern also brings a
temperature drop. It begins with spectacular
cloud formations and then a darkening followed
by serious, but brief rains. The rains end, the
sun reappears and the temperatures have cooled.
It’s fresh and clean everywhere. Those cloud
formations head out to the Gulf, creating a
delightful backdrop for sunsets that are hard to
forget whether you’re back on your boat, at the
marina or walking along the beach.
Please understand Vic and I have enjoyed lovely
summer days in the Great Lakes area where we are
both from and have boated up and down the
Atlantic Seaboard. Summers in those areas are
very nice. But those summers have also been
marked by some 100-degree days and that just
doesn’t happen here on the Gulf.
Northerners deserve some nice summer days after
those brutal winters with sub-zero temperatures.
And, that’s the voice of experience speaking.
Summers on land in Florida take some getting
used to. There’s no doubt about that. You also
have to be mindful of hurricanes during our July
to November “season.” However, I encourage you
to take a close look at hurricane statistics
over the recent past. Florida is susceptible to
hurricanes, but that’s also the case with any of
the Atlantic states. At least hurricanes don’t
sneak up on you. They give them names and
sometimes track them for weeks.
My advice to you is to
do your homework, check things out and decide
for yourself if summertime sailing and cruising
is for you. I decided quite a while ago that
summers in Florida like our winters, are pretty
darn nice. And, paradise is an apt description