Southwest Florida Yachts


A Thanksgiving Toast
By Barb Hansen
November 1, 2004

Some years ago I gave Vic a tee shirt that read, “Life is an adventure, not a guided tour.”

Since it is that time of year when we give thanks for all that is good and right in our lives, I will give thanks for the gift of the adventurous spirit that Vic and I share. That spirit has defined our 20 (going on 21 years) together as partners and proprietors of Southwest Florida Yachts and Florida Sailing & Cruising School.

This is not to say that bad things don’t happen.  It would be easy to be brought down with the negative stuff in the headlines like wars, pestilence and famines. It would be easy to dwell too long and negatively on the close-to-home issues, too, like the difficult people we have to deal with, personal tragedies, health problems, and weather calamities.

In southwest Florida we’ll remember Hurricane Charley of 2004 for a long time. Hurricane Charley came ashore at Charlotte Harbor and damaged some of the vessels in our sailing fleet. Our mutual response? “It could have been worse.” In years to come when we recall Hurricane Charley, I believe we will exchange wry, knowing smiles that confirm the old saw, “If it doesn’t kill you, it will make you stronger.”

We try to keep it all in perspective.  With all of life’s challenges, there is still much for which to be thankful.  In time, when we look back on life’s difficult episodes, we see that adversity and adventure often are just cousins. In time, some of those painful episodes can become adventures. We always try to make them so.

Our spirit of adventure has defined what we do with our free time as well. (Boating, of course). Different strokes for different folks but guided tours aren’t for us. Every cruise is a personal adventure times three. We create it. We do it. We remember it.

As a memory-maker, this year’s Thanksgiving Cruise will be no exception. The weather will be almost perfect (it always is this time of year in southwest Florida) as we cruise through the beautiful barrier islands of Sanibel, Captiva, Cayo Costa, and Gasparilla.

Like the early settlers, we will take the dinghy to explore an unhabitated key and search for island treasures. Our dog Star will race herself down the beach, chase jumping mullet, and play bite the ball with a coconut.

As we trawler comfortably on our way, dear friends will pay their courtesy calls. Dolphins will play in our wake. Ospreys will say hello with a tilt of the wing. Pelicans will dive into the froth behind our trawler. Sometimes a manatee will rise to the surface and look us straight in the eye.

Anchored in a quiet cove, we will settle in at the flybridge table to watch the sun set. We’ll click plastic glasses together and share our annual Thanksgiving Toast:

Thanks for the gift of adventure and a boat to seek it in.

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.