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