while back a category four weedwacker named Charley
raced over Southwest Florida’s beautiful barrier
islands and the picturesque waterfront communities
around Charlotte Harbor.
I’ll remember Charley as the storm that made me
proud of my fellow citizens who leaped to help their
friends, neighbors and strangers in a jam.
I’d say it took about one day, maybe two, for
everybody here to dedicate themselves to restoring
their homes, businesses, and municipalities.
Insurance helped, as it was supposed to.
Governments, too. But in my opinion the collective
can-do human spirit here made all the difference.
Southwest Florida has a lot of that can-do spirit,
as well as water, sunsets, scenery and exceptionally
good weather (with exceptions like Charley). It all
fuels our number one claim to fame – tourism.
Boaters get the best view in my opinion. So it is
with pleasure that we announce that proprietors of
the waterfront services for our visitors –
restaurants, marinas, resorts, inns, parks, tackle
and bait shops – have put their places back into
shape (and then some) and have reopened for business
with a smile.
the numbers of dolphins, manatees, and birds I judge
that the natural areas are fully restored as well.
I’m told that a storm like Charley actually helps
rebuild wildlife habitats.
Don’t take my word for it. Power Cruising
magazine’s editors cruised our paradise recently and
have proclaimed that all is very well and good along
our sheltered cruising corridors. Editor Pierce
Hoover’s article, Surveying the Sound – A Return
Visit to One of America’s Coastal Cruising Grounds,
is in the November issue.
Pierce puts his “A-OK” stamp on all of our favorite
ports of call -- Burnt Store Marina, Useppa Island
Club, Boca Grande Marina, Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa
State Park, SouthSeas Island Resort and Yacht
Harbor, ‘Tween Waters Inn.
Google spent $1.6 billion on YouTube, an investment
in the future of the Internet. They’re betting that
millions of pairs of demographically desirable
eyeballs will stay glued to videos on the World Wide
Web. Maybe. Or will Google’s desirable demographic
of a certain age get bug-eyed staring at a computer
screen and decide they prefer real world views, not
The people of Southwest Florida invested in the
future too and have spent many times over what
Google spent. We’re betting that demographically
desirable human bodies (not just their eyeballs)
will return for real life scenes like dolphins
surfing their bow wave, a family of manatees coming
by their boat to say hello, and glowing Gulf of
Wall Street talks about companies reinventing
themselves. Well Southwest Florida does not need to
reinvent itself. It is what it is, what it was, and
what it will be -- a blessed intersection of earth,
water, and climate. Our waterfront reconstruction
renaissance just makes it that much easier to enjoy.