E-Yardarm
Fall 2005

Dear Friends:

Thanks for your calls and emails with prayers and best wishes when Hurricane Wilma was bearing down on us with a rolling pin cocked in her beefy arms. It worked. Although our base of operations here at Marinatown Marina in N. Fort Myers was in the zone of hurricane winds, our sturdy fleet survived all that Wilma could fling at us. Luxury trawler and sloop charters in paradise will continue uninterrupted. Courses at our liveaboard sail and power boating school continue to be scheduled, as always, at your convenience.

We hope to see you soon in beautiful Southwest Florida!

Pleasant Cruising,
Barb and Vic Hansen


And speaking of hurricanes . . . . .

The local and national hurricane media feeding frenzy prompted me to write this for my “View from the Marina” column:

TV’s Hurricane “Coverage”

By Barb Hansen

Hurricanes are deadly serious. And, for the most part, television weather coverage does a commendable job of letting us know where and when to expect the big winds and waves. So why does so much of TV’s hurricane coverage make us want to laugh?

Vic and I have been especially suspicious of TV’s hurricane coverage ever since Dan Rather reported on Hurricane Andrew from the wrong coast. While Florida’s East Coast was getting blasted, Dan positioned himself in beautiful weather on the West Coast and told people how bad it was going to get. But it never did. The damage was confined to the Miami-Homestead area.

The Weather Channel’s motto is “Live by it.” But often it seems that what they really want us to do is live in fear by it. Fear sells. Fear keeps you at home in front of the TV set. TV news’ mantra is if it bleeds, it leads. So, bleeding or not, they want you to think wolves are at the doorstep.

Be afraid, they say. Be very afraid.  We could all be killed. But don’t panic. TV’s problem is that the placid waves and light winds shown on the TV screen don’t match the antics and false alarms sounded by their reporters. Don’t they realize people out there in TV land are chuckling?

I applaud the new TV newsroom technologies that show precisely where the winds and rain are heaviest, right down to the neighborhood.  I like it when they list the shelters open, schools closed, and things to buy and things to do. But when they send their crews on the road, all the channels become the comedy channel. Even Jay Leno cracks jokes about it.

To honor the best performances, I recently founded the Academy of Boob Tube Hurricane Coverage. Nominations for the 2005 awards are now open.

Best actor in a leading role.  My nomination goes to the national cable anchor reporting on Hurricane Emily from the Florida Panhandle for the best ad lib. …That was intense. Ohmigod, the aluminum sign is blowing this way. No, it’s going the other way. Watch out, watch out, we could all be killed. Somebody should get that sign under control before it kills me.

Best screenplay. Here we had "team coverage" where one reporter screen-played in a parking lot during a light rain. He ran from puddle to puddle saying, "you can see the water beginning to pool here.” Another time I saw a reporter standing on the beach, pants rolled up, the waves less than a foot high saying, "the waves appear to be building." 

 Best costuming. This year all the nominations are for 20-something-year-old blonde female reporters wearing lots of makeup and fashionable expense-account rain slickers…but no rain hat.

Best visual effects. A morning talk show weather personality stood on a Panhandle beach reporting on a TV video truck lying on its side. I thought TV was supposed to cover the news, not make it.

Best foreign language program.  Have you noticed that it is no longer good enough to call it a hurricane. Now, it’s a “hurricane event.” And, the hurricane is not going to affect this or that area, it is going to “impact” it.  The Weather Channel tells us where “impacts” will be felt.

Best unoriginal script.  Vic and I listen for clichés and we are never disappointed. Batten down the hatches. Hunker down. It’s raining cats and dogs, folks.  It’s just a matter of time. Packing horrific winds. Making landfall. Path of destruction. Area of combat. We give each other a there-they-go-again smile.

I’d give a real award to somebody for the television technologies that give us early warnings and dramatic real time radar and satellite pictures. There’s no need for the reporters to stage or exaggerate the news. Timely on location reports speak for themselves.

Hurricanes are serious. Unfortunately, most TV coverage from the scene is just plain frivolous.


HURRICANE VICTIMS STILL NEED HELP!

Although we were spared the wrath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and the like, our hearts go out to those whose lives were forever changed by these disasters.  If you have not already done so, please donate to the American Red Cross at 1-800-HELP NOW, or go online to www.redcross.org  to make a donation.  Thank you.


BERTH ANNOUNCEMENT!

New to our fleet:  Mainship Pilot 34

“Peachy Keen II” has joined our power boat fleet in Fort Myers.  This popular “picnic” style boat is perfect for a long weekend getaway afloat, or an extended cruise through the beautiful barrier islands of Southwest Florida.  Her equipment includes a single diesel with bow thruster, generator, air conditioning, GPS, TV with VCR, Stereo with CD player, AC/DC refrigerator, microwave, electric stove top, and much more!  Join us soon for a “Peachy Keen” cruise!

Winter Rate per Week:  $3239         Summer Rate per Week:  $2590

This vessel will also be available for our Basic Power Boating (P101) course!

www.swfyachts.com/webpages/whats_new.htm


From the Mailboat

We receive lots of nice emails and letters from both our charter and school clients.  Here are two that we wanted to share with you.  Thanks to our great customers for taking the time to write to us.  We appreciate your comments!

 Dear Barbara,

I wanted to express my thanks for last weekends’ cruising class.   [Capt.] Greg was without a doubt one of the most knowledgeable captains.  You could do nothing but learn.  My crew mates were supportive and helpful not to mention fun and now new friends.

From the time I booked my course, my experience with Southwest Florida Yachts was nothing but the best.  You have an incredible staff.  I would, without hesitation, recommend your school to everyone.  Thank you for the new adventure.

 Jackie from Daytona, FL 
P101-102 Power Boating Course

  [We] thoroughly enjoyed your organization . . . very satisfied with the entire stay- 5 star!  I don’t know how it could have been better.  Thank you for a wonderful experience.  It was our honeymoon!  We look forward to chartering with SFY again!

Ron and Denise, New York
Charter aboard “Maretta Rose,” Grand Banks 42

CAPTAIN’S CORNER 


Captain Greg Corsones 

Captain Greg Corsones is a US Coast Guard licensed Master Captain with over 23 years of boating experience in Southwest Florida.  Greg is an avid power boat cruiser, fisherman and scuba diver.  He was born and raised in Vermont and spent over 20 years in the engineering supply business before turning his first love into his second career.         

Greg serves as one of our first-rate charter boat Captains and Instructors.  Greg and his wife have two sons who enjoy being on the water just like their Dad.  When he is not working, Greg enjoys boating and fishing with his entire family.

www.swfyachts.com/webpages/captains.htm


Tombstones for Busy People

By Barb Hansen

This nation has a big problem. I call it The Big O.

No, not obesity.  Over scheduling 

Simon and Garfunkel diagnosed this ailment years ago with their Feeling Groovy song.

Slow down, you move too fast. You’ve got to make the morning last. Just kicking down the cobble stones, lookin’ for fun and feelin’ groovy.

The problem was clearly evident 40 years ago when that song was popular. It’s much worse now. We try to do too much in not enough time. To get more done we even cut back on sleep. I read that 100 years ago Americans averaged 9.5 hours of sleep a night. Today, we average 7 hours and many “get by” on much less than that.

Why do we do this to ourselves? We do it, psychologists tell us, because it makes us feel important. We are sending a message to others. "I’m 24/7, man. Notice how busy I am? I am really important."

Now we don’t even do just one thing at a time. We multi-task. We carry on a phone conversation while typing an email message and also keeping an ear cocked for breaking news on the cable channel. Even the TV channel is multi-tasking. There’s a split screen showing two things going on at once, plus an audio track, plus text of news bits crawling across the bottom of the screen.

But it gets worse. Some too-busy people over schedule their vacations, too.  As the chief cook and concierge at a certain yacht chartering firm, I have seen The Big O disease reach problematical proportions. Power cruisers are the worst. They are more point A to point B types. Crank up the RPMs, get me to the marina on time, and all that. Sailors are much more patient. They know you can’t depend on the wind and while they don’t mind starting the auxiliary from time to time, they’d really rather be sailing with no particular place to go. Thanks Chuck Berry

I won’t name names but we had a customer, an accomplished boater, who was qualified to skipper one of our trawlers without a captain. He’s a fast-charging, get ‘er done, check-it-off kind of guy. He arrived four hours late and missed his appointment to get checked out on the boat and was miffed nobody would stay late to do it. After his check out the next morning, anxious to get back on his self-imposed schedule, he pulled the vessel out of the slip and navigated right into the teeth of a heavy rain storm.

The best prescription I know for The Big O is cruising. Your hometown paper is not delivered to the aft deck. Cell phones don’t always get a signal. The TV screen is small; reception is poor. If you don't get the message, you're listening too hard. Tap, tap, Mr. and Mrs. Chronic Busy. You. Turn off the phone and the TV. Pick up a novel instead of a newspaper. Close your eyelids and drift into a delicious nap. Get that groovy feeling again.  Just last week a charter client asked if they could take the TV off the boat for their cruise.  That’s the idea.

There is another way out, not so groovy, not so inviting. It’s called The Big Sleep. It’s very popular among The Big O set and if you are one of those overscheduled types you are most welcome to engrave one of these sayings on your tombstone for use at the appointed time, fast approaching.

Notice how important I am.

I've got so much to do.

Or (with apologies to Emily Dickinson) this paraphrase of one of her famous poems:

Because I would not stop for Life-- He kindly stopped for me--


 SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

YACHT SALES AND BROKERAGE


Southwest Florida Yacht Sales is focused on matching boat buyers from around the world with trawlers, motor-yachts and sailing vessels 30-feet or longer. It is a member and abides by the code of ethics of the Yacht Brokers Association of America and the Florida Yacht Brokers Association.   SFY is also a participating member of Yachtworld.com, the online, universal yacht listing service.
www.swfyachtsales.com


FOR SALE
FEATURED BOAT OF THE MONTH: 
KROGEN 42 – Reduced to $225,000!

This yacht is an incredible buy for the serious cruiser.  “Columbine” will make someone a perfect home afloat.  And consider the respected heritage of the Krogen line of trawlers.   The owner is motivated to sell.  Give Vic Hansen a call today!

FOR COMPLETE SPECS AND PHOTOS ON ANY OF OUR LISTINGS GO TO
http://www.swfyachtsales.com  OR CALL US AT 800-262-7939 OR 239-656-1339.

WE NEED LISTINGS, TOO! 

If you have a boat to sell, let the professionals at Southwest Florida Yachts assist you!
We can help you sell your boat or find the boat of your dreams.


YACHTS WANTED!

We have a critical need for additional late-model Sail and Power yachts to join our fleet!

If you currently own a yacht that you may not have the time to use, or wish to purchase a boat now as your "floating retirement plan", give Vic or Barb Hansen a call. 

With our sail and power courses, and sail and power charters, the demand for yachts exceeds our supply.  We need more boats soon to meet the demands of the 2005-2006 season and beyond.

If  you would like some income to help offset the cost of boat ownership, or wish to have your investment in a yacht protected by having regular usage and proper maintenance, you might want to consider charter yacht ownership.

Also, if you are interested in placing your boat with a company that is a leader in the charter and boating education industry and has a reputation for excellence, please consider the company with a proven record for over 20 years - Southwest Florida Yachts, Inc. 

Plus, we are located in one of the finest year-round cruising areas in the world!

For more information on our charter yacht ownership program, please give us call.

 ...Top of Page


OUR NEW AIRPORT OPENS

Southwest Airlines Announces New Service to Fort Myers!

It’s now easier than ever to get to Southwest Florida!

Southwest Florida has hit the “big time” with a new, bigger and better airport!  The new terminal at Southwest Florida International Airport opened on September 1st, replacing the existing 22-year-old facility and providing more than twice the space. The $438 million project includes the new 798,000-square-foot terminal, a new taxiway and related roadways and is one of the first built-from-the-ground-up airport terminals in the U.S. to incorporate post-Sept. 11 security mandates into its design.

More than 368,000 passengers traveled through Southwest Florida International Airport in its first month, making it the busiest September in the airport's 22-year history. Traffic increased more than 15 percent compared to September 2004 and helped boost the year-to-date increase to 13.6 percent. The airport accommodated more than 5.7 million passengers during the first nine months of 2005.

"September strongly continued a 34-month trend of record-setting passenger increases," said Robert M. Ball, A.A.E., executive director of the Lee County Port Authority. "2005 has made history for the opening of the new terminal. It almost certainly also will be the airport's first 7 million-passenger year."

Southwest Airlines began serving Fort Myers for the first time last month.  Southwest joins a long list of major airlines to expand operations to Southwest Florida.  Other airlines serving our area include ATA, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, Northwest, Spirit, and many more!

 Check your local airport guide for the airline that will serve you best and join us soon!  For more information go to: www.flylcpa.com


Check out our websites! 

For complete charter, school, and yacht sales information, try our websites:
www.swfyachts.com
www.flsailandcruiseschool.com
www.swfyachtsales.com

You will find complete charter and class rates, specs on all the boats, copies of many newspaper and magazine articles about our company, the latest news, boats for sale, and special offers!


Birds of a Feather

By Barb Hansen

The other day I watched some warblers twit about the shrubbery and I was reminded of an enduring scientific certainty: We are animals. I mean that in a nice way, of course.

It’s easy to forget this while sipping merlot and emailing friends, but it’s true. Ask anybody. We belong to the kingdom of animalia, the order of primates, the genus of homo, the species of sapiens, the advanced species of wine lovers and the super-duper family of sailors. (The last two are just theories at this point. Mine, actually.)

I also believe that like warblers we humans are hard-wired to do certain things like, for example, migrate to Florida during the winter months. However, because we have advanced brains and central heat, many in the kingdom of animalia ignore those signals. And that is such a shame, because those who live in cold climates could be having so much fun outside in the sunshine and stay warm, too. Not listening to those health signals, I suspect, is one of the primary causes of the growing pandemic that the researchers call Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Warblers are hard-wired to fly to Southwest Florida in September and depart for Central America in November. We’ll miss them, of course, but it’s okay because they are listening to their inner selves and doing what they are supposed to do. Anyway, more snowbirds are on the way. Flocks of white pelicans from Canada will soon be floating in sheltered coves, diving on thick schools of minnows and taking graceful winged exercise together. Belted kingfishers will whistle and zoom through mangrove passages. Here and there a loon from the land of frozen lakes (Midwest and Canada) will pop to the surface with a fish wiggling in its beak. Our resident bald eagles and hawks always invite their cousins to visit from up north and they all come.

None of these snowbirds to the best of modern scientific knowledge suffers from SAD. Nor is there a documented case of SAD among our permanent populations of herons, ibises, egrets, willets and bitterns. All of these happy creatures are on display in the winter months to watchful sailors. Vic and I especially like to cruise the skinny backbay waters of Pine Island Sound because we can observe so many birds doing what their instincts tell them to do.

As scientific observers of the barrier islands of biodiversity at certain times of the year we hypothesize that we are also obeying silent neural instructions up to and including the part when we put the cork back into the tall, brown bottle with the dark red fluid. When summer returns to Florida each year Vic and I, still obeying said neural system signals, break open the chardonnay and migrate to cooler climes to visit relatives in New York City, Vermont, Indiana and other points north.

As a young history student in Indiana I remember learning about and feeling so sorry for the native Americans of the upper Midwest who had to try to stay warm through those brutal winters wearing only those meager garments.  But I later learned they didn’t stay there in the winter. They went south, following the sun, eating fresh fish and going where the weather suited their clothes. They were the original Florida snowbirds of the homo sapiens persuasion.

Vic and I and the visitor’s bureau warmly invite you and yours to do what warblers, ruby throated hummingbirds and all birds of a certain feather do enthusiastically when the temperature drops -- vacation in Florida.

People, listen to your inner selves. The heating bills that arrive at your home this fall and winter will remind you of that.


THANKSGIVING  ON THE BEACH

Thanksgiving Day means a day at the beach.
Islands and dolphins are all within reach.
Vic gets a fish and the dog is at play.
It’s another perfect Thanksgiving Day.

We hope you all have a perfect and blessed Thanksgiving Day!


CHARTER AND CLASS CERTIFICATES
MAKE PERFECT HOLIDAY GIFTS!

Looking for a special gift for that special someone?  Let us suggest a gift certificate from Southwest Florida Yachts or The Florida Sailing and Cruising School!

Purchase a daysail, a week-long charter, or a live-aboard sail or power course and your gift will be remembered for years to come. 

Don't put off your Holiday shopping until it's too late.  Give us a call today!


For more information on charters, classes, charter yacht ownership, or brokerage yachts for sale, please call us at 1-800-262-7939 or 239-656-1339.
E-mail: info@swfyachts.com

WEBSITES:

www.swfyachts.com * www.flsailandcruiseschool.com* www.swfyachtsales.com


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If you have specific questions about SWF Yachts that are not answered on our website, please direct them via email to info@swfyachts.com


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