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Boating: Renewing the love

May 23, 2012
By boatguy Ed , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

During the long days working our tales off getting ready for the Dry Tortugas we often lost sight of the enjoyment of boating. For our benefit as well as yours, I dug around in the dead letter file and found many inspirational sentiments. This one was received March 19, 2004.

- "Hi Ed: I just read your March 17 column (2004) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I have opened corporate meetings and motivational speeches with these sentences, "I am from a long line of whalers and sailors. Salt water and the sea are in my blood." So naturally I know all the words to your quoted songs. My long awaited dream came true when I moved to Fort Myers and could put my toes in salt water every weekend. But I long to be ON the water when I stand on shore.

My ex got custody of the boat. We cruised these waters and down to the Keys on many vacations. Once we cruised from Panama City all the way down to Key West stopping at various cities along the coast. Being on the water for two weeks was heaven. There's nothing like that.

"Salty air ain't thin. It'll stick to your skin."

I always jump at an invitation to go boating. Our local waters are the best I've ever seen in my small experience. The dolphins. Oh how I love to watch the dolphins here. Exploring the bays and rivers is just heaven to me.

I so much identified your column this morning that I wanted to write you to thank you. Another "Jimmy" tune that I loved when I lived up north and inland (ugh) was "Boat Drinks." Here he misses the water and boat drinks when in a cold winter town.

I am thankful for being on Spring Break. We teachers love it as much as the kids, for being healthy. I finally shook off all the kid krud germs and for no longer living in New York. They are getting six inches of snow today!

This afternoon, when I'm on Fort Myers Beach standing in the great Gulf of Mexico and enjoying this beautiful sunshine, I will miss being on a boat but happy where I am. I'll smile knowing that I am not the only one who feels this way.

Thanks for the great column, as always. I read you regularly." Signed Peggy!

- Thank you Peggy. It'll help our crew focus. This was from a March 17, 2004 column where I lazily quoted the lyrics from the song "Cool Change." I must have been hung-over from St. Pat's prep.

- Boatguy; I'm a boater who has 'swallowed the anchor' as you often say. I live vicariously through your column and enjoy the minutia about your yacht club (Dead End Canal Yacht Club), but I'm hoping to convince you to write more about true life boating. My favorite time aboard my old boat was anchoring far from the city lights during a cloudless night. My "significant other" and I would spread out a thick comforter and lay on the bow of our boat to watch the shooting stars.

We often awoke with the "false dawn," another of your colorful yet inaccurate sayings, and delighted with a hot cup of "Joe" and the sunrise. We were weekday cruisers who made our own weekends because of our upside-down work in the health field. Many, many happy times.

The boat is gone because I bet wrong during the bubble but, if I ever get a credit rating higher than a hundred, I will find another boat and lay under the stars with a new significant other. Keep it coming. Wednesday is a good day for me! You're column don't wrap no fish!" 'Boat-less Bill.' circa 2010

- "Hello Boater, every time I read your column I think back to my grandfather. He loved the water and took us out every Sunday even though I got seasick quite often. He was a generous man who spoiled us, and I have mixed memories about our time together. Sadly he passed away when were still quite young.

He taught my brother to fish and I tried, but my heart wasn't into it if the water was rough. When the water was calm, I really loved the boat. I was learning to water-ski, and I discovered that if I was in the water my sickness would disappear. I was just perfecting this when he died and that was the end of my boating. Your friends remind me of him. He was rough and a little cranky but not with us except he made me come on the boat when I knew I was going to be sick. "You'll get over it," he'd insist. I didn't, and he was convinced when I didn't quite make the water one time.

Now my boating is confined to the Key West Ferry and, you will already have guessed, I still get sick but rarely because I take plenty of precautions. My husband is no boater but one of these days I'm going to rent a Back Bay boat and catch a bigger fish than my brother ever dreamed. Keep your friends crotchety and hope to see ya'll next boat parade." Susan (circa December 2009)

That's all folks. Sorry if you think I just mailed this in but I hope to be in the Dry Tortugas when this comes out!

Boatguy Ed was the manufacturer of the best boat bottom paint ever put on a boat. He is retired. Mrs. Boatguy took over, but may soon return. He is also an avid boater, TV producer and past Commander of the Dead End Canal Yacht Club. Send comments to or visit the club's Facebook page and 'Like' us.



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