Local knowledge can give you an advantage on the water


Any time you travel to a new location by camper, RV or boat, there is a certain learning curve at your destination. Mingling with locals is a great way to learn some of the more provincial customs, dos and don’ts. This information is called local knowledge — and, although much it won’t be found in your travel book or on […]

This time of year, nature is one big nursery

There is a new generation of life coming out in nature everywhere you go — whether on a hike in the woods, a paddle down a creek or a trip to the out islands of Charlotte Harbor. In the pine flatwoods, there are animals like rabbits, deer and squirrels, as well gopher turtles and lizards and snakes (not to mention […]

To move or not to move (in the heat)


Many snowbirds know the heat in the summer can be, at times, intolerable — at least here in South Florida — so they pack up and head north to their main residences in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and other “cooler” states. In fact, Nancy and I just returned from a little getaway to the southwestern part of Colorado. While our permanent […]

Old blackwater, keep on rollin’


Our summer rains are here and, as a result, the rivers are flowing — with some reaching flood stage. In my last column, I talked about the actual flow of rainfall over the hills and ridges throughout Florida. Even though these elevation changes are not very noticeable, they redirect the water to fill our tributaries and rivers, where it all […]

To prevent a breakdown at sea, use your “magic shell”


When I was a young lad growing up on the shores of Lake Erie, I often wondered what it would be like to sail over the horizon. This seemed to be almost every adventurous boy’s (and girl’s) dream, to travel to the far reaches of the Earth, and visit exotic places with swaying coconut palms and warm breezes. I imagined […]

One fish, two fish, old fish, new fish


As we all know, there are millions of different sea creatures throughout the world. There are many factors that determine the shape and size and color of certain species. Many new species are being discovered every year due to new technology and equipment that can use spectrum of light to see fish in waters too deep for light to penetrate. […]

Size matters: getting pleasure from small(er) boats

The dream of many people is to retire and move to Florida, have a house on the water (maybe on a canal) and have a boat out back — be it a sailboat, sport fishing boat, dive boat or any number of “dream boats” that would bring us pleasure. Back in the early 1970s, I lived just a block off […]

Looking at the brighter side of life (outdoors style)


Depending on your viewpoint and outlook on life and the world around you, your proverbial glass is either half full or half empty. I prefer mine to be completely full, always. Some of it is liquid, some might be air — but, hey, that still counts as full to me. And that’s important, because how one looks at everyday life […]

Be careful you don’t get zapped


Lightning! Just the mention of the word stirs up images of dark clouds, high winds and waves, and flashes of light with resounding booms of thunder. Summer storms can be dangerous for those people who enjoy the outdoors. In reality, there are very few instances of people and boats being hit by lightning. The media do report when some beachgoer […]

You’re home: What’s wildlife doing in their homes?


Wildlife watching starts in your own backyard during the COVID-19 outbreak, or on a neighborhood walk, where you are safely socially distancing from others. Look closely for the mating, breeding, nesting, birthing and other subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors that the spring months bring. Beyond your safe circle, wildlife is going, well, wild, with activity this month — from mating manatees […]

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