Cruising off the coast of Southwest Florida in the beautiful Gulf of Mexico during the winter is wonderful. However, I want everybody to know cruising those same waters in summer is pretty nice, too.
Sure summers on land in Florida are warm, but on the water off the coast you have the benefit of our natural air conditioner, the waters of the Gulf. There is a distinct difference between landside temperatures and those on the Gulf to the benefit of boaters.
As you awaken here on a summer morning, temperatures are typically in the low 70’s. Many boaters cruise or fish from sunrise to lunch when they head to shore for their noon meal and time for shade and protection at a marina. After lunch, there’s time for a dip in the pool and a shower.
The day’s highest temperatures will occur by midafternoon, usually in the low 90’s. However, along with the heat comes the afternoon Westerly sea breeze. The wind gradually fills in making it a great time to head out for a sail. Just watch out for the afternoon rain showers. This late-day weather pattern also brings a temperature drop. It begins with spectacular cloud formations and then a darkening followed by serious, but brief rains. The rains end, the sun reappears and the temperatures have cooled. It’s fresh and cleans everywhere. Those cloud formations head out to the Gulf, creating a delightful backdrop for sunsets that are hard to forget whether you’re back on your boat, at the marina or walking along the beach.
Please understand Vic and I have enjoyed lovely summer days in the Great Lakes area where we are both from and have boated up and down the Atlantic Seaboard. Summers in those areas are very nice. But those summers have also been marked by some 100-degree days and that just doesn’t happen here on the Gulf.
Northerners deserve some nice summer days after those brutal winters with sub-zero temperatures. And, that’s the voice of experience speaking.
Summers on land in Florida take some getting used to. There’s no doubt about that. You also have to be mindful of hurricanes during our July to November “season.” However, I encourage you to take a close look at hurricane statistics over the recent past. Florida is susceptible to hurricanes, but that’s also the case with any of the Atlantic states. At least hurricanes don’t sneak up on you. They give then names and sometimes track them for weeks.
My advice to you is to do your homework, check things out and decide for yourself. I decided quite a while ago that summers in Florida like our winters, are pretty darn nice. And, paradise is an apt description for both.
Barb Hansen manages Southwest Florida Yachts, yacht charters and Florida Sailing & Cruising School, a liveaboard yacht school. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (239) 257-2788.