The heat is on, my
friends, and the
heat is steamy.
We started out with storms, and we are now into the languid and pungent days of a full-blown summer
near the equator. We get so used to the crazy chorus of tree frogs on a still night and the sweet, thick smell
of Confederate jasmine in the air that when a visitor comes into our midst and comments about it we have
to be reminded. We have some of the most spectacular sunsets in July and August, when the thunderclouds
build to the east in the afternoon and catch the reflection of the golden orb that drops into the Gulf of
Mexico every evening.
Always remember to watch a sunset when you can, even if it means taking 10 minutes out of your busy
schedule. It may seem like a mundane event, but as human beings we’re only allotted a few of them.
Our captains are still running tarpon charters, though the main congregation of silver king has moved on
to different waters. There’s nothing like being on an old tarpon boat at night in Boca Grande Pass, listening
to the tinny rasping of voices on the VHF radio and the gentle waves slapping against the side of the boat. If
you appreciate the sight you might want to read our two stories about some of the island’s old local boats.
When you see the fleet of wide-bodied wooden inboards float like ghosts from the past under a full moon,
you will never forget it.
Local captain and boat-builder Tim Seibert also contributed a fine story about the boat he and George
Luzier built by hand, named Annie- T, that still can be found around Gasparilla Island. It’s an amazing tribute
story to an amazing man, as Luzier is known world-wide for his meticulous boat-building precision.
Two of my favorite smells – gunpowder from fireworks and steaks cooking on the grill – are also found
around this time of year. Our ad representative-turned-freelance-writer, Caroline Clabaugh, found herself
assigned to talk with some locals about how to cook a perfect steak. They ended up turning her on to a
technique called sous vide, which only requires a grill for a minute or two. It’s a fascinating procedure, you
should check it out.
Summer is a great time for boating, too, when our schedules aren’t as stringent and we have freezers that
could be filled with fish. If you’re up for something new this year you could try fishing from a kayak, an
environmentally-friendly, easy way to grab dinner. It may sound challenging but our writer Sue Erwin gave it a
go and found it to be surprisingly easy to adapt.
As the sun pounds down on our heads and the heat from the pavement rises up to smack you in the
face, remember how blessed we are to live in paradise, and in the United States of America. Be good to
yourselves, and to each other, and roast a weenie for me ...
10 GASPARILLA ISLAND July/August 2018