How privileged we are to live on or near the water is something Southwest Florida residents hear often, particularly from visitors who left behind landlocked cities, states or even countries. Sometimes I feel as if I could be one with the water that surrounds us. When I’m focused, concentrating on a project, I’m like a kayaker on a mission, paddling across the inky waters of Pine Island Sound. Then there are times when my energy is low and my drive to do certain tasks just floats away, and I’m like a swimmer resting on my back in the placid Gulf and drifting with each gentle wave.
In this issue we explore the magical effects of water and the wonderful things you can enjoy on or near the waterways. Some of us love to fish, and a battle with a tarpon in Boca Grande Pass is your connection to the water. Others are mariners and island hopping from Sanibel to Cabbage Key to Cayo Costa leaves you surrounded by waters that change color as the sun rises and falls; the beautiful scenery connects you to the water. And even those who prefer land, can hike alongside winding rivers and scrub- lined bays in our parks and wildlife refuges and feel the water’s calming effect as you scour the sky for bald eagles. Yes, numerous opportunities to connect with water encompass us here, and as you read from page to page, I’m sure you’ll come away with a new appreciation for H2O.
On Sanibel Island, being close to the water seems to always involve shelling. No matter how hard you try, it’s almost impossible to go to the beach and not pick up at least one seashell that caught your eye. Anyone who has lived here long enough knows about the Sanibel stoop. Let’s just say it’s the way shell seekers move and bend when collecting seashells on the shore. Our feature story, Sanibel
Stoopers, casts a humorous light on the different styles of approach taken by people on the hunt for seafaring treasures. I guarantee you’ll get a chuckle or two out of this story, and the descriptions of Sanibel stoopers might just remind you of a friend or neighbor— or even yourself!
Away from the water, there’s plenty happening in Southwest Florida at this time of year. At all of our wonderful cultural centers, you’ll find music, theater, dance and art offerings galore. Whether you visit Big Arts and the Herb Strauss Theater or attend the Sanibel Music Festival or any of the events at the Sanibel Community House, the cultural scene is bursting with vibrant performances and exhibitions you won’t want to miss out on.
Last of all, I want to express my sincere thanks to the many readers who wrote me regarding my publisher’s letter that ran in the January/ February issue. I am always appreciative of your comments and thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me and the TOTI Media team. Daniela E. Jaeger Publisher, TOTI Media