Times of the Islands - - Departments -

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

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