Column: Climate change playing havoc with vacationers in Florida


Louise Swartzwalder - Galion Inquirer



SUBURBAN MCZENA – There has been a lot of talk about climate change recently.

Unexpected storms have hit parts of the United States. Drivers along major interstates like I-71 are told, on large signs, a winter-time storm is expected.

As an official dreamer, I frequently wish I were someplace else … almost anyplace else.

A friend did what a lot of fortunate people do, travel to Florida.

The location chosen was on the Gulf Coast, Sarasota, which is south of Tampa.

This friend says the weather was spotty. That’s so sad.

She almost got blown off the beach a couple of times, she said. Jackets were required.

The place she stays is plopped right on the beach at the south end of Lido Key. This is one of several glorious islands in the coast off mainland Sarasota.

At her place, right outside, a few steps away, is the sandy beach.

With a walk just a bit south, occupants of her swell resort — and residents and visitors — can step into a park.

Even Amish from up north go there to fish.

Walking from her unit, going south and around a corner, the wind is much calmer, she says.

One thing this friend didn’t expect this year was to see a photo worthy sight.

The surf, coming in off the coast, is usually pretty placid.

But …

Up north, a time-consuming walk away, on one day the surf thundered.

Friend Terry came upon a large group of people surfing.

A couple of surfers were on shore, presumably to warm up, so she talked to them.

One man, Thomas Morgan, said yes, surfing was great.

He referred to doing it at the “church of the open ocean.”

The surfers were out on a Sunday. Church goers? Not.

Such a sacrilege …

Morgan, operator of a wine store named Seagrape, was with friends. The ones on the beach didn’t look too troubled at having to stay out of the water.

One surfer, a female, was wrapped in a towel.

Every surfer wore black wet suits. These, I am told, afford some protection.

But probably not warmth.

Friend Terry said it was a bit unusual to see surfers in Sarasota.

Apparently, this phenomenon has been going on for some time.

A lot of people talk magnificently about surfing in Hawaii, or California.

But how could you argue against surfing in the southern U.S.A?

A little advice, though.

No matter your opinion on climate change, it’s best to make adequate preparations.

If you’re going for the surf, in Sarasota, take layers.

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Louise Swartzwalder

Galion Inquirer