Having to wear extra layers– Peeling off layer after layer once you get indoors where the heater is on is such a pain because I am always so aware that I will have to put them on again.
- My hands cannot stay warm. I need those little hand warmth packets that you break apart and hold for every day of the winter.
- In addition to my hands feeling like they can’t open and close, my nose constantly feels like it’s going to fall off.
- You can’t swim when the weather is cold unless you go to a stuffy indoor pool with a bunch of ladies that go to water aerobics.
- If you get wet on a boat, you stay wet on a boat.
- My electric bill goes up because the simple solution to keep cool (turning on a fan) is no longer an option.
- Getting up in the morning is so much worse when you’re cold.
- The car becomes your own personal ice box… you could put all of your groceries in it and they would keep for weeks.
- The snowbirds head south for the winter and all the sudden I am late for work every single day.
- The orange crop where I come from suffers. Poor oranges, you’re one of our only commodities!
- Tile floors become your own ice-covered road that you can’t walk on without a pair of thermal socks.
- Suddenly, your space for adventure becomes limited to anywhere indoors because the cold is too much to bear.
- Winter clothes are more expensive, more boring and I basically resort to wearing jeans. 24-7.
- One word: tights.
- It’s so hard to dress for work in the winter time because slacks don’t cut it but they are the only acceptable form of dress clothing to wear in a professional setting.
- My glasses fog up when I go out to walk the dog… It’s a hazard; I could be killed by on-coming traffic.
- If you get sick, you stay sick because the cold weather keeps you down and out.
- Everyone else loves winter so all the winter and cold weather haters are left with only half of their friends to be cynical with.
- The days seem shorter because it is pitch black by 5 p.m.
- The cold, icy morning dew turns to slosh by the afternoon and makes it so much
In the cooler months in Florida, stone crabs seek the warmth of the brackish inter-coastal waters. For me, I’ll always think of these months as the ones my friends drop their Maryland-style crab traps (also called “crab pots”) to the floor of the Indian River Lagoon and check them every few evenings for any crustaceans.
Stone crabs range from the North Atlantic all the way down to Mexico and, although their bodies don’t have much meat, their claws are considered a delicacy served up with butter. A Floridian from birth, I particularly enjoy eating all shellfish from crawdads to crabs.
This past Thursday night, I was lucky enough to be invited along to check my friend Eric’s crab trap. Being an early March evening in Florida, the temperatures that were fairly warm in the day plummeted down to a fairly cold (especially for Florida) 53 degrees. Continue reading
As an adventurous, water-faring women and a retired competitive swimmer, I tend to be over-confident in my swimming skills. Nothing says competent like confidence to a woman; however, there are instances in which I admit I should take the cautious route and one of those situations is rip currents.
A rip current, by definition, is a current of water that forms when waves moving from deep to shallow water break, or tumble over and turn into white foam, and cause a pull of water to go back out to sea. These currents can move at a rate of 8 feet per second, faster than an Olympic swimmer like Ryan Lochte.
For weak or beginning swimmers, these currents become one of the biggest risks of enjoying a day at the beach. For stronger swimmers like me and the majority of my readers, rip currents still poise a threat that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
According to the United States Lifeguarding Association webpage, over 100 people in the United States each year die from being caught and getting over-exhausted in a rip current. If those numbers alone aren’t enough to scare you, the 80% of ocean rescues being because of rip currents should make you stop in your swim lane.
Here are a few rip current safety tips according to weather.com:
- Swim in a lifeguarded beach as often as possible.
- Don’t swim by yourself!
- Keep 100 feet between yourself and piers, jetties or other permanent structures.
- Consider using polarized sunglasses (I prefer my RayBans but any polarized pair can be helpful to spot those rough patches telling of rip currents).
- Stay calm. This conserves energy and helps you think more clearly.
- DO NOT fight the current.
- Start swimming parallel to the current until you’re out and then swim at an angle towards the shore.
- If you’re unable to swim out of the current, float or tread water calmly and wait until you’re out of the current to swim to shore.
- WHEN AT A LOSS, wave your arms, yell for help and draw attention to yourself and a lifeguard will assist you.
Even the most confident swimmers and the most knowledgeable ocean-goers get caught in rip currents. As women, we have the tendency to let our thoughts fill our head with noise but when stuck in a “current” situation we have to focus on the now: getting out.
So use those powerful lower body muscles that women are famous for and tread water. Soon enough, you’ll be safely sunning on the shore once again.
One of the advantages of living in a state that sticks out from the main land mass that is the United States is the number of ships that run their courses into it. And I mean literally!
Because of the limestone under-layer that Florida sits upon, many ships have met an untimely end. This is most unfortunate for them but, years later, I find myself thinking how bored I would be as a water adventurer had they not met such misfortune.