Wow, what a difference a couple of months can make it our lives! As we face the pandemic caused by Covid-19, many of us are starting to realize how much we actually take for granted. Simple things like going to a friend's house, eating at a restaurant, or my favorite: sharing the boat with a client. While fishing is still taking place, the number of charters has dramatically fallen off. This year started out promising to be one of the best in my guide career; now it looks as if we may be shut down for quite a while. Tourism is shut down, hotels are closed, and now, facing an increased danger from people not adhering to the social distancing guidelines, they are starting to shut down boat ramps and parks.
We have already lost access to our launch ramps in Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and Canaveral National Seashore. These ramps are the ones we pay to obtain a special, limited permit to utilize. Now they are closed indefinitely. In addition, the county has warned everyone that if they continue to see parties on islands, boats gathered together, or other violations of social distancing, they will shut down all of the ramps. Many of us are hoping this doesn't happen. While trips may not be taking place, the water is our life; it is where we go to get our social distancing, to ease our minds, and to continue learning and preparing for future clients.
I'm not writing this post for gloom and doom, just to inform my clients and others what is taking place. In fact, I see a light at the end of the tunnel and know that my clients, who I consider the best in the world, are chomping at the bit as much as I am! I have spoken with many of them that are just waiting for the "OK" to travel and get back on the boat; it is just a matter of time! While times may be difficult for business, I will be here when things get back to our new "normal". The boat is ready, the equipment is prepped, and the new boat, Paradise Pirate, is being readied to expand business even further.
So, be sure to take care of yourself and your families! The fishing will be here when you are ready and just think about how great those trips will feel! That's what keeps me smiling every day; knowing that my clients will be super excited and ready to enjoy some water therapy! Until then, enjoy the highlight film I made last year; it'll help get you through this time of being safe inside!