More guests. More social events. People dropping by. Life is a menagerie and a carousel, my friend. The cabaret just isn’t big enough.
I mention this, really, because the climate is changing. No, I am not talking about the BIG C climate, like weather and icebergs although that may have something to do with it. Instead I am talking about the rhythms, the ebbs and flows, the trends we (Sally and I) experience in popularity. People are coming to see us a lot. Much more than last year. And the year before.
I joke, of course, about our remarkably increased attractiveness as the weather improves but it is more than that. Five or six years ago a trend began. People were visiting less and boating tourists were conspicuous in their absence. Traffic abruptly slowed to a trickle from the years previous.
And it didn’t come back! My admittedly unscientific observations led me to think that 85% of general boat traffic and 50% of Sal and Dave’s friends just weren’t traveling much from 2007 on.
But this year something changed. I have no idea what. We thought the reason for reduced traffic in previous years was gas prices. Or maybe my breath. But neither have changed much since 2007. Whatever it was, it seems to be over for now. The people are back – in droves, flotillas and in guerrilla packs of surprise visitors!
Instead of seeing five boats a week as in past years, we are seeing five boats an hour – more at slack tide when they are coming and going through the passes. Still mostly powerboats, there has been an increase in sail, too. And mostly bigger vessels. I’d guesstimate that the average size boat is now in excess of 35 feet. That’s up considerably.
It almost feels like the people have said, “To hell with it! Can’t take it with us. Let’s go spend what we got on fuel!”
Which is a bit odd, don’t you think?
Admittedly, this subjective opinion is based somewhat on the belief that the rich (those with boats 35 feet and up) are getting richer (they can still fuel their boats) but that seems a smidge simplistic. It could be that the “what the hell ?!’ attitude of the aging baby boomer is finally manifesting…….something I have been expecting for some time. It could be that the economy is improving despite what I am reading and seeing with my own two eyes. I have no idea.
But there you have it: Nature in all it’s wonder. We observe the hummingbirds and this year they came late and stayed longer. Same number, tho. The ravens are still here like the pillars of the community they are. So are the eagles, seals and wolves. More Orcas this year by double. But the seagull count is lower. Without the fish farms, we think the seagulls go back to trailing ferries. Nature, eh? Flexible, to be sure.
And the white-bellied, motorized, gin-sucker? Well, they have rebounded in record numbers. Never really classified as endangered, they did go unreported for a while. But they are back with a vengance this year and they are fat, sassy and numerous. Nature, eh?