Fire Island or Florida?

By Kirsten CorssenThe winter snow has finally melted, the trees are finally blooming, and the ocean is slowly getting warmer. With a late start to spring this year, we are all racing to get ready for Memorial Day Weekend. As we all gas up the boats and stock up on sunscreen, we haven’t forgotten our winter memories just yet.Fire Island is our summer home and, if you are like me, we try and find a little slice of paradise in the winter months that resemble Fire Island in some way. This past February, I found myself down south, escaping the winter weather for as long as possible. February was spent on Hutchinson Island, Florida. This gem of an island resembles Fire Island in many ways.It is a laid back little barrier island where bikes are the primary mode of transportation, long beach walks are on the daily agenda, and there are even happy hour specials on piña coladas at the beach bars. Not only did the drinks and beautiful beaches remind me of my summer on Fire Island, but the craziest part was so many Fire Island snowbirds were on this little island as well. They were not all docked in the marina but settled in their quaint condos on the ocean.Sandra Brown, from the boat “Sandra Won,” is one of these Fire Island snowbirds. You can find her riding her beach cruiser, strolling shoreline or taking an afternoon nap on the beach. Sandra bought her beachside condo to be close to her Fire Island friends who all live in the same community. At 5 p.m. happy hour, the entire condo community heads down to their beachside deck. Here you will find Mary Hartmann, John and Di McGee, Joe and Joan Barata, Tom and Rose Calisi, Tommy and Cookie Allegretto, and Russ and Camille Youmans. They are all Atlantique boaters who currently, or at some time in their lives, try and recreate the Fire Island lifestyle, but on Hutchinson Island instead. The time I spent there with these beautiful people was monumental; their generosity and kindness are like no other.Unfortunately, not all Atlantiquers were lucky enough to spend their winter down in Florida, but they sure did make the most of the cold weather. Here is a little recap of this winter’s adventures on Fire Island.Nov. 25, 2017 The Day after Thanksgiving Party is almost as popular as the Fourth of July at Atlantique. This day was full of leftover turkey, some fall sunshine, and a lot of hot chocolate to keep you warm!Dec. 14, 2017Doug Stanfield was over at Atlantique a couple of times this winter. He was there for one of our first snow falls on Dec. 14. The walk to the shack was a little chilly that day, and snow boots were necessary!Jan. 26, 2018Doug visited Atlantique in January to find the marina frozen! The bay was frozen for a long time this winter – so frozen, people were even walking on it!March 31, 2018 A little closer to summer we found Diane Critelli Setter and friends at the beach, all wrapped up in scarves and hats, on Rooney’s new boat “Beachview.” Get ready Atlantique because “Beachview” will be a new boat in the marina this year!May 2, 2018 Finally, the weather warmed up come May, and we found Michael Zinkiewicz out for his first Atlantique visit. Welcome home my Atlantique Family!