Some folks are lucky to live in kind climates with warm temperatures year round. Here in the upper midwestern USA, we know winter is on the way, but the end of summer doesn't spell the end of boating season. As the leaves and temperatures start to fall, we bundle up and boat on!
The days might be growing shorter, but the sun can still burn skin, especially out on the water. Though the danger of heat exhaustion or heatstroke is definitely low this time of year, we're still at risk of sunburn. Keep that sunblock handy, especially for kids, and reapply as needed. Other things to bring for a fall boat trip: sweatshirts, jackets, and stadium blankets.
Speaking of stadiums, why not watch or listen to the game on the boat? This time of year, the baseball season is ramping up to the World Series, and football season is in full swing. Tune in on your boat's radio, TV, or your smartphone and cheer on your favorite team. Invite friends, fire up the grill, have everyone bring something to eat or drink, and call it a sterngate party!
Autumn can be a great time for fishing. You might notice fish migrating or behaving differently this time of year as they prepare for colder weather and fewer daylight hours. Check with your local DNR or fishing guide for hints on what might be biting.
Birds, of course, are also migrating. There are some birds, like the American white pelican, that we only see as they pass through our neck of the woods on their way to warmer weather. Look around as you cruise and see if you notice any avian visitors in your area. Bring a bird field guide or check the Audubon Society's website on your smartphone if you see a bird you don't recognize.
The colors of autumn leaves rival the brilliance of summer fireworks. Fill your travel mugs with hot cider or your favorite pumpkin-spiced coffee concoction and take in all the sights of the season. Snap some photos and make some memories. Enjoy the fall!