Captain Bubby’s IsLAND Tours staff participate in Ocean Float Experience

Several dozen people took to the waters off Fort Myers Beach on Sunday to promote stewardship for the Earth’s oceans while also relaxing and sloughing off stress. The founders of the second annual Float For Life Ocean Float experience, Dr. Shelley Lynch and Roy Desjarlais, took that twofold result to heart despite threatening clouds offshore, strong winds, intense wave action and a waterspout that came and went quickly. “It’s gone great, Lynch said. “It’s not exactly the weather I put in for but Float For Life is all about going with the flow.” The Gulf of Mexico float, with proceeds going to the Sanibel Sea School, allowed participants a chance to release stress, feel calmer, more peaceful and restore balance.

Alexandra Cousteau, granddaughter of Jacques-Yves Cousteau and daughter of Phillipe Cousteau, both famous ocean conservationists, attended to speak about the importance of ocean conservation. Cousteau encouraged a stronger involvement and connection to the world’s waters. “Our oceans are facing unprecedented change at the global level. Our rivers are no longer reaching the sea, our oceans are acidifying, climate change is being felt around the world, we’re overfishing our oceans, the list goes on and on,” she said, “probably to an extent that my
grandfather couldn’t have imagined.” Cousteau said she thinks her grandfather recognized the importance for people to love and protect the oceans which was part of why he told stories, made films and innovated and invented tools to allow people to experience the oceans on their own. “I’ve started seeing places I loved as a child start to disappear. If enough people protect them, we can reclaim them. Everything you do matters. Every single choice you make has consequences,” she said.

Dr. Lynch’s Center for Energetic Metabolism utilizes floating in water as a way to restore balance and release stress. She said that since the 2014 float, also at the Pink Shell Resort and Marina, she and Desjarlais have seen that those who took part have been more committed. “What we’re noticing is that people who have joined us are more active, they are more aware. And they’re sharing it with their friends,” she said. “When they go to the polls they’re voting, when they’re walking the beach they’re picking up garbage. And they’re saying this is new to them, this awareness is new.” Paula Reiss, 59, of Fort Myers, took part this year and said the event has regenerated her interest to be involved in conservation.“I already try not to use plastic bags and bottles,” she said. “I will carry a refillable bottle, that’s an easy place to start.” She said the float was very interesting. “I felt a deep relaxation. I felt like I did a deep meditation. I didn’t think I would feel that.” Second-year participants Ben and Serena Kramer, of Orlando, said the floats have intensely affected their lives. “We started recycling everything,” Serena Kramer said. “I became consciously aware of how much plastic is out house from waste.” Ben Kramer said the couple tries to emulate Lynch and Desjarlais. “Shelly and Roy are a great example. We’re trying to do that too.”

Desjarlais, a licensed massage therapist, said the floats instill a connection to the environment. “We tend to learn things in the environment we’re in, so when you have this calming experience in the water then you equate it to the water,” he said. At a Float For Life event, participants partake in a small portion of the Ocean Float experience. Individuals in groups of three take turns floating while the other two team members supporting them gently and take turns floating for 10 minutes each. This allows participants to feel connected to themselves and the environment. Dr. Lynch and Dejarlais believe the connection to the water while floating inspires a call to action to protect our oceans.

Beneficiary Organization. Net proceeds from the Second Annual Float for Life event will benefit Sanibel Sea School. At Sanibel Sea School our vision is a world where all people value, understand and care for the ocean. Our mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.

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