There are no tar balls on Florida beaches. No sheen has washed ashore anywhere in the state. Forecasters are predicting it will be five days or more before any oil from the Gulf spill could arrive on Florida's shores — and even then they say the damage may be minimal and isolated.
But that reality isn't the perception among some would-be out-of-state tourists, who have been calling seaside resorts this week from the Panhandle to the Keys, fearing the beaches are about to blackened and their vacations ruined. Some hotels are reporting 10 percent cancellations.