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Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Archive for the ‘Sanibel’ Category

BIG SHELL ISLAND

Posted by Shane On September 26th

Hello everyone, I hope you all are doing great. The weather here in Southwest Florida has been absolutely amazing.  Although we’ve had a lot of rain in the last week, it sure has cooled everything down from the hot, hot weather we had the weeks before. On our morning walks, we notice that the air is a bit cooler (well cooler for us Florida people). If you can dodge the afternoon rain storms, the boating and fishing have been great; this leads me into my next Boating Guide. I’ve had several people write in and say “Shane, what if we don’t have all day to go boating? Say we get a late start on the weekend or want to hit the water after work and don’t have time to run out to North Captiva or Cayo Costa… and we want to bring our pets???”  I’ve got the perfect place for you…..

 

This perfect place is called Big Shell Island at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. There’s a long sandbar at the north end of the island. This is where we go when we’re short on time and want to bring the dogs so they can run around, swim, and play. We love it here! Like I said, the dogs can run around chasing the Seagulls, swim in the shallow water, and roll around on the beach without getting away from us – we’re on an island!

 

My family and I live just north of the South Cape Coral Bridge so it’s a pretty quick and beautiful boat ride to get here. On this particular day it was beautiful and sunny.  We had a high tide and the water was as clear as I’ve seen.

 

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There are so many beautiful waterfront communities that you can see from the River, both on the Ft. Myers side and the Cape Coral side.

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This is what it looks like coming into the mouth of the River heading towards the Gulf of Mexico.

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Now if you’re planning on going fishing and haven’t gotten your bait, you have got to stop at Jasper’s Floating Bait House. They have all kinds of live bait that Jasper has delivered daily….If you need to call him ahead of time he can hold whatever type of bait you may need for you to stop by and pick up. Here’s his number 239-699-3469.

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Once you pass Jasper’s Floating Bait House, look to your southwest and you’ll see the sandbar I told you about. Yes, it’s this close.

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I took several photos of us pulling up to the sandbar after crossing over a submerged sandy ridge to reach the back side of the island. The reason I like coming to the back side is to avoid the boat wakes. There can literally be a hundred plus boats going through the mouth of the River at certain times of the day. Yes it’s all slow zone, but sometimes a few boaters go a little too fast and throw off a big wake. Well, guess what happens when you do that????

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The “man” will pull you over and you will get a ticket, or maybe a warning if you’re lucky…

Please, keep your tides in mind when crossing over the submerged sandbar.  When you get up to it, trim your motor or motors up and just idle across it. It’s deeper on the other side. You can pull your bow right up on the beach and throw out your anchor or drop your Power Pole.

 

By this time our dogs are having anxiety attacks and cannot wait to jump off the boat and onto the beach to chase the Sea Gulls and run and swim through the water.

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As I mentioned before, we just love it here. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “people watching”, well we come here to “boat watch” and of course watch the people on their boats. We see everything from little tiny John Boats, with little motors putting along to huge mega yachts – now those are a sight to see!! The current is always ripping through here which is a great thing if you like to fish.  Anne loves to set up her chair and just watch the dogs play and wave to the boaters.  Me personally, I cannot sit still, I need to be doing something while “oohing” and “ahhing” over all the boats going by. Well guess what I’m doing – you got it – Fishing!  Since the water is ripping through here this means there are bait fish, and bait fish bring the bigger fish. I’ve caught Snook, Redfish, Trout, Snapper, lots of Jack, right off this beach. This is the best of both worlds, Annie gets to relax on the beach, the dogs get to run around and play, and I get to fish and boat watch. This is almost better than going to a boat show.  Check out some of these photos….

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Now here’s something you don’t see every day. If you look closely in the water you’ll see a guy swimming across the channel. Yes, the same channel that all the boats are going through. He did make it across without getting run over.  I was thinking to myself, this guy cannot be the sharpest tool in the shed. Once he got to our island, I asked him what he was doing?  He said he just wanted to see if he could swim across the channel.  All I could do was look at him and say “Okay”… There was no wasting my breath trying to explain how dangerous this was.

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What an amazing, beautiful day. I don’t think we could have asked for a better day. The sun is shining, there’s a balmy breeze, just a great day…

 

It’s amazing how many people we know on the boats that are going by.  Actually, I recognize the boat first and then identify who the owner is. While enjoying this beautiful day, what do I see?  It’s a black Lake and Bay flats boat. Turns out it’s our good friends’ son, Bo, and my son, Wade.  They’ve been out fishing and saw our boat so they decided to come by and say hello…(Please note on the first photo below how he’s coming across the underwater sandbar , motor trimmed up)

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On a personal note, watching my son and his buddy pull up on the boat makes me think about how great it is, and what a blessing, to be raising our kids on the water – being able to boat, fish, dive, and enjoy the outdoors. Seeing my son standing on the bow of that boat, looking like a young man makes me so very proud of him. Wade is a fine young man!!! Yes, I’m very proud of my daughter Ciara as well 🙂 (she’s not pictured here.)

 

Words cannot even describe what a great day it’s been. Please enjoy some more photos…

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For those of you who may not have a boat, or your boat is in the shop and you want a quick place to drive to, how about going to the Cape Coral Yacht Club Beach. It’s also located on the River at the southeast tip of the Cape. They have a great man-made beach and there’s a playground for the kids, showers, rest rooms. Right next door is a restaurant that just opened up this summer called “The Boathouse – Tiki Bar & Grill”. It’s all outdoor dining with a fun, relaxed atmosphere, really good food and drinks and live entertainment!!!!!! 

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Well that’s all for now….. Make time for your family and friends, life goes by so fast.

 

Until next time make it a great weekend!!!!

 

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

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Parrot Key Caribbean Grill

Posted by Shane On July 3rd

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Looking for a fun get away, but still near everything?  Try Parrot Key Caribbean Grill. It is located at Salty Sam’s Marina. Going by water is the best!!! For the land lubbers you can go by car. (See below for directions by land or by water)

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This is a great place to take friends and family to have a fantastic time. They have live entertainment nightly for your enjoyment. The menu is to die for with the wide variety of food that is offered. You can choose to sit inside or outside by the water to enjoy the awesome sunsets. The staff is extremely accommodating to your needs to make it your most enjoyable experience. You will not be disappointed!

Directions by car:

From I-75, take exit 131 and follow Daniels Parkway West to Summerlin Road then turn left. Next, turn left on San Carlos Boulevard and then turn left on Main Street at the foot of the Matanzas  Pass Bridge. Parrot Key Caribbean Grill is at the end of Main Street.

Directions by boat:

From the Gulf of Mexico, enter the intracoastal waterway at the north end of Fort Myers Beach, go under the Matanzas Bridge.  Stay to the left and the Parrot Key Caribbean Grill is at channel marker 24. Boaters can hail the dockmaster at Salty Sam’s on channel 16 or 17 for docking instructions.

2500 Main Street,  Fort Myers Beach.  Phone: 239-463-3257 Fax: 239-463-2415

 

Charlie’s Pass

Posted by Shane On June 21st

Many folks want to know where to go by boat to beaches that are not packed with a lot of people and only accessible by boat.

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Here you go.  Have you heard of Charlie’s Pass? It is located on North Captiva Island. Charlie’s pass is an unofficial name for it, but everyone calls it Charlie’s Pass. Years ago when Hurricane Charlie came through, it literally blew a hole right through the island, hence the name Charlie’s Pass. It was deep enough to bring larger boats through it. In a short time, The pass began to close up to where it looked like a little creek that only skinny water boats could get through. A very short time later the creek closed up. Now it is an amazing place to go to. We love to spend the day here on the beach. The neat thing about the beach here is you can anchor and back right up to the beach within feet of the dry sand. (No long walks to shore). The sand here is the nice white sugar sand and loads and loads of sea shells. Most people set up an umbrella or canopy right on the beach and enjoy the rolling waves on to the beach and the gentle sea breeze. My children and I cannot sit still, so we swim in the beautiful blue green waters and shell along the beautiful Beaches

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Okay this is the really fun part if you like to fish,walk East,  opposite of the Gulf,  about 200 yards and you will come to the back Bay, it is a natural estuary full of marine life. Birds, Crabs, Fish,, you name it. You will see in one of the photos my son throwing his cast net catching bait for his friend Jo Jo, who caught a nice Snook and of course released it. Enjoy the photos, this is such a beautiful place, unspoiled and full of nature. You are going to love it and you will not want to leave. Have fun!!!!!

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How do you get there?

Coming from Pine Island Sound,  head towards Redfish Pass. Hint, South Seas Plantation is on the south side of the pass. Once you are in Redfish Pass, head north up the beach . You will see a few homes on your right. Keep heading north and you will come to an area where the trees are gone and you can see clear over to the Bayside. You are there. Enjoy..

Picnic Island

Posted by Shane On June 12th

If you do not  have time to run all the way to Ft. Myers Beach or the barrier islands to go to the beach,go to Picnic Island. This is a great place to take the family and friends and it is an easy run. The kids  love it here as do the adults. In the last several years, mother nature has created a neat lagoon on the NW side of the island. I would only suggest smaller boats anchor on this side of the island. It gets shallow when the tide goes out and I have seen many, many people stuck until the next high tide. I would suggest anchoring on the NE side if the Island. There is plenty of water there. I bring My 28 footer right up to the beach and kick up both motors.   Remember to mind the tides. This Island is a great place to have family cookouts and meet friends in their boats. The kids have a blast playing in the sand and the adults can relax and watch the kids play.

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If you are really outdoorsy and like to camp. Camp on the island. There are many places to pitch a tent and have a camp fire. (Use common sense with the camp fire) and fish off the beach at night. You will be amazed at what you can catch right off the beach at night. Please remember this, not everyone picks up after themselves, please if you are ever at Picnic Island and you see trash on the ground or in the water, please do not be afraid to pick it up and put it in your trash bag. I know we all want to keep this place a beautiful place to visit. As we all know most people follow by example. Have a great time and boat smart!!

How Do I Get There?

This is easy.  Coming from Cape Coral Yacht Club, get into the ICW and head towards the mouth of the river. Go through the slow zone, when it says to resume normal speed, go almost straight ahead, you will see a green marker, should be Green marker #3.  This is the opening of the miserable mile as some people call it. Proceed staying in the channel and do not go outside the channel or you will run aground. When you get to Green Marker #7, you will see Picnic Island up on your left –

 

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(Google image seen above)

 

The Green Flash Resturant

Posted by Shane On June 5th

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This is great place to go by boat or car.  Although if you love the water as much as My family and friends do, then go by boat of course.

This is a little more formal than say cabbage Key, however, if you have been boating all day it is still perfectly fine to go in and have lunch or dinner. After a day of fishing or at the  beach with the family and friends, you can pull right up to the dock. (They now have two docks for plenty of parking for your vessel.) You can sit outside and enjoy the Florida breeze (if you do sit out side bring a few shrimp from you bait well or some white bait and there are a couple small white Herons that would love a hand out.) or if you are hot go inside to the cool air conditioning. The food is really good here and the service has always been great for us.

How Do You Get There?

This is easy. Coming from Cape Coral Yacht Club, get into the ICW and head towards the mouth of the river. Go through the slow zone, when it says to resume normal speed, go almost straight ahead, you will see a green marker this is the opening of the miserable mile as some people call it. Proceed  in the channel, do not go out side the channel or you will run aground, it is very, very shallow outside the channel. Follow the ICW into Pine Island Sound. You will have the back side of Sanibel on your left. Keep following the ICW. When you get to Green Marker 35 make a left towards land approx. one mile you will see a Red head pin marker, should be number “2″ marking the channel going into the channel into the harbor area. (Stay in the channel there are some shallow spots just outside the channel) Follow the markers in. The Green Flash restaurant will be on your right. You will recognize it from the photo attached. Have a great time!!

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http://greenflashcaptiva.com

Take a look and the Menu!

http://greenflashcaptiva.com/menus.php

http://greenflashcaptiva.com/directions.php

City chooses Ford’s Boathouse to take over Yacht Club restaurant location

POSTED Tue, 07/16/2013 – 2:05am | POSTED BY Jeff Koehn

                       

Ford’s Garage officially opened in the former Leapin’ Lizards location on July 4

On the day one era ended at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, another one began.

On Monday night, the Cape Coral City Council accepted the proposal of Zak Kearns one of the owners of local restaurant Ford’s Garage.

Ford’s Boathouse, as it will be known will take up residency at the former home of KC’s Riverstop at the Cape Coral Yacht Club pier, hopefully within the next four months.

Kearns says Ford’s Boathouse will be an extension of Ford’s Garage, which opened its Cape Coral location just a few weeks ago at the foot of the Cape Coral Bridge.

With their latest venture, the company will look to create a waterfront destination that would be family oriented with hamburgers, hot dogs, seafood, and drinks targeted to accommodate beach goers and boaters, “We are going to go above and beyond to make it a hang out.”

Included in the plan would be a possible extension of the restaurant’s deck, live music and entertainment, and possible beach service for food and drinks. Kearns also said the company is looking into the possibility of adding sunset cruises aboard a pontoon boat.

Ford’s Boathouse was one of three proposals the city received to take over the restaurant, fuel dock services and bait/tackle shop after the city decided not to extend the lease of current tenant KC’s Riverstop. Cape Coral’s Dixie Roadhouse and T&D Adventures of SW Florida were the other proposals received.

However, Dixie Roadhouse announced late Friday afternoon that they had withdrawn their proposal to concentrate more on their current business and expansion of that business.

With Dixie Roadhouse withdrawing, that left the council with the choice between Ford’s Boathouse and Poppy’s Grill at the Yacht Club.

Poppy’s Grill was proposed by T&D Adventures of SW Florida, owned by South Cape Diner owners Tom and Debra Timmerman. Also, part of the T&D Adventures team was former Cape Coral Mayor and owner of BJM Consulting Joe Mazurkiewicz.

Mazurkiewicz made the announcement of his involvement in the project while presenting the proposal to the city council at Monday night’s meeting.

Mazurkiewicz explained that between his 45 years in the community and the Timmerman’s years of experience in owning restaurants both in Cape Coral and New York, Poppy’s Grill would be just a piece of a larger puzzle, “This is bigger than a restaurant, this is about the entire Yacht Club,” he explained to the council. “We want to evolve this into the jewel of the Southeast Cape Coral.

He also stated that the two proposals were not that different, other than their approach, “T&D wants to evolve the site into a destination, and that will take 3-5-10 years.”

T&D said part of their growth strategy would the possibility of adding a roof covering three quarters of the deck in the second five years of their lease.

According to their written proposals, both establishments agreed to pay $3,500 per month in rent plus property tax. However, both told the council they were negotiable when it came to the amount of rent the city would charge. Both were asking for a five year lease, with Ford’s Boathouse asking for two five year options following.

For the council, while there was excitement generated by the proposals, there was also some questions, “I have some concern about the hours of operation,” explained council member Rana Erbrick, who said the restaurant’s location in a neighborhood area does not allow for late night music enjoyed at some establishments.

Council Member Kevin McGrail echoed Erbrick’s concerns, “I have a scary vision of bad karaoke at midnight.”

Both Ford’s and T&D explained that it was their goal to develop a strong relationship with their neighbors, and would have to adjust their entertainment accordingly in order to not have a negative impact on the area.

Another concern was the lack of parking available at the Yacht Club. No one had an immediate solution to that problem that has plagued the Yacht Club for years. However, both said they would work with the city to at the very least optimize the parking that is currently available.

In the end, the council commended both firms for having impressive proposals, but went with Ford’s Boathouse in a 5-3 vote with council members Marty McClain, McGrail, Derrick Donnell, John Carioscia, and Lenny Nesta voting for the proposal.

Kearns says they expect to have the improvements completed in time to have the new restaurant open for the upcoming season.

Now having two restaurants in the city, they are hoping to have a positive impact on the entire South Cape district, “It takes one to start a fire. I think Ford’s Garage is going to be the igniter. When we put them all together, along with all the other establishments in the South Cape, we can only make them better. We are extremely excited about adding Ford’s Boathouse to that mix.”

This article is courtesy of: CapeCoral.com

http://capecoral.com/content/city-chooses-fords-boathouse-take-over-yacht-club-restaurant-location

Doc Ford’s Rum Bar And Grill

Posted by Shane On June 7th

I have got another great place to go to by boat after a day of boating and fishing or just relaxing on the beach. You may or may not have heard of Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill on Ft. Myers Beach. It just recently opened. It is where the Bridge Restaurant used to be for years. This is a great place to go to and try different types of food and drink, such as the Banana Leaf Snapper or their Island Mojito drink.

Doc Ford’s offers a great atmosphere. You can dine inside in the air conditioning or dine out side on the deck and enjoy the expansive views of the bay and Shrimp boats.

Please go to the website, it is very well done…  http://www.docfordsfortmyersbeach.com

How do you get there?

Coming into Ft. Myers Beach from the Gulf of Mexico, head towards the big sky bridge. Go under the bridge and take a left following the well marked channel. Look to your left and you will see Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grill

 

Visit Doc Ford’s Sanibel Bar & grill on Sanibel   975 Rabbit Road Sanibel Island  239-472-8311

Look for Doc Ford’s opening soon on Captiva!!!

 

Charlie’s Pass

Posted by Shane On May 29th

Hello Again,

I have been getting a great response from all of the subscribers that get the boating guide weekly.

Many folks want to know where to go by boat to beaches that are not packed with a bunch of people and only accessible by boat

 

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Here ya go, have you heard of Charlie’s pass? It is located on North Captiva Island. Charlie’s pass is an unofficial name for it, but everyone calls it Charlie’s Pass. Years ago when Hurricane Charlie came through, it literally blew a hole right through the island, hence the name Charlie’s Pass. It was plenty deep to bring larger boats through it. In a short time, the pass began to close up to where it looked like a little creek that only skinny water boats could get through. A very short time later the creek closed up. Now it is an amazing place to go to. We love to spend the day here on the beach. The neat thing about the beach here is, you can anchor and back right up to the beach with in feet of the dry sand. (No long walks to shore). The sand here is the nice white sugar sand and loads and loads of sea shells. Most people set up an umbrella or canopy right on the beach and enjoy the rolling waves on to the beach and the gentle sea breeze. My children and I cannot sit still, so we swim in the beautiful blue green waters and shell along the beautiful Beaches.

173 IMGP1900 575x431 Charlies Pass

 

Okay this is the really fun part if you like to fish. Walk East Opposite of the Gulf about 200 yards and you will come to the back Bay, it is a natural estuary full of marine life. Birds, Crabs, Fish,, you name it. You will see in one of the photos my son throwing his cast net catching bait for his friend Jo Jo. Who caught a nice Snook and of course released it. Enjoy the photos below, this is such a beautiful place, unspoiled and full of nature. You are going to love it and you will not want to leave. Have fun!!!!!

 

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How do you get there?

Coming from Pine Island Sound. Head towards Redfish Pass. Hint, South Seas Plantation is on the south side of the pass. Once you are in Redfish Pass, head north up the beach . You will see a few homes on your right. Keep heading north and you will come to an area where the trees are gone and you can see clear over to the Bayside. You are there. Enjoy..

 

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Happy New Year From The Sunshine State!

Posted by Shane On January 20th

It’s something that we in Southwest Florida have known (and kept a secret) for a very long time and now thanks to Aurther Frommer, the rest of the world will know it too!

Sanibel Island Florida is a #1 Travel Destination!

That’s right, Arthur Frommer himself has said that his #1 Favorite Travel Destination is Sanibel, Florida! It only takes one trip to these pristine, white sand beaches of our quaint little island to get hooked. The beaches, shelling. birding, kayaking, boating, diving, swimming, and of course RELAXING are a few of the things that keep people coming back year after year for more!

I am ok with the secret being out 😉 Sanibel was meant to be shared with good people like you!

Here is some local 2012 real estate news, that you might find interesting:

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling (or just visiting) now is the best time to start considering your options. Don’t hesitate to give me a call (800) 741-3757 or contact me online if you have any questions!

Look forward to seeing you out on the beach or boating in 2012 🙂

Make it a great day!

-Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

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