Your Florida Waterfront Home - Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Your Florida Waterfront Home

Shane Waterfront Wilson's Blog and Boating Guide

Hello Everyone, I hope you are doing great. The weather has been great here. The rain is beginning to lesson, not the intense thunderstorms we were getting. In the mornings it actually feels cooler out, like in the mid 70’s and low humidity . It is great for walking the dogs in the morning. Fall is coming 🙂 The fishing here has been great, lots of bait fish which means lots of other fish chasing and eating the bait fish. 🙂 With the rain back to normal levels, we are getting reports that the Blue Crab Fisherman are having and Banner Blue Crab season so far. If you have never tried Blue Crab, you need to, it is Yummy 🙂 I had a great response on the boating guide last week about Little Gasparilla Island. Readers of the boating guide wanted to know more about Little Gasparilla Island and what is around there and things to do. Of course this is all by boat 🙂 :-)… Well Here you go. I am gonna give you some great places to fish, great places to go shelling, great places to watch amazing sunsets, great places to eat and get home made Ice cream to cool ya down and best of all something that I metioned last week my family and I witnessed. I had never seen this before in my life and I will probably never see it again in my life time. It was just incredibly amazing. I think you will really enjoy this edition of the boating guide. Please come on down and check out this wonderful place we live in. As for Real Estate, things are still selling, of course at a much lower price than what it was. Prices are really low right now, on the water and off the water and with interest rates hovering around 4.5% fixed for 30 years….. Get it??? Low prices, low interest rates… Now is the best time to buy. Do not miss out. If you would, like I can set you up on Listing Book, it is a really neat program that pulls properties right from our MLS system. It sends you new listings that come on the market each morning. You can search existing listings and listings that have sold. I offer this service to you for free… Free is good 🙂 Just e mail me and I can get you set up.

Okay, now on to the fun part of the boating guide. I am writing about Little Gasparilla Island and the surrounding areas. This is a great place, beautiful white sand beaches, beautiful water, amazing fishing. You will love it here. There is one catch, if you are staying on Little Gasparilla Island, you can only get there by boat. If you do not have a boat you can call Emit of Pirate Taxi. Emit will take you where ever you want to go. His number is 941-270-0541. Anyway, we ended up getting to the boat ramp late probably about 10:00 pm. We put in and headed by water to the island. It was such a beautiful night. The stars were out, it was calm, clear weather, just beautiful. We got settled into the house and about 11:00 ish pm. All the kids wanted to go down to the beach and chase the ghost crabs and run around in the dark on the beach.. Sounded like fun, so we headed down to the beach. We all chased ghost crabs for awhile and played on the beach, it was a blast. It was late and my son Wade was walking up the path to go back to the house, when he said Dad come here, there is another crab, then he said dad get over here quick its a baby turtle. I said Wade no way, I have been on the water my whole life and have never seen a baby sea turtle up on the beach. As I got closer to Wade he pointed at it. There was this little tiny sea turtle about the size of a silver dollar. I said Wade that is a new born turtle, there must be a nest hatching tonight. I said do not touch the turtle, they instinctively know to head to the water as soon as they come up out of the sand.. But something was terribly wrong, the turtle was heading the wrong way, it was heading to the sand dunes away from the Gulf. By now I have Kim and all four kids watching this little sea turtle going the wrong way. The kids starting yelling Dad, Dad, Mr. Shane, Mr. Shane you have to do something or he will die. Of course right there on this turtle nest is a sign DO NOT TOUCH THE TURTLE OR ELSE!!!

So what is a responsible Father supposed to do, follow the law and let this turtle die. Suddenly more little turtles started popping up form the nest out of the sand and they were going the wrong way. I quickly said kids, some times you have to make choices in the moment and there is not time to get permission. Some times you just have to do the right thing. I said kids what we are about to do is wrong in the laws eyes, but I feel the same way, we cannot let these new born turtle die. Yes they would die. You probably do not know this, but only 1% of a turtle nest survives to full maturity to mate and make more babies. Yes 1%. This means if there are 100 turtles hatching only one will survive to maturity. Not very good odds 🙁 … I know from talking to the locals on the island, that there are Bob Cats on the island, they eat new born turtles, I know there are Racoons on the Island, they eat new born turtles, There is now a Coyote (dog type animal) on the island, they eat new born turtles and the Ghost Crabs we chase on the beach at night, eat new born turtles. Did you know new born turtles some how know when it is dark out to come out of the nest. If they were to hatch in the day time the predators would surely eat them. Aquatic birds love to eat new born turtles. I have been told the new born turtle can sense the drop in temperature in the sand and this is a signal it is time to come out of the nest and head to the water. Did you know when a turtle is born and is lucky enough to make it to the water and is lucky enough to survive to maturity and mate. That same turtle will come back to that same beach and lay its eggs. Bet you did not know that… Getting back to our story. I said kids I am making a decision here to save these little turtles. It would be one thing to see them heading to the water, but they were not. As fast as we could pick up these little turtles that were coming out of the sand, there were more coming up. At first when the new borns made it to the surface of the sand they were exhausted from digging their way up and out of the sand. When the new borns reached the top they would stop moving like they were dead. The kids started crying, dad the turtles are dying, Mr. Shane, The turtles are dying, I tried to explain those turtle are exhausted. Some of those little guys were down 18 to 20 inches if not farther under the sand. This is like one of you kids being buried 10 or 15 feet down in the sand trying to dig your way out.. YOU would be worn out too. The kids were taking these new born turtles to the Gulf to let them go. At first we were letting them go in the surf right at the beach, but this was not working, the new born turtles were getting washed back on to the beach where the Ghost Crabs were. I said kids you have got to take the new born turtle out into the water past the surf so they can swim out in to the Gulf. You may not know this but, you may have heard during turtle nesting season, your lights from your homes and condos on the beach must be turned off or the new born turtles mistake the lights for the moon and head to them. If the turtles do this, they will for sure die or be eaten. Once we were able to get these new born Turtles into the water past the surf, as soon as they hit the water it was like someone turned on a switch in side the turtles, their little fins were flapping and off they were. The most interesting thing. Once they hit the water they all veered right towards the moon and off they went. We helped 114, yes 114 new born turtles. What an amazing feeling, I have not seen kids so happy and joyous about doing such a good deed. The kids did ask Dad, Mr. Shane, do you think they are going to make it. I said, yes they have a much better chance now 🙂 I explained, technically we broke the law and this is not a good thing to do, But Dad, (Shane ) made a choice and at the time seemed to be the best choice. This I feel is a once in a life time chance, I will probably never see this again in my life time. The children that night will never forget this night. The night they helped 114 baby Logger Head Sea Turtles to the Gulf. Please enjoy the photos…



















You are probably wondering what the metal netting was for? The turtle people on the island go out every morning and survey for any new nests. When they see the turtle tracks from the ocean leading up to the sand. They look for the mound of loose dirt. This typically is where the nest is. They rope it off and put a metal mesh across the top of the nest to keep the predators from eating the turtle eggs. Sadly to say there was a storm a few weeks earlier that came by that brought the water levels way up on the beach and many of the turtle nests were suffocated and died. We are talking several nests with 100 plus eggs in them all dead. Very sad 🙁

By this time is was past 1:30 a.m. in the morning, We were all tired and headed home, but still pumped up, we were able to help those turtles 🙂

Sunrise went back to the beach to see if there were any more turtles trying to make it to the Gulf, I did not see any 🙁



We woke up the next day and headed to Boca Grande Pass for some Grouper and Snapper fishing. Boca Grande Pass is world famous for it’s Tarpon Fishing, it is actually Tarpon Fishing Capital of the World. Many people do not know this, but there is a 65 foot deep spot in the pass which holds Grouper and Snapper. We decided to head there first. A really cool spectacle less than 100 feet away is the Boca Grande Beach and Boca Grande Light House. The light house has been there forever and has been converted into a really cool Museum. First things first you cannot go fishing with out bait…. So we headed to one of our favorite spots to catch white bait.. Check out the photos….




Well, we got skunked looking for bait off the beach.. MMMMM.. I thought, well we had better hit the grass flats…





While catching bait, we noticed the sky growing dark and the temperature dropping quickly and the wind started to pick up. You got it, early morning thunder storm and it was a big ugly one heading our way ….. UUUGGGGGG……..



It looked as though the storm was chasing us…LOL…Headed south to a marina and restaurant I know called Millers Marina which is now called Boca Grande Marina. Check out the website..http://www.bocagrandemarina.net/

Two great places to eat ,, Miller Dockside and Eagle Grill. They offer good food. This time of year they have short hours cause it is not season. It is a really great marina and dockage for your boat. Every one wanted to head in to the town of Gaparilla. It is a cool place, very nostalgic, cool places to eat and really neat shops.. and of course the home made ice cream… Yum Yum.. 🙂







Check out down town. It is really neat…..











It was time to head back to the boat. The storm had passed and the skies were blue again 🙂 YIPPEE ..

The kids wanted to head to Boca Grande Pass and catch some Grouper and Snapper. I said lets do it!!!!! I am sorry to do this to you but it is time to go, however, I will have the rest of this boating adventure on next weeks boating guide part 2. I will leave you with a little hint of how it went 🙂 Look at the photo below….

Until next time…. Please make time for your family and friends. Make time to smell the roses and enjoy what this world has to offer. We all may be going through challenging times right now, but like my Grandpa Murray taught me when I was a little boy, he said, “Shane, This too Shall Pass” Ya know what, he was right, it always does pass and everything will work out for the best. You may have to work at it, but everything will work out for the best, it always does. See Ya…

Shane “Waterfront” Wilson

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