Last 24 Hours in Sanibel

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November 11th 2010
Published: November 13th 2010
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On Friday, we disconnected from our site at Periwkle Park on Sanibel Island and headed to Pine Island, which is its own funky version of Paradise.

This was our first stay (had always day tripped here) in the Sanibel/Captiva area. Our week was outstanding! Periwinkle RV Park folks are great - we met some 30 of them at their nightly sunset gathering the other evening. The garden setting, wild life ponds with native birds and ducks, tropical bird aviary, and proximity to beaches, restaurants, and attractions like the fab Ding Darling Nature Preserve put this camp ground on the five star list. Here's a little record of our last day here.

Morning shelling at the Light House Beach. Breakfast at the Light House Cafe (they tout themselves as having the best breakfasts in the world! The may well be right. Back to the beach for low tide. The sandbar is almost visibly above water. Looking for Wentletraps - beautiful little white elongated shells (name in German means spiral staircase)! Also concentrating on the tinest, most perfect specimins.

No need for lunch. On to the Tarpon Bay section of Ding Darling and a Mangrove Kayak Trail. Two hours in a tandem kayak outfitted to code for $30! We saw so much wild life and had a great afternoon. The tide was with us entering the mangroves, we (Wes) had to paddle a little more on the way back.

Farewell dinner at the Lazy Flamingo - we tried to get in at the Island Cow (35 min wait) - What is this island like during peak season?

We took a walk over to Lovegrove Gallery on Periwinkle a lot away from the RV Park. We were familiar with Leoma Lovegrove from her Matlacha, Pine Island Gallery. The work is thrilling as always - love her Beatles series, love her fantasy furniture, fish, birds, more! Hope you like the pictures. In Matlacha I wasn't allowed to take photos; but when Wes said it was for a travel blog with lots of subscribers; we got the OK!

There is a great bead shop near Lovegrove's. I bought a little hand drill for safely putting holes in seashells.

Re: owning VS renting Kayaks --- Hard to determing how can we beat the rental - if we owned this kayak (an investment as we don't
Shelling on the SandbarShelling on the SandbarShelling on the Sandbar

The water is remarkably warm. Most of the Sand Dollars on this sandbar are alive. We don't take living shells. Wouldn't even if they didn't smell and carry a huge fine! This is where the hermit crabs were found living in the conch shells. We let them go.
fit well into cheesy kayaks), we would need a cartop carrier (an investment), it wouldn't fit on the jeep (ergo rental car, an investment), we would risk some sort of an issue getting it on the car, we would risk some sort of "to do" taking it off the vehicle, we wouldn't have the benefit of nice, cute, strong young guys getting us into (and out of) the kayak (arguably the hardest part of Kayaking). Sometimes the cute guys even put you and the equipment into a truck, head upstream, and let you out where you can float back to their outfitting center hardly paddeling at all .... SWEET!

Additional photos below
Photos: 23, Displayed: 23



Sanibel shells - concentrating on perfect, pretty, tiny specimins.
Catch and ReleaseCatch and Release
Catch and Release

These conchs are the home of hermit crabs. They were released after we studied them a bit. It was fun to see them start to move around.
Sea Grass, Beach, Gulf, & Fort Myers BeachSea Grass, Beach, Gulf, & Fort Myers Beach
Sea Grass, Beach, Gulf, & Fort Myers Beach

Love this vista, dunes to beach to Gulf of Mexico to Fort Myers Beach!
Entering the Mangrove TrailEntering the Mangrove Trail
Entering the Mangrove Trail

I took about an hour and a half to paddle from the Ding Darling Tarbon Bay area through the Mangroves and back The trail is well marked with blue numbers 1-17. We called to be sure there was enough water - this trail can't be done a low tide.
Wes the main paddler.Wes the main paddler.
Wes the main paddler.

Wes did most of the work - one of the beauties of a tandem kayak. I took this by putting the camera over my head and snapped without benefit of viewing the shot. I think you can see my hair and shadow.
Anhinga Ready for Take OffAnhinga Ready for Take Off
Anhinga Ready for Take Off

These birds have no oil in their feathers; a plus for diving and bouyancy, and a minus for staying wet. They spread their wings with their backs to the sun to dry. Also note an example of the Mangrove Kayak Trail signage.
Find the bird!Find the bird!
Find the bird!

Camoflage is the name of the game; Wes is a great bird spotter!
Lesser Yellow LegsLesser Yellow Legs
Lesser Yellow Legs

We identified many wading birds as we paddled through the Mangroves.
Oyster Beds on Mangrove RootsOyster Beds on Mangrove Roots
Oyster Beds on Mangrove Roots

Mangroves create an amazing ecosystem and support an incredible quantity of wildlife.
This Girl Needs HelpThis Girl Needs Help
This Girl Needs Help

The Florida sun sure takes its tole! I am so needy - facial, waxing, styling, color adjustment, blowout, mani, and pedi - YIKES!
Tri-Colored HeronTri-Colored Heron
Tri-Colored Heron

Some of our "bird identities" are best guesses!
Drop Roots Almost Form a CurtainDrop Roots Almost Form a Curtain
Drop Roots Almost Form a Curtain

Mangroves propigate in three ways - they are the only tree to bear live young (string bean like pods with roots and tiny leaves), their root system "walks" toward water in graceful, tangled arches, and drop roots grow off of branches to further stabalize and grow the plant.
Lazy FlamingoLazy Flamingo
Lazy Flamingo

This poor server wasn't lazy - a group of 16 mothers and daughters arrived and wanted separate checks. Also lots of special instructions - on the side, no cheese, extra lettuce - Let's treat servers like they were our own daughters and sons and be NICE!
The Night Cap -- PinocchoThe Night Cap -- Pinoccho
The Night Cap -- Pinoccho

This ice cream, gelato, and other treats beats all! Lots of islanders gather on the benches outside at the end of a great day like we had.
Remember VanGogh's Blue Bed?Remember VanGogh's Blue Bed?
Remember VanGogh's Blue Bed?

The artist, Leoma Lovegrove, is amazing! She just opened her Sanibel Gallery recently and still has a funky shop in Matlacha on Pine Island where we go when we leave Sanibel.
Lots of Beatles Images and LyricsLots of Beatles Images and Lyrics
Lots of Beatles Images and Lyrics

Leoma Lovegrove incorporates lyrics into her work - remember Yakity Yak ... Take out the papers & the trash... - the lyrics are on the trash can.
Leoma's Big Bird - Leoma's Big Bird -
Leoma's Big Bird -

Probably a Giant Heron!

14th November 2010

great pictures
Have always been skeptical to kayak but the double looked interesting..You guys sure look like you are having a great time...Not looking forward to our trip to Florida, our wonderful, sharing, party-giving next door neighbors moved away last June, they a re only 4 miles away but nothing is the same as yelling next door, "dinner is ready if you are interested in joining us"...grandkids are beginning to arrive so they needed a bigger house, I understand, I just don"t like travels.....fondly, sylvia
14th November 2010

Understand your timidity re: kayaks - but the tandems help a lot, as do having a few staff around to get you going and (literally) pull you out. Never on anything but the calmest water on the calmest day. Try it, you'll like it!

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