Day 240, December 17, 2012 (Captiva via Boca Grande, FL): Longboat was a first-rate stop. Five days flew by. St. Armand’s Circle, the touristy shopping and restaurant area, is easily accessible. The marina featured a courtesy van. Even, Shabbat Hanukkah at the reform temple was a short walk away or onboard Sequel. However, we were the youngsters in the group.
On to Boca Grande on Gasparilla Island! The Gasparilla Inn with its championship golf course is the big attraction. I could safely say that they have the $21 hamburger on bun, toasted extra, (if you eat that kind of stuff) locked down. The area is laid back with very lavish real estate, exotic vegetation, and it seems that every other little pied-a-terre was for sale. The thriving industries are restaurants and realty companies. I am not sure how tourism is doing. One would think that they were entering the prime of the year. The weather is fantastic—it has been early summer since we left Tampa. Silly me—thinking that marina space would be an issue I called ahead to the Boca Grande Marina. Don’t you hate it when the person on the other end hems-and- haws like they are doing a simultaneous credit check to see if they have to displace a less worthy reservation? Anyway that’s how it felt. There was one other boat in the transient marina but I think it was actually the owner’s boat garage. He had his 130 foot Westport parked behind us and a newish 80 sport fisherman beside us.
Captiva was not so uppity. We bypassed the South Seas Resort in favor of something close to the old village. Tween Waters Resort acted like they wanted customers. Stay three days, pay for two. On the way south from Boca Grande, the dolphins were at it, again. This time they preferred Bee thoven string quartets, bouncing in and out of our wake. An osprey on a nest kept a wary eye on us and a bridge gave us the red carpet treatment. Then, there is Cheeseburger in Paradise, purportedly the site of Jimmy Buffet’s composition on Cabbage Key. Although open, they seem to be looking for business.
The landscape on Captiva features huge homes and natural exotic vegetation. Try this Christmas cactus on steroids!