Poking Around Pine Island Sound

April 7, 2019

Pine Island Sound doesn’t have the reputation it deserves as a cruising destination, because it isn’t very big — about 50 miles long by 20 miles wide — and it’s pretty shallow so the superyachts can’t go there.

But it has two delightful small cities, Fort Myers and Punta Gorda, filled with cruising amenities, restaurants and attractions (such as Thomas Edison’s winter home), isolated anchorages and beaches accessible only by boat.  And it’s totally protected by Sanibel and Captiva Islands, so I never saw a wave more than one foot high.

After a tough Okeechobee crossing, this was an absolutely perfect break and I took it all in — the cities, anchorages at Cayo Costa, Captiva and York Island and an overnight at the famous Cabbage Key.

John and I visited Cabbage Key, a small resort and big (excellent) restaurant accessible only by boat, in 2013.  During the day a lot of lunch cruisers and tour boats make the trip over and it can get crowded, but at night the tiny marina only has a few boats.  So everybody goes up to the restaurant and it becomes sort of family-style, with everyone at their own table, but swapping stories right and left.

During this cruise, I also perfected my technique of pretending to be rich.  Tardis is such a unique boat that I feel welcome at even the fanciest marinas, even though I’m almost always the smallest boat other than the odd Ranger Tug.  But the yacht ladies all remark on how “cute” she is while the yacht gentleman are thinking, “My boat depreciated $200,000 the day I bought her, costs $2,000 to fill up and we never go anywhere.  Maybe he’s on to something.”  So we chat and go to dinner and since for Tardis a fancy marina is only $15 more than a regular marina, pretending to be rich is a great deal.

Nature trail Cabbage Key — gives one pause

Friendly Cabbage Key Resident

You can’t leave Cabbage Key without taking this picture — the fisherman used to pin up a dollar bill for luck, so 50,000 tourists per year do so also

View from the water tower, Cabbage Key

Dinner at Cabbage Key

Not too many orchids on trees in CT this time of year

Pelican Bay, Cayo Costa

Fisherman’s Village Punta Gorda

Happy Harry’s at Fisherman’s Village — largest bar I’ve ever seen – probably a half acre

Punta Gorda is filled with stately homes — this one the Chamber of Commerce

Roosevelt Channel anchorage Captiva Island

One comment on “Poking Around Pine Island Sound

  1. scott
    April 8, 2019 at 8:34 am #

    hey there…are you still on the west coast fla.? would love a tour of the Tardis. I am the fella that is building in Land O Lakes, 32 x 9.6 x 3…

    thought you would be heading to Europe by now? hoping to hear from you…813 417 4878 please text before calling …usually do not answer less’n i know who it is (robo calls drive me crazy!)



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