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Resort or Retreat?
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
By
Nita DeVeese

Recently, I had the privilege of enjoying a Day Pass Certificate for two at North Captiva Island.
Having read the brochures and checked it out online, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect.

We had left Pine Island in the Island’s Just for Fun Boat, with Captain Tedd (yes, two D’s) at the helm. He and his assistant had loaded enough groceries for a week for three families staying in Captiva’s Florida vacation rentals. When we arrived, Tedd said Captiva staff would unload and place the food in the proper condo’s cupboards and refrigerators. From my point of view that’s a great amenity!

Tedd also gave a history lesson on local homes and birds and fish during our fifteen minute ride across Pine Island Sound. Once docked, we were met by Bryan, my contact, and introduced to two Michaels who promised to meet our every wish.

We decided to start our day by kayaking. After changing into swim suits, a fellow named Mohammad, from Egypt, made sure we were launched safely. We paddled the canal, gazing at the beautiful homes we passed, while also watching for manatees and dolphins. Sadly, they were not swimming in our area, although we did get pictures of a beautiful heron. The trip was extremely quiet, restful and serene. We even poked out into the gulf away, but chicken that I am, the waves looked a bit high for a kayak.

By the time we returned, we were starved and made our way to the Pool Bar. John, although appearing young, certainly knew his bartending and lunch providing, sprinkled with just the right amount of conversation. We learned a bit about those few who actually live on the island. This did not seem to be a party spot, although it was midday and very hot. Who knows what might transpire during the evening hours?

In speaking with some of the guests at the bar, they told us, almost to the person, North Captiva Island is a relaxing retreat for them. Some had been coming for years, spending three or four days at a time, while others, with entire families, came every year for at least a week. The teenagers we spoke with weren’t bored and looked forward to this vacation retreat as much as their parents. Several under the age of ten kids popped up to the bar for John’s special “kiddie treats”. Even they didn’t shout, or whine or cry. Everyone seemed relaxed, enjoying their break from the hustle-bustle of life. Some fished, some swam, some read, some perched at the Pool Bar, talking quietly with old and new friends.

After a delightful lunch we decided to head for the beach. We called the Michaels on our cell phone. In no time they came for us in their golf cart and a trailer carrying beach chairs and an umbrella. Once they set us up on the beach they vanished. We swam, we slept, and we sipped. Finally, we’d had enough sun. Again, the cell phone summoned our “cabana boy,” as we called Michael. The other Michael was helping unload luggage from the boat for some newcomers.

This Michael proceeded to show us the tennis courts, where the bicycles were kept, and the fully equipped park for little ones. The Florida vacation rentals and Beach house rentals come with a boat and a golf cart. Tarpon fishing trips, Dolphin tours, Skidoos, some sort of paddle boats and boat excursions can be arranged. There is also a deli/grocery store and a posh restaurant. These are the “resort” amenities.
Since we were only there for the day, we didn’t visit the restaurant, but were well fed at the Pool Bar with our pick of sushi, sandwiches, and salads.

Being kept “busy” while vacationing in what we think of as a “resort” was not what we encountered. A lot of resort amenities were there, but we found North Captiva Island to be peaceful, beautiful and relaxing. The staff made us feel like old friends. They were definitely there when we needed them, but discreetly in the background while we enjoyed the island.

As our day came to an end, we spent our last hour in the pool—again enjoying this unique retreat. Then it was time to board the Fun Boat. Back on Pine Island, our car awaited. We may have left North Captiva Island behind, but our memories will always be with us.

Posted in Editorials | 1 Comment | Add a Comment
John Sorenson
Posted Tuesday, October 18, 2011 2:32 PM
Where did you get the brochure for the day pass? How much is it? I was told $38 for pass and ferry package, just wanted to double check and it sounds wonderful thanks!

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