Island Hopping For Lunch, Half The Fun Is Getting There

Boat on the water during sunset

Southwest Florida has been a traveler's destination for centuries. The Spanish first visited these waters in 1513. The native Calusa Indians that called this place home greeted them. By the 1600’s Spanish Cuban anglers fished the waters in Pine Island Sound around Cabbage Key, Cayo Costa, Captiva, Sanibel, Useppa, and Pine Island. In the 1700’s, Great Britain controlled this traveler's paradise briefly for about 20 years until Spain regained control. The Spanish fished this area of Florida until the early 1900’s. Today you can travel the wake history in this unique area of Florida. So sit back and enjoy the ride through the islands to a destination people have been seeking for centuries.

Destination Cabbage Key

We left Captiva Island under an overcast sky. Coasting out of Roosevelt Channel observing dolphins as we picked up speed by marker number 2. We pointed the boat north as the skies started to clear. To the west, you can see the end of Captiva Island. The next island coming into view is North Captiva. It used to connect to Captiva until a hurricane split it in half in 1921. The middle part of north Captiva is a state park. The north end of North Captiva is now in view. There are 300 houses on this end of the island and a small grass airstrip. The island north of North Captiva is Cayo Costa State Park. We travel closer to the bay side of the island and follow a line of crab traps.

The water gets shallow in a hurry and we are cruising over sea grass in three feet of water. The historic water tower on Cabbage Key is now in view off the bow of the boat. Off the starboard side of the boat, we see a large school of tarpon swimming in a circle. Seeing these large fish all over 100 pounds is quite the sight in clear water this shallow! Channel marker 60 is now in view off the port bow. Now the excitement grows as we make our way down the Cabbage Key Channel. To the left we see cottages that date back to the 1930s. It feels like we have stepped back in time as we tie up to the boathouse at the Cabbage Key Marina. We disembark the boat and we make our way to the restaurant. As we climb the stairs to the restaurant, we pass a key lime tree to our left, a Frangipani tree to the right, and a mango tree. As we take our final steps to the restaurant, the green screen door opened and the island staff greets us. "Welcome to Cabbage Key" they smiled.

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