Thursday, May 8, 2014

The beautiful Sanibel and Captiva Islands

Today Libbie and I headed to the Sanibel and Captiva Islands.
These islands are off the coast near Fort Myers and Cape Coral.  This is what the website says :
There are no stoplights on Sanibel or Captiva, and there are no buildings taller than the tallest palm tree. Both serve as a reminder of what happens when we leave well enough alone. For generations, people have escaped over the three-mile causeway to a different pace of life – one that includes ungroomed white sand beaches filled with thousands of shells, great seafood restaurants, unmatched wildlife viewing and a family focused village atmosphere where only the absolutely necessary parts of civilization are included.    

The first thing you get to see after you pay the $6.00 toll to cross the bridge is the beautiful Causeway Islands.

You can just pull off the road, park, and have a picnic at this beautiful site.  The amount of shells on these beaches is incredible.  Most are broken but more wash up while you are standing there.

 The first thing we saw when we got on Sanibel, was the lighthouse. It was built in 1884 when the island was a nature preserve.
 These beaches are well known for their shells.  There is even a shell museum on the island.
 These shells are known as pen shells. A very nice local lady told us about some of the shells that were found on the beach.  These pen shells or pinnidae are salt water clams.
This one she is pointing at is called a turkey wing shell.  the orange one tot he right is a conch shell.

Unfortunately, she left before she could tell me what these were.  They looked almost sponge like.
                               The mile marker for Sanibel Island.  It starts at the Lighthouse.
Then we headed for Captiva Island

At both islands you had to pay $2.00 an hour to park and go to the beaches.
The beaches here are beautiful also.  These beaches are on the Gulf where the Sanibel beaches are on the bay side.
 There are not as many people on Captiva.  It doesn't have the commercial business that Sanibel does.
 It does have big homes!  This was one of the smaller ones.

 Another nice home.  On the right is the Gulf.  Nice front yard huh....

Both Islands are indeed beautiful but Captiva captured our hearts.  It is like a Hemingway book.  It is what I think the keys are going to look like.  We shall see, because we leave tomorrow heading for the keys!