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Cape Coral Florida Vacation

Dietzen34

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Madison, WI
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Yamaha
Year
2015
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AR192
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19
Heading down to Cape Coral for a vacation at the end of October. We were able to find a VRBO with a 25' 250hp center console boat rental included, so no need to trailer the jet boat all the way down from Wisconsin.

Any advice for boating down here? Our rental is on a channel just down from the Cape Coral Yacht club. Any good sand bars to hang out at? Secluded is good, also don't mind a good party cove/sandbar. Any must see bars/restaurants? Anything in particular to look out for? Areas to stay away from? I am familiar with boating big water lakes but have not captained a boat down in Florida. Only have been on charters.

Potentially doing some fishing too so any advice for that will be helpful too!

Thanks for any advice.
 

seanmclean

Jetboaters Captain
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I'm sure I'm not the only curious person, but link to this VRBO?
 

jfkraus

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We did exactly the same thing a few years ago (2018 Hurricane Deck Boat included with Beautiful Yacht Club Pool Home - Yacht Club). Unfortunately that was the week the polar votex hit and the temperature hovered around 70 degrees the whole time. We did get out on the boat a couple times, but we ened up sticking to the channels in the Intercoastal Waterway. The water down there is very shallow compared to what we are used to, so just watch the tides and currents. Also, be aware that the channel markers are reversed in the Intercoastal in the area.

We boated to here Home and to Fort Myers Beach (there's a public dock). Both were a lot of fun.

Have fun!
 

Dietzen34

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Madison, WI
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We did exactly the same thing a few years ago (2018 Hurricane Deck Boat included with Beautiful Yacht Club Pool Home - Yacht Club). Unfortunately that was the week the polar votex hit and the temperature hovered around 70 degrees the whole time. We did get out on the boat a couple times, but we ened up sticking to the channels in the Intercoastal Waterway. The water down there is very shallow compared to what we are used to, so just watch the tides and currents. Also, be aware that the channel markers are reversed in the Intercoastal in the area.

We boated to here Home and to Fort Myers Beach (there's a public dock). Both were a lot of fun.

Have fun!
Thanks for the advice. We will have to check out that place. Looks like you got an even better place than I found. I was actually surprised to see quite a few rentals with boat rentals either included or ones that you could add on to the rental. Here's the one I ended up with: VRBO
 

Joatmon

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Estero, FL
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Scarab
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2017
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255 SE
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25
Wow what an adventure.

This may help you with channel markers.

There are sand bars in the Gulf during low tide but not like you used to in WI. The water level changes quickly. Be careful around inlets from Gulf to ICW or bays. You can be 300 yards off the shore in 1' of water. I have been on bottom more than I care to mention.

Check out Cabbage Key restaurant near Captiva. Access by boat only. Stay between the markers. This was one of the places where I hit bottom. You have to head toward deeper water and power through it. Really low area south of Punta Rassa boat ramp. I drug bottom there as well. All near Cape Coral.

Last thing. Be sure to observe the no wake zones near Cape, Ft Myers and Sanibel. The water patrol (Sheriff) sit near the marinas watching for violators.
 

Dietzen34

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Wow what an adventure.

This may help you with channel markers.

There are sand bars in the Gulf during low tide but not like you used to in WI. The water level changes quickly. Be careful around inlets from Gulf to ICW or bays. You can be 300 yards off the shore in 1' of water. I have been on bottom more than I care to mention.

Check out Cabbage Key restaurant near Captiva. Access by boat only. Stay between the markers. This was one of the places where I hit bottom. You have to head toward deeper water and power through it. Really low area south of Punta Rassa boat ramp. I drug bottom there as well. All near Cape Coral.

Last thing. Be sure to observe the no wake zones near Cape, Ft Myers and Sanibel. The water patrol (Sheriff) sit near the marinas watching for violators.
Thanks for the tips. We will try and check out Cabbage Key!
 

Dean P

Jetboaters Commander
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Thanks for the tips. We will try and check out Cabbage Key!
We loved Cabbage Key. That's where Jimmy Buffet wrote "Cheeseburger in Paradise". We spent the night there (on our 25" SeaRay) when the boys were little. Margarita's with salt are good too.
There are lots of places to see and good eating too in that area. Plan out your days to get the most bang for your buck. Google and Yelp will help you find great spots. Good luck and have fun!
 

Trannyguy

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Sw missouri
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We did exactly the same thing a few years ago (2018 Hurricane Deck Boat included with Beautiful Yacht Club Pool Home - Yacht Club). Unfortunately that was the week the polar votex hit and the temperature hovered around 70 degrees the whole time. We did get out on the boat a couple times, but we ened up sticking to the channels in the Intercoastal Waterway. The water down there is very shallow compared to what we are used to, so just watch the tides and currents. Also, be aware that the channel markers are reversed in the Intercoastal in the area.

We boated to here Home and to Fort Myers Beach (there's a public dock). Both were a lot of fun.

Have fun!
Man I didn’t even now that was a thing ! I wish I would have known you could get some places with a boat. We are in fort Myers beach this week and I really wanted to bring my boat but didn’t want the extra fuel cost. If you don’t mind me asking how much extra was the boat rental on top of the house?
 

jfkraus

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Man I didn’t even now that was a thing ! I wish I would have known you could get some places with a boat. We are in fort Myers beach this week and I really wanted to bring my boat but didn’t want the extra fuel cost. If you don’t mind me asking how much extra was the boat rental on top of the house?
The boat was included in the price of the house. The only requirement was a checkout run with a local boat captain to make sure we knew how to operate it.
 

BrentEB

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There are a couple islands in the river by the "old" 41 bridge that seem to get a lot of boats as seen from the bridge. That's east of Cape Coral. St James City on Pine Island has a couple restaurants/bars you can tie up to. All kinds of gulf beaches starting with Sanibel. I like Cayo Costa as it's pretty much undeveloped and not crowded at all away from the passes at each end.
 

Hoyt

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Cape Coral is gorgeous. We did the same thing a few years back. Rented a house with a boat. Whole captain checkout thing is easy. They just want to make sure you know what you're doing that's all.

So the captain that took me out on trial told me one thing I'll never forget..... "Don't swim in the water unless there are big crowds, or plenty other boats around". I'm not even kidding you. Sharks are bad he said. Take that as you will. Needless to say we didn't put kids on the tube.

Now we did go to all the remote islands around there. Sanibel island is the big one, and accessible via car. There are 3 more islands off Sanibel. Absolutely gorgeous. We would just beach the boat, and get out. Secluded for sure. Took no more then an hour to get to furthest Island. Water is gorgeous there. Crystal clear to your feet (unless it's stormy). Water ways are very easy to navigate without GPS if you need to. No worries there. You'll come out of the man made canals (cape coral is man made Venice style canals) into the river (forgot the name). From there head towards the bay to the islands.

WARNING :YOUR NOT GONNA WANNA GO HOME
 

veedubtek

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Ton's of great restaurants on the water. Doc Ford's @ Ft Myers Beach, Woody's Waterside @ St James City, Cabbage Key, Mucky Duck on Captiva, anything in Matlacha. Just a few of our favs. The harbor is very shallow, don't stray from channel markers and mind the tide. The channel runs CRAZY sometimes too, like it was dredged by a blind man, stick with it. The outside of North Captiva and Cayo Costa are some of the best, desolate beaches you'll see - enjoy them.

^he's right, you're not gonna wanna go home. I didn't. So I made it home.
 

Dietzen34

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Thanks for all of the advice! Question on going to beaches with the boat, North Captiva and Costa Coya in particular. Are there any special rules/best practices regarding anchoring/beaching? Do people usually beach there boat? Or anchor out just off shore?
 

Dean P

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Thanks for all of the advice! Question on going to beaches with the boat, North Captiva and Costa Coya in particular. Are there any special rules/best practices regarding anchoring/beaching? Do people usually beach there boat? Or anchor out just off shore?
Best to stay offshore as there are sometimes thousands of little shells that could be present and scratch up the bottom pretty good. If you've been there before, it's your call just watch the tides. Anchor in the front and off the stern. Keep an eye on the weather towards the East. Dark clouds in the afternoon can come quickly.
 

Dietzen34

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Another question, just saw that the red tide is present in the Cape Coral area. Is this anything to worry about for my stay? Swimming ok? Assuming weather is good, we are planning on boating on Saturday and Sunday and were hoping to make it to Cayo Costa and North Captiva beaches.
 
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Dean P

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Another question, just saw that the ride tide is present in the Cape Coral area. Is this anything to worry about for my stay? Swimming ok? Assuming weather is good, we are planning on boating on Saturday and Sunday and were hoping to make it to Cayo Costa and North Captiva beaches.
I assume you mean red tide? Yes, you need to be concerned as this can cause respiratory issues even walking on the beach (next to it). You should not be allowed to swim in the water. It's been a big deal here for the past few years.
 

Coryd

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Another question, just saw that the red tide is present in the Cape Coral area. Is this anything to worry about for my stay? Swimming ok? Assuming weather is good, we are planning on boating on Saturday and Sunday and were hoping to make it to Cayo Costa and North Captiva beaches.
Red tide will make your throat itchy and make you sneeze a ton so you'll know if you're in an affected area. The good thing is that just because they say it's present in the Gulf, doesn't mean every single area is affected, especially in the intracoastal waters. If you're planning on heading to Sanibel, Captiva, and Cayo Costa, take the intracoastal and find an area without it. We had to do that pretty much all summer last year, red tide was really bad. Don't swim off the boat in any of the waters around Cayo Costa, lots of bull sharks. And if you beach at Cayo Costa, be careful of the sea urchins, there are tons in the sand right off shore.
 
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Dietzen34

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Location
Madison, WI
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2015
Boat Model
AR192
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19
Thanks for all of the great advice guys! The vacation has been a blast. Unfortunately didn't make it to North Captiva due to rough conditions but found some other great beaches. Ended up renting a Slingshot today and it was a great time. I recommend doing this if you get the chance.

IMG_20191025_162634785.jpg

IMG_20191028_131357481.jpg

IMG_20191028_133134758.jpg
 

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