Average Monthly Temps

  • July - 91 / 74
  • Aug - 91 / 74
  • Sep - 90 / 74

The forecast is for GREAT weather!

Did You Know?

We offer money-saving coupons for some of the Islands' most popular establishments? From cruises to Key Lime Pie, there's something for everyone. Visit the Message Board and check out the section called Steals, Deals & Lots of Appeal.
Fun Tip

Workout - Island Style! Cross the bridge to Bowman's Beach and watch for a path leading to your right. Following it will lead you in an approximate 1 mile loop with various exercise stations placed strategically for great Gulf views. Separate instructions for children and adults are at each stop.
Shelling Tips

When shelling in water, try using a large plastic tray as a 'boat'. Float it with you, looking through it for a clear view of the bottom. Its also a handy place to store your finds.

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Island Happenings

Unusual Beach Finds
They are called "living fossils" because their ancestors date back over 350 million years. In all that time their bodies have changed very little. These strange creatures are often seen in our waters and on our beaches. What are they? Horseshoe Crabs.

Horseshoe crabs are not true crabs at all. They are in a class by themselves but more closely related to arachnids, a group that includes spiders and scorpions, than to crustaceans. Though they’re not crabs, the good news for collectors is that these ancient creatures molt just like crabs do and that more often than not, the large shells seen on the beach are not dead creatures but simply castoffs - and much less likely to smell after a few days. It’s easy to check by turning the shell over and looking for soft body parts; the ones with flesh are the ones to leave behind - The ghost crabs will thank you.

If you flip over one of the molts, take time to notice the unusual anatomy. The first four of the five pairs of legs are used for walking, while the last pair, located near the gills, have leaf-like flaps that are used for pushing. (The small pincers on the last pair are also used for cleaning the gills in the abdomen.) Notice too, that the horseshoe crab has two pairs of eyes. The first are compound and the second pair, located in the middle of the top front, are simple.

These formidable-looking creatures are quite harmless. Unfortunately, their spike-like tail has given this species an unfavorable reputation. In reality, the tail serves as a rudder and, if the crab is flipped upside down, it will bend its abdomen at the point where it joins the main shell and dig into the sand with the tail to support itself while it turns over.

Horseshoe crabs are a surprisingly important part of the ecology of coastal communities. During the nesting season, horseshoe crab eggs are a major food source for migrating birds and over half of the diet of many shorebirds. Many fish also rely on the eggs for food. The crabs are important to humans too. Only horseshoe crabs have a blood-clotting agent known as LAL, which clots in the presence of certain bacterial toxins. These toxins are difficult to detect by any other means. The FDA requires the use of LAL to test all injectable and intravenous drugs produced in the U.S. The good news is that up to one-third of a horseshoe crab’s blood can be removed without killing the animal.

Because of their importance, in 1998, a Horseshoe Crab Fishery Management Plan was developed that requires Atlantic coastal states to identify horseshoe crab nesting beaches. Currently, with the help of the public, biologists at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute are trying to document nesting sites of horseshoe crabs throughout the state of Florida. If you are interested in becoming involved, please visit the Horseshoe Crab Survey for more information.

The next time you come across one of these "living fossils", don't be scared. Instead, marvel at a creature that is so perfectly suited for it's life that it has survived since long before the age of dinosaurs.

From the Forum
Our Message Board remains a VERY popular addition - many folks wake up to it daily, logging on to see what's new in their favorite vacation spot and taking a little armchair trip to the islands over coffee.  Come 'Dream' with us at BestofSanibelCaptiva.com!

A quote from a recent visitor:

"This was the first trip for my husband and for an aunt and uncle who came from Arizona to stay with us and we have already talked about coming again next year. Why change a good thing! Thank you again to all for your wonderful advise.....Until next year!"

Eat to the Beat
A frequent question on the Message Board asks where to enjoy live music. No matter if you prefer a cool drink next to a pool or cool jazz in a nationally respected restaurant, Sanibel and Captiva have something for everyone! Drop in to any of these places and enjoy!

On Sanibel
- If you like jazz, Ellington's at Sanibel Inn is the only place to be.
- The Jacaranda has live music most nights with a fun crowd & dancing.
- Danny Morgan is a true "island son". Catch him Tuesdays at Trader's over dinner and drinks.
- The Thistle Lodge piano bar.
- The Sunday Jam Session at the American Legion. The Troublestarters often play here and everyone is invited to bring their own instruments and join in. Music varies depending on who is there.
- Dolce Vita has a good, traditional piano bar.
- Island Cow is a fun casual place to dine al fresco.

On Captiva
- RC Otters has a rotating schedule of entertainment.
- Mark Vee on guitar at Key Lime Bistro is a relaxing way to dine and people watch from the patio.
- The Mucky Duck patio has live music nightly, starting at 4pm. What a great way to wait for sunset!

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