Average Monthly Temps

  • April - 84 / 62
  • May - 88 / 67
  • June - 90 / 73

The forecast is for GREAT weather!

Trying to decide the perfect time for your trip? Be sure to read through our helpful tips for Timing Your Visit.

Did You Know?

- Island Night is coming early this year! Mark May 16 on your calendar to enjoy an evening of Miracle baseball, a parade, music, goodies, socializing and just plain fun for the whole family! Visit our listing of Special Events for all the details.

- A dolphin is never completely asleep. It always keeps half of its brain conscious and one eye open!
Fun Tip

Chapel by the Sea on Captiva was originally built in 1901 as a schoolhouse that doubled as a church on Sundays. Visitors are welcome at this charming chapel that now serves as a seaside meditation site, an interdenominational church (November through April) and popular wedding spot. Trimmed in lattice fencing, the cemetery next door guards the graves of many early settlers.
Shelling Tips

The Coffee Melampus can be found on the beaches but is more frequently found in the leaf litter of the red mangroves in the Bay where the snails retreat into the branches during high tide. Melampus snails have modified gills and can breathe in either air or water. The shells are small, growing no more than .75" and are reddish-brown in color with 2 or 3 cream bands circling.

Coffee Melampus - picture courtsey of The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
Are You Ready...

...to admit your addiction to the Islands? Do it in style with apparel from BestofSanibelCaptiva.com! Visit the Cool Stuff! store and get yours today!

Speak Out!

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Island Happenings

From Our Mailbox
Past newsletter articles on Beach Finds (July, October 2006) proved to be some of the most popular with our readers and generated absolute tons of e-mail - and even more questions. Occasionally we will be sharing some of the most frequently asked and interesting questions in the newsletter.

What Was That?
"Last summer something my family and I had never seen before washed ashore, despite several visits to Sanibel. It was small, kinda roundish and had what looked like wings. It moved on its own, so we knew it was alive and not some kind of weird seaweed. It was not a small ray or skate, there was no tail. When it landed on the beach, it looked like it was bleeding purple? Is this possible? Do you have any idea what this creature could have been?"

It sounds like you saw a Sea Hare! Sea Hares basically look like garden slugs with wings. They are marine snails, usually 4" - 6" long and are completely harmless. Rather than having their shell on the outside like most snails we are used to seeing, a Sea Hare's shell is internal. Most Hares are black with some white on them, like our picture, but there are many different color variations. The wings you noticed are used, along with an undulating motion, to swim. If you ever see one in the water, be sure to take a moment to watch and you'll be amazed at how graceful they are.

Fortunately, the purple you saw wasn't blood. Sea Hares can release a purple ink, just like an octopus. In the water, the ink would form a cloud to help it escape a predator. When a Sea Hare is beached, that ink isn't going to be much help though - he's stranded. Don't be afraid to gently roll him into your hand and put him back in the water, just past where the waves are breaking.

Rarely, you may also see a Nudibranch (pronounced nude-e-brank). They are closely related to the Sea Hare but are much smaller, don't emit ink and have no shell. They are found all over the world and are some of the most colorful, flamboyant creatures you will ever see! Try doing a Google Image Search sometime and you'll see exactly what we mean!

Fishing With Fleas?
"I told my fishing buddy that I was finally following his advice and heading down to Captiva. He told me to be sure to dig for sand fleas and try them as bait. What is a sand flea, or is my buddy pulling my leg?"

Your friend isn't pulling your leg. There are several critters that are referred to as Sand Fleas, but this one is a type of crab...a Mole Crab. Mole Crabs do not have pincers and are unusual in that everything they do, from swimming to digging, is done backwards! They will come riding in with the waves and very quickly dig down into the sand where they raise their antennae to filter the water for food (and hide from shore birds!).

Your friend actually gave you some good advice. The crabs are fairly easy to find and are a staple in the diet of Pompano and Spotted Sea Trout - both excellent eating fish!

From the Forum
Our Message Board remains a very popular addition - many folks log on several times a day, checking to see what's new in their favorite vacation spot and taking a little armchair trip to the islands.  Come "Dream" with us at BestofSanibelCaptiva.com!

A quote from a visitor:

"We walked home as the sun set over the Gulf our final night in paradise, as the waves crashed onto the shore. I felt lucky to have come to know this magical place one more time and couldn't help but feel excited to know I would be back again."

It's Almost Turtle Time!
May 1 through October 31 is sea turtle nesting season and that means its time for our annual reminder.

Every year during this time, endangered Green and Loggerhead sea turtles return to the same beach they hatched from (up to five times in a season) to lay their eggs.

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) has provided important guidelines for all who visit and live on the islands:
Please keep lights near the beach off or shielded, this includes closing your drapes. Artificial lighting confuses nesting females and hatchlings. Flashlights should be hooded or use a red light. Turtles, and especially hatchlings are easily disoriented by light and wander towards it and away from the Gulf.
Pick up toys and chairs on the beach and fill in any holes you may have dug. Adults and hatchlings can become entangled or trapped.
Please pick up any litter but especially plastic and styrofoam you see in the water or on the beach. These are items are very dangerous as they are frequently mistaken by the turtles for one of their favorite foods - jellyfish.
Stay well clear of marked nests.

Together, we can help make this a successful season.

Don't Throw It Out - Donate It!
How many times have you stayed at a rental and had food leftover at the end of your vacation? Don't throw it out... donate it and make a difference!

Several island rental agencies have made arrangements with the Harry Chapin Food Bank to get your extra food to those in need, including children, seniors living on fixed incomes, the working poor and hurricane victims.

When you rent through participating agencies, at check-in you will be given a shopping bag for any unused, unopened items. When you check-out, simply return the bag along with your keys. Those bags are then donated to the Food Bank by the rental agency.

To date, more than 700 pounds of canned goods and other grocery items have already been collected and donated from visitors.

Come find your own 'Gifts from the Sea'

We have the latest air fare deals, the perfect home away from home and
monthly tide charts for your trip!

Sanibel & Captiva Islands are waiting for YOU!

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Questions or comments should be directed to Libby McMillan & Kimberly Brock. Visit our website at www.BestofSanibelCaptiva.com.