Tuesday came, and as we walked to the pier to wait, we made sure to peer down in to the water at the marina, looking for manatee. It's a favorite "haunt" for them, but we didn't see any and the grand-kids were really disappointed, since over the last three days we'd not yet seen any. Plenty of opportunities during the week to perhaps spot some.
|Marissa eagerly waiting to get underway|
We boarded the boat and my son headed downstairs to the bar to get us something to drink. Grandson Trevor immediately made friends with four other boys on the boat, all within 1 or 2 years of his age. So he was entertained for the duration of the trip to the Key. Granddaughter Marissa was sad that she had no one to play with.
|On upper deck, waiting to get underway|
We sat on the upper deck level, watching for dolphin. Whenever the captain spotted some, he'd rev the motor to attract the mammals to swim on the boat's wake. Within 20 minutes we had a couple of dolphin swimming and leaping in the air on the starboard aft side of the boat. It is always fun to watch them do this...I never get tired of seeing these lovely mammals playing and having fun. As we grew near to Cabbage Key we picked up another dolphin on our bow. He swam with us, getting pushed along by the bow wake for a very long time.
|Trevor at bow, looking for dolphin|
Once on Cabbage Key, we headed straight for the restaurant and were seated immediately. I was surprised at this and at how nearly empty the restaurant was. I can remember when we would often have to wait to be seated, and the place would be packed!
|All that money! Several layers thick|
Cabbage Key Inn is a very old place, and has survived several storms and hurricanes. All of the seating areas are nothing more than screened in walls with a roof overhead, tucked well under the thick canopy of trees. It's a tradition for visitors to write something on a dollar bill and tape it to the walls, the ceiling, the columns and joists...wherever they can find a spot.
|Cabbage Key Inn Restaurant|
The restaurant was made famous by Jimmy Buffett in his song, "Cheeseburger in Paradise." Several bills signed by famous people are preserved and framed. Of course I had to have the cheeseburger and fries, and then finish it off with a slice of key lime pie for dessert.
|view of harbor and looking toward Useppa Island|
After lunch, we walked around a bit, hoping to spot the tortoises that live here and are cared for by the staff. The rest of the family continued on exploring the island and I went down to the little gift shop on the dock and bought t-shirts for the kids.
|We found one of the resident tortoises|
Then it was time to board the boat and head back to Captiva. The captain took a longer way back and was perpetually on the lookout for dolphin. About halfway back, he stepped out of the bridge and asked granddaughter Marissa if she wanted to drive the boat. She was shy and refused at first, but her dad convinced her it would be a really cool thing to do.
|Marissa steering the boat. Note her binoculars!|
After a while the other kids got wind of the fact that a kid was driving the boat so they tore themselves away from whatever they were doing downstairs in the enclosed cabin and came up topside to have their turn. I wore my Garmin GPS watch so that I could capture our route. Here is our return route from Cabbage Key to Captiva. Easy to tell where on the route the kids were steering the boat. LOL!
|Return route. data from my Garmin GPS watch|
We were soon back in the channel toward the marina, then docking and disembarking. It was fun. I think the grandkids enjoyed it. I know I did!
Next up: Plenty of beach and pool time and then our last full day on the resort and spending some time on the beach!