North Captiva History
North Captiva Island is an island in Lee County in Southwest Florida, located just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. It lies just north of Captiva Island, separated by a channel called Redfish Pass which was created in a 1921 hurricane. It lies just south of Cayo Costa Island, separated by Captiva Pass.
Like Captiva and Sanibel Islands, North Captiva is a barrier island to Pine Island (to the east of Captiva and north of Sanibel), and is very narrow.
There is no automobile access to the island and electric golf carts are the primary means of transport.
Development of the island began in the 1960s, but was slow due to the absence of electric service and the difficulty of transporting building materials to the island. Commercial electric and phone service was established in the mid 1980s.
The island has about 300 homes built and 300 vacant lots. About half of the island to the South is owned by the State of Florida and is part of a State Park. All other areas are privately owned including the roads. Since the island can be accessed by boat or small plane only, a regular passenger ferry service runs from Pine Island Marina, North Captiva Island Club Ferry and Island Girl Charter at two-hour intervals, serving both tourists and locals. There are also barging services that transport materials to the island.
Turtle nesting season runs from May 1st to October 31st.
Sea turtles are among the world’s oldest creatures. These ancient reptiles have long fascinated people around the world.
Sea turtles can move through the water at speeds of up to 15 mi per hour. This is surprising considering their enormous weight. Adult males reach about three feet in shell length and weigh about 250 pounds, but large specimens of more than 1,000 pounds have been found.
Their average life span is more than 50 years. And mature females will often return, sometimes over thousands of miles, to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs.
Here are some guidelines of how you can help while visiting the island:
- Turn off all lights that could draw attention away from the Gulf of Mexico to the land. No light should be shining toward the beach.
- Do not leave anything like beach umbrellas, shoes, sand pails, etc on the beach. These are obstacles for the hatchlings.
- Fill in any holes you created on the beach.
- Do not use flash photography to catch the hatchlings making their way back to the Gulf.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you can help ensure that the baby sea turtles can find their way back to the water, where they need to be.