North Captiva Island, also known as Upper Cap, is a haven for those searching for a place that will soothe your soul; a place where peace and tranquility are taken for granted and a place of extraordinary natural beauty.
This special island was created in 1921 when a very severe storm sent the swirling current of the Pine Island Sound across a very narrow neck of Captiva forever separating Captiva and Upper Captiva. The creation of Red Fish Pass also created an Upper Captiva Island, an unspoiled strip of land that is accessible only by boat or private plane. Therefore, the main modes of transportation on the island are golf carts, bicycles, and of course, walking.
The entire length of Upper Captiva on the Gulf side is lined with sandy beaches where you can find some of the best shelling in the world. You can enjoy walking four plus miles of beautiful white sand beaches and not see any sign of human civilization because much of the land is bordered by the state preserve. You may not see many of your species, but you will find a myriad number of shells and observe many species of birds and other wildlife.
Low tide yields the best shelling, especially after a storm. And the viewing of wildlife is best beginning a couple of hours before low tide and continues for an hour or two after low tide. Sunrise and sunset are also wonderful times to see wildlife in their natural habitat along the beaches. And, if you look very carefully as the rays of the sun set far in the west, you may even see the green flash right from our home.
North Captiva Island is approximately four and a half miles long and one half mile across at its widest point. It is bordered by Pine Island Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately fifty percent of the island is protected as a State Wilderness Preserve. It is a wildlife sanctuary for manatees, dolphins, tortoises, hawks, osprey, ibis and other wildlife. In 2004, Upper Captiva Island was once again in the path of a hurricane named Charley which came through on Friday, August 13 in the early afternoon. There was no indication that Charley woould be a severe hurricane and predictions were made for it to hit the Tampa-St. Petersburg area. About two hours before he came inland, it made a sharp turn southward and picked up speed and strength. The eye of the hurricane passed directly over North Captiva Island. About 26 islanders decided to stay on the island and when the news came that it was coming in over Lee County there was no time to evacuate. All the the homeowners who stayed on the island were safe but our precious island was damaged and separated once again. The cut made by Charley is slowly filling in and has made for some fabulous shell collecting in the area. Many homes suffered damage but most are now completely renovated or in the process of completion. Manatee Haven did have some damage but it was open to guests once again in February 2005. It gave us time to complete additional landscaping, add a curved driveway and add a larger deck and spa. Many of the birds have returned, the manatees are back, as are the tortoises which visit our home each evening around 5 o'clock.
As you might expect, weather on North Captiva Island is exquisite. During the "coldest" months of the year, the average temperature drops to the upper 70's while during the warmest months, the average temperature reaches the low nineties. Temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are similarly comfortable in the upper 60's during the winter months and in the mid 80's during the summer.