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On Island - Not a Trip Report

Wyoming & Sanibel
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1,344 posts
12 reviews
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On Island - Not a Trip Report

Well, I'm back for a little over 5 weeks. Flew into Miami Thursday (since Frontier stopped the directs to RSW, we used free United miles to fly free and my dear, dear husband drove over and picked me up). I had to flee Wyoming during a blizzard, or I would have never made my flight, so everything was early and whirlwind. We boarded and pushed off on time Thursday morning (10:35 am), and them didn't take off until close to noon, as we had substantial delays with de-icing and just taking off.

I don't care that I'm an hour and a half late, I only care that I'm on my way to paradise. Sweet pea husband arranged a very, very nice hotel room in Fort Lauderdale. We ate garlic blue crabs at the Rustic Inn in Ft. Lauderdale and then stayed at the Hyatt in Weston (Ft. Lauderdale). Then we drove to Immokolee to the Produce Market where I proceeded to buy too much (small crate of blackberries (to die for) a huge box of tomatoes, cucumbers, a small watermelon, Florida avacados (I so love them even more than California ones), blood red oranges (the vender cut one in half and they were the best oranges I've ever had, so we have a huge box of them, garlic, fresh green beans, and then just as we were about ready to leave this truck showed up full of fresh sweet corn (candy corn) and I bought a box.

Stopped at Costco for a few things and then home to Sanibel. Luminary and our friends and neighbors have an annual party for it that I'm never here for -- I may be here for Thanksgiving (not the past 2 years) and then back for a month over Christmas. So this year is my first luminary. Luminary was beautiful and fun. I ate way too many cookies, ate too much at the neighbor's party, and they celebrated my husband's birthday which was today, so we also had chocolate cake from Publix "with a beautiful beach scene" - it was excellent cake.

Have to say the best thing we ate at the Luminary were key lime butter mints from one of the stores, but the Pine Island Preserves are also something I'm going to go buy.

Lazy morning getting settled and then off to Ding. Caught and chased blue crabs like crazy. Most people don't know to stop and visit with me or the other "regulars" in the refuge. Towards the end spent quite a bit of time visiting with a couple that stopped to ask me what the heck I was doing. I was able to visit with them about blue crabs, as well as point out the osprety fishing, the mullet jumping, what is legal and illegal to do in the refuge and so much more.

Then it was my husband's birthday & we went off island to his favorite pizza place - Pizza Pub. Then home to get some Christmas gifts wrapped and have a lazy evening.

I've never done a trip report, as I'm a semi-resident, but this year, I will try to provide a little play-by-play on my stay.

Compared to the winter weather I left in Wyoming and Colorado, yesterday and today were beautiful, but one of our friends was in long jeans, long-sleeved sweater and jacket yesterday for luminary. Cold front is supposed to come in tonight, so colder tomorrow, then warmer & the another cold front where the low will get down into the 40s.

Let me know if there is anything you want checked out or run down. I will be working half days while I'm here, but I'm happy to be a resource. Next Saturday will be a full moon, but unfortunately they are forecasting an extremely cold front then.

Hell, Michigan
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5,984 posts
21 reviews
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1. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Very glad you made it safely, Shell Net. What a nice husband you have!!

Loved your play by play, give us updates as you can.

Maine
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1,181 posts
5 reviews
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2. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Loved it thank you...as I watch the little snow flakes out the window. Glad you had a safe trip! Can we clone hubby by any chance???

Captiva Island...
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3. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

The produce stop has me drooling. No fresh produce up here! Happy Birthday to your husband. Lucky lady you are!

Sanibel Island...
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2,692 posts
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4. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Have a nice time being "in residence"

Colorado
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5. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

OK, so you could of exited I-25 and picked me up on the way to the airport!

I stayed here in the snow and braved the cold weather and had dreamy thoughts of Sanibel.

Actually it was kind of nice to finally get snow, we have been really dry. It is suppose to snow tomorrow as well.

Have a great 5 weeks, and think of us here in the tundra now and then!

des plaines, IL
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322 posts
39 reviews
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6. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Shell Net: Tell me about the blue crabs... Can anybody catch them at Ding and do you need a fishing license for that? Do you catch them with a net? How do you cook them? And finally, could you post a picture? Very interesting! Thanks.

Monmouth County,NJ
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for Southampton Parish
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7. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Shell Net.....loved reading your report! Keep it up when you can. Pleeze! Btw, what is the legal size for those blue claws to take? Would love to see a photo of your catch! Enjoy your time on Sanibel and think of us in the frozen north! Today in Jersey is was 9 which is really cold for us this time of year! Had a couple of inches of snow on Saturday night...

Wyoming & Sanibel
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8. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Let me answer the crabbing questions. Yes, you need a license to crab, both in the refuge as well as outside. Within the refuge, you may not use bait or traps, thus the only way to drab is with a dip net (or as I put it: "you must be faster and meaner than the crabs!"). Within the refuge you are limited to no more than 20 crabs per day with a limit of no more than 10 females. There is no size limit either in the refuge or outside, but blue crabs aren't the largest crabs and they can be difficult to pick, so if they are too small, they just aren't worth the work that would be involved in getting the meat out.

I also caught 4 more crabs today (3 are very large), so now I've got enough to actually make something good!

Monmouth County,NJ
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for Southampton Parish
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9. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

Shell Net, here in Jersey, I'm not sure what the laws are as far as crabbing. I have never crabbed with a liscense (don't think we need one) however, I think we are limited by size, at least 4" point to point, and no females that have not shed her eggs, in fact maybe we are not allowed to take females. I think I need to check these laws out. But...we are allowed bait and traps (chicken and fish heads are the preferred by the crab) Crabbing is a fun way to pass the time

Monmouth County,NJ
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for Southampton Parish
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10. Re: On Island - Not a Trip Report

I just looked up the regulations for Jersey, Hard crabs must be 4.5", soft crabs 3.5", no females with eggs, and no license required for hand lines or collapsable traps. Limits are a bushel per day per person.

Are crabs plentiful in the Ding? Have you ever crabbed anywhere else on the island? If so what are the rules?