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GASPARILLA MAGAZINE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016 wedge of lemon and lime, special seasoning and a celery stalk. It is a bit spicy but not overwhelming. The Pasta Useppa, angel hair pasta loaded with jumbo shrimp, tender scallops and fresh Maine lobster with a creamy white wine sauce, is amazing. End the meal with a signature drink, such as the expresso martini. On the premises you’ll find Aqua Marina, a full-service marina with fully-remodeled facilities. There are lots of things to do on Palm Island, such as taking a ride on the water taxi that picks you up right behind Leverock’s. They will take you over to the island where you can walk the beach at Rum Bay. Check out Palm Island Resort while you’re there. You can access Rum Bay Restaurant from Palm Island, just go north a little less than under a half mile to marker 9A and turn west. Be sure to stay inside the markers since it gets really skinny outside the channel. Follow the channel approximately a half mile from the ICW. The channel has good water depths, about 5-to-7 feet. The Rum Bay restaurant has a sign when you get to the docks on your portside. The first lay-along dock is for the water taxi only so don’t dock there. The next docks that you come to are for Rum Bay visitors. Be sure to pull into your slip bow first. Anything larger than 32 feet may be a little more tricky tying up, but it can be done. Once you have docked and secured your boat you will walk up the long walkway through the mangroves and up to the Rum Bay restaurant. Try the ribs, served with mixed vegetables or the Ahi tuna, then wash it down with a couple of Rum Bay Smashes. Waterside Grill is an easy find with good docking. It is located just south of the Boca Grande Causeway bridge and trestle and it is well marked. Use the entrance to Gasparilla Marina. You can stay on plane most of the way in but will need to go to no wake speed just before the main marine entrance. Please be mindful of your wake and keep a sharp eye out for our friends with paddles. Once you are in the marina head to the fuel dock on your left. Waterside Grill at Gasparilla Marina is located to the left rear of the channel. I always let the dock master know we are here for lunch. Most times they can help you find dockage. The restaurant has a full bar with indoor and fullyscreened outdoor areas so there is plenty of seating for all. Our favorite dish here would have to be the pulled pork nachos. If you have your own fresh catch bring it in with you and they will be happy to prepare it your way! Cabbage Key ... I cannot say enough about Cabbage Key. It is most well known as the “dollar bill restaurant,” where you can sign a dollar bill and tape it to the wall. It is also rumored to be one of Jimmy Buffet’s favorite places to visit, so you might want to try their “Cheeseburger in Paradise.” Anything to do with the song? We’re not sure, but you will enjoy the meal. Compliment the awesome cheeseburgers they have there with a Cabbage Key Creeper. Try to find the time to walk the path around the island and climb the water tower. It is the highest point along our journeys, and is another great photo opportunity. 53


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