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Barnacle Phil’s is tucked away on the north end of Captiva Island. Make sure to follow the markers in by the old icehouse and follow the shoreline closely. Here you will really feel like you have escaped it all. They have some of the best black beans and rice, and I love the Crabby Burger … although I still call it the “Crabby Patty.” Too much Spongebob, I guess. When you are finished, take a trip upstairs for ice cream desserts. ‘Tween Waters on Captiva Island is just south of South Seas Resort and is another iconic spot to visit. Make sure to call Capt. Harry on your VHF to reserve a slip. They do have a docking fee, but most of it is reimbursed when you order food and drinks poolside. Here you will find two pools, great food and drinks sure to please. My favorite is chili nachos, the order is large enough for two or three people. Follow that up with a Lava Flow or Tow and it is the end of another perfect day on the water here in Southwest Florida. Sometime you need to stop by the Lazy Flamingo in Bokeelia if you’re boating Jug Creek. This is a beautiful ride winding your way through the back waterways of North Pine Island. It will take you roughly 25 minutes from Boca Grande to get to the Lazy Flamingo (including all of the no wake zones and the tricky waterways into where the restaurant is located). The trip is beautiful, with lots of mangroves and birds, manatee and dolphin along the way. Once you get to the Lazy Flamingo you dock at the area designated for the restaurant. Space is limited so you may need to reach out to the dockmaster on VHF Channel 16 once you arrive if you don’t see any docking. If the ride itself was not enough, be prepared for some amazing food and atmosphere. The dining area is reminiscent of an old Florida fish camp. If you’re a brave soul, try the Dead Parrot Wings (they are actually chicken wings covered in a sauce sure to fire the senses, challenge your lips and have you crying for more). Fresh fish is always on the menu; you only need to see what is being cleaned on the dock to know what is on the fresh catch of the day menu. The hospitality at the restaurant is amazing and the staff is great. The restaurant is clean and has that classic Florida feel. The Lazy Flamingo has four locations: Bokeelia, Fort Myers and two locations in Sanibel. Bokeelia is located at N 26.42.0.57 W 082.09.381 by water or 16501-B Stringfellow Rd. by car. The Nav-A-Gator is a perfect glimpse into what old Florida restaurants on the river used to be. It is accessible by land, water and air (by helicopter or sea plane). I went to the restaurant by boat from Fishermen’s Village, and Charlotte Harbor and the mouth of the Peace River are well marked. After going under the U.S. 41 bridges you will find the markers more on the southern side of the bay. The most common mistake made by many is to shoot straight for the I-75 bridge center. Unless you are in a flats boat you will soon be digging up oysters. Be sure to locate the channel and follow it. After the I-75 bridge the marker system starts to fall a bit short so I do suggest a chart or a GPS. There are two routes to take around the first few sets of islands and I took the northern route. The ride up the river in a pontoon would 54


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