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Old 09-02-2011, 12:49   #1
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Good News in Goodland (S. Marco) Florida

Good News in Goodland, FL / South Marco Island. Calusa Island Marina update as of Feb. 1st, 2011. From our 2008 Cruising Guide to West Florida (7th ed.) Claiborne Young implied that Calusa would be cruiser friendly in our hour of need. They are. VERY. Our story follows the important facts: Calusa has now made available a dinghy dock fee for we who prefer the hook at night. The fee includes shoreside access, showers and laundry. Transient "dockers" are still very welcome too. Andrew Barksdale whose card says "President" and "Managing Partner", absolutely ROCKS. I now think of him as "Can - Do" Andrew. That spirit runs thru what we saw of the operation. "Just ask first and we'll make it work," is what he told me referring to out-of-the-box arrangements. The protected anchorage in Blue Hill Creek has good depths for a half mile beyond him, Andrew said. Calusa has Block Ice! Gas prices competitive with Marco. Their water tasted very good on the day we filled up (after ASKING FIRST). Groceries, hardware and West Marine are about 3 and a half miles. We have our own bike which makes that easy in flat S. Florida. Andrew has plans to have loaner bicycles available to dinghy dock users in March and we strongly encouraged that ASAP. A loaner car is hopefully in the works for next season. Goodland's restaurants are a big draw as mentioned in the Guide and elsewhere. We too have been told that Marker 8 Restaurant is good. The lunch special at Little Bar is still good at ~$6.95 we hear.

Our story: 8 o'clock on a Sunday morning at Tiger Key about 12 miles South of Goodland/Calusa Island Marina. A defective back-up propane 20 lb bottle (seal completely missing!!! on Blue Rhino exchange LP bottle - we'll check that in future before accepting an exchange bottle) won't connect which means our fridge and its contents will soon be room temp... Claiborne's awesome guide steers me toward Calusa as my first call (on the cell). Andrew answers. He tells me that I can get my empty tank REFILLED at the Ace in S. Marco on a Sunday. " I just filled mine there, so I know they have it." he tells me. "Can you be here before noon?" he asks. We do. And he drives me in his car to Ace for a very reasonable charge. And the refill was less $ than the (defective) exchange had been at Winn Dixie in N. Marco (see Side note at end). The fridge stays cold. The food is saved. And we find a truly welcoming facility for cruisers like us who genuinely prefer lying on an anchor at night to docking. Showers, laundry, block ice and a friendly welcome. Perfect.

Side note. Amerigas and Blue Rhino "20 lb." exchange tanks are only filled to 15 lbs of LP. Period. So a refill station which we're told puts in just over 17 lbs is a better deal. And you already know the tank is good cause YOU used it last... (Ever since OPD valves were mandated, 20 lb tanks apparently won't fill beyond 17 lbs. Shrug.)

Calusa Island Marina, Goodland FL (within city limits of Marco...)
Covered Rack Storage For 420 Boats Up To 40 Feet | Calusa Island Marina
‘239-394-3668'
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Old 09-02-2011, 13:13   #2
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Good story.. glad that folks are still willing to help and go an extra mile sometimes.

I will google them and see if they know of any boats for sale and see if CAN DO Andrew can can help me...
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Old 10-02-2011, 17:07   #3
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Thanks for the info. What type/size (and draft) boat were you on?

I looked at the website and didn't see any prices for transient dockage. Do you have any idea what the current per foot price is?

If it's not too terrible, this might be worth putting on my list of hiding spots during bad weather when in the area.
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Old 10-02-2011, 18:44   #4
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Gem Buy.

Thanks for that.

We plan another trip for part of April and May. This looks like a good place. Marco is really expensive on "this" side of the bridge.
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Old 15-02-2011, 19:58   #5
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edited post with phone and website

I went back and edited the original post with the website and phone for Calusa Island Marina. I checked and you CAN email them from their "contact us" page. I would suggest them as the accurate source for up to date pricing and other info. Fair winds.
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Old 15-02-2011, 20:05   #6
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Originally Posted by lannen View Post
Thanks for the info. What type/size (and draft) boat were you on?

I looked at the website and didn't see any prices for transient dockage. Do you have any idea what the current per foot price is?

If it's not too terrible, this might be worth putting on my list of hiding spots during bad weather when in the area.
We are on a Gemini Catamaran 30'. They advertise 5' draft to inner (fuel) dock, I believe. Claiborne Young's superlative 2008 Cruising Guide to West Florida (7th ed.), give's a valuable navigational account for the area. And of course you should call ahead for local info from Calusa before and as you approach...
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