Boaters congregate on private river island

Published online: Jan 23, 2012 News Special to The News-Press
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The Cape Coral Cruise Club, founded in the early 1960's, is unique among Southwest Florida boat clubs in that it owns a portion of a private island on the Caloosahatchee River east of the Franklin Lock near Alva.

Over the years many improvements have been made to the property, including a large covered pavilion with electricity and plumbing. Members enjoy monthly picnics, bocce tournaments, horseshoes, and other relaxing activities.

A major advantage for members is that the island has ample dockage for members' boats. Over the years, four docks have been installed on an inside oxbow off the ICW with both 30 amp and 50 amp electric service. This allows docking for as many as 16 boats up to 45 feet in length. Ferry service across the ICW aboard the club's 24-foot pontoon boat, the "Capt. Phil," is provided for members and guests who drive up for the monthly picnic.

Many members plan a two- or three-night stay to enjoy the "Old Florida" atmosphere of the island during the club's monthly picnic weekends. The picnics are elaborate gourmet affairs, centered around a different cuisine each month. Lasagna, grilled steak, pork chops, ribs, BBQ chicken, southern shrimp boil, and a Cuban themed meal are among the menus planned. Nobody goes away hungry.

Some members come up individually or in small groups on their boats to enjoy the quiet atmosphere the island location offers. In several instances members have used the island docks as a first night starting point for club cruises to the Florida east coast, the Keys, or the Bahamas.


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