The following is a list that might be helpful to you as you plan your trip to North Captiva. The list is based on personal experience. We would welcome any input from former guests at the Little Ark. Please email us your comments!

1. The first and most important step! Reserve your stay at the Little Ark. Click on “Check availability” and select the dates you desire. Email or call us to finalize your reservation. 

2. Set up your plane reservations. You should fly into Fort Myers International Airport (RSW). It would be best to arrive late morning, say 11 AM. This will give you time to pick up your luggage (see #3 below), find your limo or rent your car (see #4 below), stop at the market (see #5 below), and arrive at the marina to board your water taxi (see #6 below).

3. Luggage: The main point to make here is to pack light! Dress is very casual all over the island, and there is a washer and dryer in the house. Don't forget sunscreen, bug spray, sandals and tennis shoes and rain poncho (if it is raining on the water taxi ride or while driving the golf cart you will be happy you brought a rain poncho).

4.  Arriving by plane:  Pine Island Taxi provides excellent service between the airport and the marina. It is our understanding that they charge by the party, so the price is the same if there are two of you or five. There is a small charge to stop at the market so you can pick up your groceries (see # 5 below ). It is best to call them to discuss how much time to allow, make reservations, and how much they charge.   Make your reservations as early as you can if you are going in “high season”. The number is 1-888-777-9653 .
We would recommend renting a car only if you are planning to come off island and tour or shop.  Captiva and Sanibel are great places to visit but the traffic and crowds are awful. If you want to go to Captiva, it is easier to arrange to have one of the private captains buzz you over to Captiva from North Captiva for an afternoon of lunch and shopping, and then pick you up again in Captiva to bring you back.  It is by far the most cost effective to use Pine Island Taxi, get to the island, and stay put (and relax!). If you rent a car, make sure you choose a company based at the airport, and, don’t forget, that in addition to needing room for your luggage, you will need to leave room for your groceries!

If you drive to the marina  there is a daily parking charge as well as the cost of the water taxi back and forth. 

5. Buying your groceries: This is the most challenging chore before you come to the island. It can also be the most fun. It is important to plan your menu for the week, translate this into a very precise shopping list, and fax it to the Publix Market one or two days ahead of your arrival date. The phone # for Publix is 1-239-458-8900 and the fax # is 1-239-458-7822. They require your credit card # and time of pick up on the order. It is a must to call and make sure they received the fax. Put on the order that you are going to North Captiva and that you want the order “boat bagged” (a paper bag inside a plastic bag). Every time we have done this, it has gone off without a hitch. They are very accommodating. You can be very specific in your order. They will pack things like milk, meats, eggs in an ice chest. We have never tried ice cream,
Some items to remember to put on your shopping list:
Charcoal and charcoal lighter (or Match-lite brand)
Condiments like mustard, ketchup, spices, sugar, salt and pepper
Coffee (there is a coffee maker in the house), tea
Aluminum foil, plastic wrap

We supply soap, laundry soap, dishwashing liquid, dishwasher detergent, toilet paper, tissues and paper towels.

6. Going to the island. Make sure you call as far ahead as possible to set up your reservations on the water taxi.
You will bring your groceries and luggage to the dock area and the Island Girl crew will load it for you. It is very easy. The ride over to the island is about 25 minutes.

Ask the water taxi to bring you to Barnicle Phils dock. The crew will unload everything, and either myself or an island resident will meet you and help you with your groceries and escort you to the house.  You will follow along in your golf cart (included in the rental). They will carry everything up into the house for you. It is a lot of work, so they do appreciate a tip.

7. Fun things to bring: The house is stocked with puzzles, games, books, cards, and some videos.  Please feel free to bring your own.. Other fun things to bring are kites, Frisbees, beach toys, inflatable rafts and inner tubes.  There is a golf course on the mainland (Alden Pines Golf Club)easily accessible by another water taxi and they rent golf clubs.


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