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Old 01-06-2010, 02:10 PM
 
3 posts, read 10,220 times
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Default Best big water access in Cape Coral/North Fort Myers

My husband and I just moved here from Seattle and are living in a small house we have owned for a while in SE Cape Coral (just west of Country Club about half way between Veterans and Cape Coral Pkwy). We bought our current house mostly as an investment a couple years ago when the prices started to dip, knowing we were going to be moving here, and decided to live in it while we look around for a more permanant home. Now that we're here we love our neighborhood and our house but really want to be on the water, with quick/easy access to the Gulf. Since we're still new to the area we're not sure which neighborhoods offer the best water access. I'm pretty much looking for under 20-25 minutes to big water, and have found both SE Cape Coral (by Cape Harbor) and North Fort Myers (Waterway Estates area) to be nice in terms of available houses, but which is best for water access? Is the river access in North Fort Myers better, worse or equal to the access in SE/SW Cape Coral area? I have heard of something called the 'miserable mile'; where/what is it and should it be avoided?
Any advice will be appreciated.
Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:48 PM
Status: "knows the truth, doesnt care......." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Cape Coral FL
2,763 posts, read 3,391,545 times
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The "miserable mile" is pretty much the last mile(outbound to the gulf) along the river. There's no avoiding it. Shallow water outside of the marked channel, and no wake zone make it a miserable slog to the gulf.

If you are looking for 20-30 minute access to the gulf(actually, Pine Island Sound), the SW Cape is your best bet, like the Tarpon Point-Cape Harbor area...........unless you have a real fast boat, but you still gotta slow down for the "mile"........or risk the ticket...or whackin' a manatee........

Keep in mind that the waterfront west of Cape Harbor (Chiquita Blvd) has a lock that you will have to negotiate to get out to the river.(this includes the marina at Cape Harbor itself) That will add about ten minutes to your trip out, on a day that's busy, and has boats waiting to lock thru, it may take longer.

Waterfront from Coronado, and headed west too, but not beyond Chiquita,(staying south of C C Parkway, of course) will be about as good as it gets within the parameters you specified........

North Ft Myers, needless to say will put you considerably further up river.

BTW, welcome to the forum....
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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Wow, that's great information, thanks!

I know about the Cape Harbor lock and will try to stay east of that but is it really a lock or is it just more of a gate? I ask because we have a major locks system in Seattle to allow boats to go from Lake Union to the Puget Sound, and it's a major hassle to get through. You have to tie up to a high wall or to another boat and get lowered about 20+ feet (depending on the season). It takes a while and can be pretty stessful. I've been to Cape Harbor and although I don't think we saw the actual lock (we were sitting outside at RumRunners), it appeared to be more a gate-type system where they just meter boats through single file; which can probably take some time but seems less stressful than the ones I'm used to.

Thanks again, for the information and the welcome:-)
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:40 PM
Status: "knows the truth, doesnt care......." (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Cape Coral FL
2,763 posts, read 3,391,545 times
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The lock is in place primarily to keep the co mingling of the salt water and brackish/fresh on the opposite side to a minimum. So depending on the state of tide, I imagine the fetch can be an inch or so to maybe a foot at the extreme. In all my time here, I've never locked thru, so I couldnt say for certain.

It's effectiveness has been debated for quite some time, and with ever increasing repair and maintenance bills on the lock more calls have been made for it's removal. Just a few months back it was shut down for about a week while one of the gates was rebuilt after a hinge broke.

IIRC, the problem lies with the fact that the Army corps of engineers have the final say on removal, and they arent saying yet.

Next time you're at Rumrunner's just take a drive strait up past the dry rack building, when you hit the cul de sac at the end, the lock is right there to your left.
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Old 01-07-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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OK, that does sound like a pain. I'll definitely try to stay east of the lock then. Thanks again!
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEA_to_FLA View Post
OK, that does sound like a pain. I'll definitely try to stay east of the lock then. Thanks again!

Last time I was there we walked from Rumrunners north along the seawall. There are a row of shops on the west side of the dry rack building. There is a shop where you can rent deck boats by the hour. The boats are docked right there in front of the shop. You can watch the lock cycle there or rent a boat and experience all the action first hand.
Yachtcare, the canal that I will be traveling down to reach open water is the San Carlos. It merges with the Bimini canal just before opening up to the river just west of the Yacht Club. Do you have a guestimate of how long a cruise it is from there to Sanibel?
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Old 01-10-2010, 05:53 AM
 
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look for a home off Mc Gregor Blvd , you'll be on the river and no locks. or move to sanibel or ft myers beach and avoid the river all together. But if your set on cape coral look around the yacht club area or off del prado blvd between midpoint bridge south to cape coral pkwy. Do not move to SW by chiquita thats crap
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Old 03-26-2010, 07:55 AM
 
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I don't know where you people are getting your information but there is NOTHING wrong with the lock as far as time goes. It at most takes 10 minutes tops and most of the time the lock is open on your side and takes less than 5. It does not drop a foot or even an inch, it just opens and closes and there is a good chance it will be moved in the near future. Since there is no difference in the water. The worst I have ever seen it was Memorial Day in 2004 and 4th of July in 2005 and then it took 15 minutes. I worked at Cape Harbour before getting my real estate license so I just didn't happen by one day.

A home off McGregor sounds real good except you are buying a home that is number one more expensive and 10 or more years older unless you are talking about homes with 7 figures.

The advantage of being in the SW is that it is MUCH quicker to the Gulf and unless you have a cigarette type boat it will take at least 45 minutes more then the SE. The Yacht club area is a nice area but the homes with very few exceptions are much older.

Impossible to gage how long it takes to get from anywhere to the Gulf because of the difference in boat speed as well as how long it takes to get to the river.
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Old 03-26-2010, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Cape Coral
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Does everyone always go to the gulf when boating? I know if you want to go near the beaches you have to go to the gulf. But doesn't anyone fish and boat in the river?
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Old 03-26-2010, 01:19 PM
 
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Hi, I live off Atlantic ct at the end of the street on the bimini canal. it takes about 30 to 45 minutes to the gulf in a 30 ft sportfisher. I have no locks bridges just the slow troll all the way out. I don't think it gets to much better than that unless you want to spend a whole lot of money to be right out on the river. Then if you do that the storms will hit your home much harder and the insurance will be much higher also. I am happy with where I sit for now. Someone mentioned the se has mostly older homes and they are right. I happen to have a newer place. Either way, I still like the area for what I use the home for. Retirement and parking place for my boat.
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