Blog

Captain Chuck Koucky: Perfecting the Art of Smooth Sailing

Posted on October 30, 2016
By The Wells Family, Tarpon Lodge, Pineland, Florida
Uncategorized

At our dock at Tarpon Lodge, amid an array of motorboats small and large, guests will notice the sleek outline and billowing sails of the Alondra, a fine, museum-quality 47-foot classic wooden sailboat designed by renowned naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff. One look at this beauty, and you know there’s a good story here.

The classically elegant Alondra designed by renowned naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff

The classically elegant Alondra designed by renowned naval architect L. Francis Herreshoff

The story begins with Captain Charles (Chuck) Koucky a well-known area artist and a captain for more than 30 years. With three sailboats in his fleet, Chuck has a special place in his heart for the Alondra, a meticulously-crafted vessel launched in Michigan in 1985, and purchased by Chuck about five years ago.

Sailing since the age of 10, Chuck spends the winter months taking clients out for sightseeing or sunset tours, plus offering sailing instruction. During the summer, he sails on the Alondra with the Boy Scouts of America high adventure tours out of Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

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Saving “Ruddy”

Posted on September 27, 2016
By Rob Wells
Uncategorized

ckruddyThanks to our quick thinking staff members, “Ruddy” is one lucky bird. Last week, Oleg, Joe, Angela and Michelle were on the staff boat from Cabbage Key to Tarpon Lodge when they noticed a Ruddy Turnstone shorebird drowning.  They quickly pulled him to safety, put him in a box and took him to the Clinic for Rehabilitation Wildlife (CROW) drop off location in Capel Coral (http://crowclinic.org).

On Friday, we checked in with CROW and learned that Ruddy is recovering quite nicely.  He has scabbing on his legs and wings from his struggle, and he is underweight, but his appetite is good and he is expected to make a full recovery.  If not for the compassionate and swift attention of our crew, this would not have been the case.

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Fine food, history found at island restaurant

Posted on September 14, 2016
By Carol Orr Hartman (Special to The Eagle) , Pine Island Eagle
Uncategorized

Looking down on beautifully plated seared white fish with diced red tomatoes and golden flower

The Florida of today doesn’t reflect the tenacity of those who first settled the area, and it is difficult to find vestiges of early Southwest Florida. Before the Matlacha Bridge was built, the only access to Pine Island was by boat, and to build without power or easy access showed the commitment to this area by early residents. As time evolved, less and less properties have maintained a true history as that of Tarpon Lodge, 13771 Waterfront Drive, offering a view into the past.

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The path of history begins right next door

Posted on August 18, 2016
Uncategorized

We have always been fascinated with the rich and storied history of our community. Working at Tarpon Lodge has allowed us to share these unique and exciting facts with our guests who are curious about the area and how it all began. While not historians or archeologists, living and working in proximity to the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Randell Research Center has given us a lot of information to pass on. For the history buffs out there, here’s what we have learned:

Juan Ponce de Leon

The very famous Juan Ponce de Leon, whom we all learned about in elementary school, “discovered” Florida in 1513, supposedly while searching for the Fountain of Youth. I put discovered in quotes because apparently there was already a large population here – this was the home of the Calusa Indians.

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10 Reasons to Visit Fort Myers and Sanibel, Florida

Posted on August 10, 2016
By Gillian Kendall, National Geographic
Uncategorized

A man walks at sunset down Bowman's Beach on Sanibel Island, Florida.

For a beach lover, the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel are a dream destination.

Trouble in paradise: I’m at the tollbooth on the causeway that crosses to Sanibel Island from Fort Myers, Florida. There’s a six-dollar charge, and they don’t take credit cards. After fumbling through pockets, purse, and beach bag, I come up with only four crumpled one-dollar bills. But the tan booth attendant offers an authentic smile. “If you don’t have it, it’s OK,” she says, waving me through. “Someone ahead of you just paid it forward.”

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Five Highlights of a Picture Perfect Destination Wedding

Posted on August 3, 2016
By Megan Cassell, Event Coordinator, Tarpon Lodge, Pineland, FL
Uncategorized

Newlyweds enjoying sunset views at Tarpon Lodge in Pineland, Florida

Newlyweds enjoying sunset views at Tarpon Lodge in Pineland, Florida

A dream of the perfect wedding often includes pristine water views graced by vivid sunsets and soft, twinkling lights. Imagine a hush falling over the crowd as bride and groom promise their “I Do’s.”  The air is filled with the gentle sounds of softly lapping waves and whispering Gulf breezes. When the ceremony ends, the spirit of celebration begins – wining and dining, dancing and laughing, revisiting memories and creating new ones. For couples who realized their own dreams, we asked what were the most important criteria for their island wedding. Here are their top five:

1. Private Island Ambiance

The number one reason for an island wedding is to create a unique event in a lovely, secluded setting that is classic and timeless. This is an opportunity to fulfill a vision of being surrounded by panoramic water views, swaying palm trees and rolling, manicured lawns, the perfect backdrop to a most memorable day.

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Florida coast offers great food, fun on, off water

Posted on May 29, 2016
By Bryan Hendricks, Arkansas Sportsman
Uncategorized

Southwest Florida has an entirely different vibe because tourism is not the center of its culture. Tourism is woven into its fabric, and its environment is authentically native.

My base during my kayak fishing extravaganza was Tarpon Lodge, an early 20th century fishing camp that evokes images of old Florida. Its whitewashed exterior houses and understatedly lavish rooms are scrupulously clean. It is the cleanest place I have ever stayed. It’s comfortable and it is warmly welcoming. Miss Laura and I stayed there last year as well, and its high quality was consistent.

The lightning show from late-night storms was spectacular from my balcony.

The Tarpon Lodge restaurant offers a diverse selection of surf and turf options, including a filet mignon so tender that it practically falls apart at the touch of a fork. You’ll be wobbling at the end of the entree, and the desserts will deliver the knockout blow. The head waiter, Frankie, is a master at his craft.

This article originally appeared on arkansasonline.com and has since been archived.


Historic stays on Pine Island Sound Part 1: Tarpon Lodge

Posted on May 20, 2016
By Jimmy Jacobs, Atlanta Outdoor Travel Examiner
Uncategorized

Tarpon-Lodge

Pine Island Sound is located just northwest of Fort Myers, Florida. The body of water is fronted on the inland side by Pine Island and to the west by Sanibel, Captiva, North Captiva and Cayo Costa islands that separate its waters from the Gulf of Mexico. The passes connecting the sound to the Gulf are veritable highways for tarpon and other game fish at all times of the year. Also the mangrove-lined islands, creek shores and inland lakes are magnets for snook and redfish.


Tarpon Lodge featured in Destination Spotlight by Living Local Florida

Posted on April 14, 2016
By Living Local (The Buzz by Gina)
Uncategorized

ginaTarpon7

There are places in Southwest Florida that no matter how long you’ve lived here; you may have never experienced. Tarpon Lodge on Pine Island is one of those gems.

Off the beaten path, it has a rich history and a great reputation as a launching point for all kinds of water adventures. Dating back to the 1920’s, the property has been a private residence, a rehab facility and now a casually elegant fishing lodge.

For decades the location has been popular for sports fishing, Tarpon in particular. That was the inspiration for the name when the Well’s family, residents of SW Florida since the 1970’s, bought the property in 1999.

The bright white lodge is a beacon in the middle of lush green grass, swaying palms, blue skies and lapping water of the Pine Island Sound. With the feel of a bed and breakfast the lodge has wooden floors and a fireplace in the cozy bar for those rare evenings when there’s a chill in the air. Eight rooms spiral off the lounge.

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