Friday, September 20, 2019

Boating in Goodland

Jim Walker and his daughter Amanda. Photo by Joanie Fuller

Jim Walker and his daughter Amanda. Photo by Joanie Fuller

Can you believe there are three marinas in our tiny Goodland community now?

It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise, really, since we are the jumping off point for boating and fishing in the Ten Thousand Islands. Goodland boaters have these great choices: Walker’s Coon Key Marina, Calusa Island Marina, or the new Goodland Boat Park.

Jim Walker and his daughter, Amanda, are really proud of their new ship’s store at Coon Key, located on the East side of the island. They have a beautiful place all spiffed up after Hurricane Wilma. No boat launching unless you have a slip or use their dry storage, but service is very friendly. Traditionally, Goodlanders have gone there for early morning coffee to talk about whatever is on their mind.

But with the new setup, no coffeemaker is available so far. Amanda Walker told me, “We hope to have our new coffeemaker soon.” What a fun surprise it would be to the coffee regulars if they get it in time for season!

Calusa Island Marina on the West side of Goodland does have a boat ramp along with all the other amenities. Andrew Barksdale is the “go to” man and I saw

Andrew Barksdale. Photo by Joanie Fuller

Andrew Barksdale. Photo by Joanie Fuller

how good the place looks when he showed me recent renovations. “We have new floating docks and we dredged our waterway to six feet at low tide.” Calusa is home to fishing tournaments and several agencies use the facility. It is a busy place and the mangroves are a definite soothing background to all the activity.

The Goodland Boat Park will have its Grand Opening October 9. There is a boat ramp, a fish cleaning station, a brand new attractive ship’s store, and lots of places to park, but no fuel. A Collier County employee opens the park and ships store at 7 a.m., and a Park Ranger closes and locks the gate at sundown. You don’t want to be late returning from your boating adventure. That would be an embarrassing and frustrating surprise!

What if you live in Goodland and you have your boat right behind your place on your very own dock? Would you use one of these places? Sure you would! You would get all your gear together, hop in your boat, get your bait and fuel at either Walker’s Coon Key or Calusa Island and off you go! What could be better than that?

Nothing.

No surprise there.

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