Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park (& Its Awesome Humongous Playground!)

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park (& Its Awesome Humongous Playground!)

I had heard rumors floating around for a while about a possible new park and playground in Naples for those of us who live waaay out in the Estates, but it seemed too good to be true.
 
There really wasn't anything for kids like that out in Golden Gate Estates, so if you had kids or grandkids, you had to drive into town or just hang out and play in your big 'ol rural estates yard. 

But what was once a dream is now reality! We now have our very own neighborhood park that is not only close by, but AWESOME! 

I mean, it is HUGE! As in the largest park in all of Collier County! 

But not only huge, but it has a big castle that is simply too cool for words!

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Castle review

The huge impressive castle, along with all of the other playground features, is hand-built! Inside the castle are multiple levels with lots of fun staircases with twists and turns that are fun for chasing, hide-and-seek, or make-believe.

Big Corkscrew castle steps

At each level of the castle, there are different types of slides. The spiral one that descended several floors was my grandkids' favorite. I'm not sure if they liked going down or up better!

Big Corkscrew slide playground

Along with the massive castle, the Big Corkscrew Island playground features all sorts of fun slides, cable bridges, zip lines, monkey bars, climbing stations, ramps, and therapeutic, tire and strap swings.  There is also a separate play area for toddlers.

There are even solar-powered charging stations and lots of shade, which is a must-have here in SW Florida!

The nautical  theme is super-fun! And so many areas to play and hide.

Big Corkscrew ship

What kid can resist a dinosaur fossil dig?  The "Dino Dig" is fun shaded sand play area with lots of hidden dinosaur bones to unearth like a real archaeologist!

Dino Dig Big Corkscrew
dino dig bones


Big Corkscrew Regional Park Aquatic Complex

Another awesome feature of Big Corkscrew Regional Park is their fun Aquatic Complex opening soon!

It has a 25-yard by 25-meter heated pool, a children’s activity pool, a wading pool, a 177-foot open slide, a 122-foot closed slide, one 1-meter springboards and one 3-meter springboard.

Even better? The price. You can spend a day at this waterpark for just a dollar or two! You can't beat that.  You can get an even better deal with seasonal or annual passes.

Pool Entrance Fees

Under 3Free
Youth 3-17$1.50
Adults 18 +$2.00
Seniors 60+$1.50
Veterans$1.00


cute beach hairstyles


What Amenities does Big Corkscrew Regional Park have?

Phase I
Community Center
Aquatic Complex
Event Lawn With Stage
4 Multipurpose Athletic Fields
2 Concession Pavilions
Playground
2 Basketball Courts
2 Tennis Courts
6 Pickleball Courts
National Fitness Campaign Court
Walking Paths

Phase II
4 Baseball Fields
Concession Pavilion
Fitness Center/Gymnasium
Kayak/Canoe Launch
Walking Paths


Is Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Open?

The castle playground and several other amenities in phase 1 opened on December 16, 2022. More amenities are in the works, with the Grand Opening of Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park being planned for May, 2023.


How big is Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park?

Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park in Naples is 150 acres. 


Where is Big Corkscrew Regional Park Located?

Big Corkscrew Regional Park by the located near the Collier County Fairgrounds at
810 39th Avenue, N.E.
Naples, FL 34120


What Hours is Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Open?

  • Park Hours:  Mon-Sun 8 a.m.-10 p.m. 
  • Playground area  closes at sunset


How do I get more info?

For more info on the awesome new Collier County park, check out their website HERE or call them at (239) 252-4900.


Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park Review

If you live in or near Golden Gate Estates, then I highly recommend that you visit the Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park. The playground and other activities are awesome for kids, and the community center, Aquatics complex, sports fields and other amenities are great for teens and adults. 

There truly is something for everyone!

Naples strong shirt
Is Sanibel Island Open? (Is it okay to visit after Ian?)

Is Sanibel Island Open? (Is it okay to visit after Ian?)

Is Sanibel Island open to the public after Hurricane Ian?


Are visitors welcome on Sanibel Island yet?


Is Sanibel ready for tourists?


Do the residents and businesses even want you there?

There are so many conflicting messages out there about this issue...if you are a member of any Sanibel Facebook group, you know exactly what I'm talking about...


People love Sanibel and want to come support it, but they are confused and conflicted about whether or not they should visit.


Not to mention, is the bridge to Sanibel open?
Are Sanibel Island beaches open? 


 We had many of these questions ourselves, so we decided to go visit for the day and get the real story from Sanibel residents and business owners themselves.

Sanibel causeway open after Ian

Sanibel Causeway on January 19, 2023

What we came to understand very quickly was that there is an important point to be made by those who say it is too soon to visit.  

We have to admit that such a perspective was one that we couldn't fully appreciate until we saw the devastation with our own eyes and heard firsthand from those living and working on the island.  

And yet, for those who love Sanibel and want to be a part of the recovery, we came away convinced more than ever that one of the best things anyone can do to help is to visit and support the restaurants and businesses that are working hard to survive.  

Their future depends on the patronage of those who do not live there.  

Here is what we learned when we visited the island in mid-January for the first time since the hurricane.


Is Sanibel Island Open to Visitors?

Now we get to the million dollar question...should you visit Sanibel yet after all the horrific devastation of Hurricane Ian? Are you even welcome there?

The answer is "It Depends." 

It depends on what your purpose is, and what your expectations are.

Sanibel Island east end hurricane ian damage house collapse

Collapsed home on the east end of Sanibel after Ian


What is your Purpose for visiting Sanibel after Ian?

We spoke with residents on our visit who said that it was very uncomfortable seeing all the vacationers leisurely riding their bicycles by their stuff.

They had just gone through the most horrific experience of their lives.

Now their years of memories and personal belongings are just heaped up in debris piles in front of what is left of their homes for vacationers to gawk at.

Sunset Grill Santiva Fl Ian

Sunset Grill Santiva

Now, we don't really think those cyclists we observed while we were on the island were intentionally gawking or rummaging through residents' personal belongings piled up beside the streets, but we can certainly understand how it could feel incredibly insensitive at best and, at worst, like a very personal violation and unwelcomed intrusion.  

If your purpose is strictly for recreational pleasure, then we would recommend waiting a few more months.  

For now, we can recommend Sanibel and Captiva for day-trips, but not family vacations.

Mad Hatter Restaurant Sanibel

Mad Hatter Restaurant (swept to a different location)


Sanibel Businesses Need and Want Your Support!

On the other hand, (a very big and strong other hand) if you love Sanibel and want to come support the businesses and restaurants that are trying to recover and rebuild, then you are most welcome and wanted! (If you are thoughtful and caring enough to even be reading this, then I am sure that THIS is the camp you are in!)

Upon arriving, we headed to the east end to the entrance of Lighthouse Park which was inaccessible. 

We knew what to expect.  We had already observed what Hurricane Ian did to parts of Marco Island, parts of Naples, and especially Ft. Myers Beach.  So, we were not surprised by what we saw as we crossed over the causeway bridge and made the familiar left turn onto Periwinkle.   

We experienced first-hand (and it only makes sense) that the more familiar you are with a place, the bigger the emotional impact when that place is suddenly changed; marred, defaced, and injured.  

Lazy Flamingo, Sanitva after Ian


It was a sobering and silent drive to the marina (which looked to be in great shape by the way) and then on to the barricades at the entrance of Lighthouse Park.  

Along the way, we slowed down as we passed our traditional on-island breakfast stop, the Lighthouse Cafe.  "Sad" just seems like too small a word.

On our drive west, we stopped in at Tutti Pazzi for lunch.  We had actually not been there since it was Matzaluna's.   (Tutti Pazzi is in the spot where Matzaluna's used to be, 1200 Periwinkle Way.)

From the outside, everything looked great. It had, no doubt, benefited from its elevated perch.

Tutti Pazzi restaurant open on Sanibel

Tutti Pazzi Sanibel is Open

As we sat down at the bar, we were comforted by the familiar space that we had frequented so many times over the years.    

While the space inside and the bar were familiar, the atmosphere was quite different from when it was Matzaluna.  

The quirkiness of Matzaluna's decor has given way to a much brighter, open, and cleaner-looking setting.  

Tutti Pazzi Sanibel

There were a dozen or so guests already there when we arrived.  Some were workers involved in the recovery efforts on lunch break, but most were either residents or other visitors like us.

We could not have felt more welcome.  We could not have been made to feel more comfortable. We could not have been treated more kindly.

We struck up a conversation with the guys behind the bar and we mentioned that we were a little apprehensive about coming and wondered if they were aware of the controversy surrounding this topic that's being bantered about on social media.  

It turned out that one of the guys behind the bar was Pasquale Russo. Pasquale and his wife Leanna are owners of Tutti Pazzi and they quickly put us at ease.

They made it crystal clear that they were happy to see us and that visitors are more than welcome.

Plus, their Carne Mi Amore pizza was amazing!  

and the bread and olive oil with whole olives is a delightful new spin on an old standard 

Pasquale encountered some skepticism over why he wanted to even open the restaurant so soon after Ian, when there certainly would not be enough customers to justify the cost of doing business.

There is no doubt, that such skepticism was sensible, but he felt the need to open and to provide a place for the residents to gather.  The residents of Sanibel NEEDED a place to gather as neighbors once again.

After all they've been through, a place to relax, laugh, catch up and enjoy being together was so important.

Pasquale and Leanna have Tutti Pazzi ready and open for business. And they wanted us to know that the restaurants and shops on Sanibel need more than the support of residents in order to survive.

They all depend on tourists to stay in business.

That means YOU!

So many people have lost their jobs as well, and the more business Sanibel restaurants and shops get, the more people can get back to work to support their families.

There was a lot of optimism there at Tutti Pazzi.  We heard stories of how resilient the Sanibel community is and how they they've been sharing equipment, tools, and resources to help one another with the restoration process.

What a beautiful thing!


Accommodations Available on Sanibel/Captiva

If you're looking for a place to stay, 'Tween Waters is open and looks to be in very good shape from what we were able to observe of the exterior.  

The pool bar and cafe is open and serving guests and Old Captiva House is open for dinner.

Just be aware that at the present time there is no internet service available at Tween Waters, but our cell phone service was very reliable the entire time we were on the island.


Tween waters sanibel pool open

A final recommendation if you go

Our last stop before heading back home was at our old favorite, Traders.  And quite honestly, as best we can tell, Traders is already back in full swing.

Traders restaurant open  after ian

Trader's Restaurant on Sanibel open after Ian

We arrived at twilight and the parking lot was full as were the seats at the bar, but thankfully we were able to squeeze in at a small table near the band.

The service was great.  The food was great.  The live music was great.  Everything was great!


Tips for Visiting Sanibel Island after Ian


1. Be Respectful

Consider the Golden Rule when visiting, and treat the residents with how you would want to be treated if you were in their position.  Try to stay out of the way of construction workers and recovery efforts. 

The safest place to hang out is Periwinkle Drive, where the businesses are very happy and grateful to see you.


2. Be Patient (Have realistic expectations)

If you plan a visit to Sanibel, you will need to have realistic expectations. As  Pasquale said, "Please be patient."  The island is not the same as it used to be. 


Destruction

We were shocked at the devastation on Sanibel and Captiva. So many places in rubble. It looks like a bomb went off. There are still debris piles lining the streets.

So in a word, it is very sad.

So be prepared for that (if one can ever be prepared to see something so tragic.) 

Lazy Flamingo Santa
Insert Image


The Beach

The beach itself is totally different since Ian. Much of it has eroded. There are many gullies/inlets now cutting through. 

But for us beach lovers, it is still beautiful, and since there are so few tourists on the beach, there are many more shells!

Sand Dollar beach access boardwalk

The Sand Dollar Beach Resort beach access boardwalk (what is left of it)


Vegetation


If you are expecting lush and green vegetation for your tropical vacation, then you are going to be disappointed. The vegetation of Sanibel got a horrific blow. Many palm trees are dead. Much of the plant life is gone. The majority is brown.  And there is still a lot of debris in the trees and vegetation. It is not pretty.

But it gets better every day. It is dry season, after all, and much of the brown will turn to gorgeous green once the rainy season begins this summer.

Amenities

If you are expecting all your favorite resorts, restaurants, shops, and biking paths, you will most definitely be disappointed. It is not the full-service resort town it once was. 

It will be many months and years for many places to reopen, and sadly, many are closed permanently. It may be hard to find a condo or resort to rent, if you are planning to go for vacation.  Currently, 'Tween Waters is the only full-service resort that is open to visitors.

Most of the biking paths are still not cleared of debris, though with time, they will return as beautiful as ever.

Grocery Stores

Jerry's Foods is open (see How is Jerry’s Foods Grocery Store after Hurricane Ian?) but Bailey's was hit hard by the storm surge. It will have to be demolished and rebuilt.


But if you realize all of this and have realistic expectations, and just love the still-beautiful islands of Sanibel and Captiva and want to help support them so they can recover and rebuild, then please do!


Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Causeway Bridge to Sanibel Open?

The Sanibel Causeway and bridge is open. It opened to the public on January 2, 2023.


Are Sanibel Island Beaches Open?

Although the Sanibel Island beaches are technically "open," according to Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith, there are very few public beach parking lots open.

Many of the beach entrances are blocked off with fencing so that it is difficult to even get to the beach unless you own a condo or home on the beach.

Lighthouse Beach Park access closed after Ian

Sanibel Lighthouse Park closed

Sanibel Island Lighthouse Fishing Pier Beach closed after Ian

To see all the open beaches and beaches opening soon, along with their scheduled opening dates, see our post Are Sanibel Island Beaches Open?


Is Sanibel Fishing Pier Open?

The Sanibel Fishing Pier is not open after the damage from Hurricane Ian. There is currently no scheduled opening date, but I'll keep you updated when I hear of one!


Photo of Hurricane Ian damage to the Sanibel Fishing Pier
Sanibel fishing pier ian damage

Sanibel Fishing Pier Photo credit: @SanibelStar


What is Open on Sanibel and Captiva?

Check out our guide on all the accommodations, businesses, shops, services, activities, and restaurants on Sanibel that have reopened: What is Open on Sanibel?


What Restaurants on Sanibel and Captiva are Open?

We are keeping an updated list of all the open Sanibel & Captiva restaurants that would love your patronage. You can see it here:  What Restaurants are Open on Sanibel after Hurricane Ian?

We actually referred to our own list when we went to visit!


Support Sanibel Businesses through Online Shopping!

Another great way to support the Sanibel shops, artists, and restaurants is to buy through their online shops! Many of these are not open yet in their brick-and-mortar location, so online sales will definitely help them recover and rebuild so they can open in the not-too-distant future!

You can check out the online shopping directory at Sanibel Island Online Shopping Directory (after Hurricane Ian)


Help Support Sanibel Recovery Efforts

Sanibel Island is special in our hearts as well as many others, who are heartbroken over the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought this friendly little island in SW Florida.

Living in southwest Florida ourselves, and Sanibel being our "home away from home," we wanted a way to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian to rebuild and come back stronger and more beautiful than ever, so that families can continue to be able to create wonderful lifelong memories in this little slice of paradise.

$5 of every shirt purchased will go towards SW Florida relief efforts at: F.I.S.H. of SanCap and  Sanibel businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Click HERE to purchase. 💜 Thank you!


Sanibel beautiful strong loved shirt
Are Sanibel Island Beaches Open?

Are Sanibel Island Beaches Open?

Open Sanibel Public Beaches

March 6, 2023 UPDATE!!! Sanibel public beaches & parking lots have started opening! 
The following Sanibel beaches are now OPEN!

  • Tarpon Bay Road Beach. $5 per hour for public parking. There are 76 parking spaces.
  • Blind Pass Beach Park. $5 per hour for parking. There are 23 general parking spaces.
  • Bowman's Beach Park. $5 per hour for parking. 220 parking spaces.
  • Blind Pass Beach. $5 per hour parking. 29 parking spaces.
  • Gulfside City Park. $5 per hour parking. 46 parking spaces.

Open Sanibel Public Beaches as of March 6, 2023

Sanibel Island was devastated by Hurricane Ian that swept through with its record-high storm surge that submerged the beautiful sub-tropical island.

The beaches were not left unscathed, as they were left with gullies, erosion, and debris, but they are slowly recovering and will be opening to visitors soon!

I don't know about you, but if you are a Sanibel lover like I am, you can't wait to be able to spend a relaxing day on one of the beautiful Sanibel beaches once again!

The great news is that the Sanibel beaches ARE scheduled to start opening soon!

Here is the list of Sanibel beaches, along with their scheduled opening dates.

Lighthouse Beach Park access closed after Ian

Scheduled Sanibel Public Beach Openings

Here are the scheduled openings of the Sanibel public beach parking lots. I don't know about you, but I can't wait!

  • Tarpon Bay Beach - February, 2023 (now open)
  • Blind Pass Beach - February, 2023 (now open)
  • Gulfside City Park - March, 2023 (now open)
  • Bowman's Beach - mid-March, 2023 (now open)
  • Boat Ramp - mid-March/April, 2023 (now open)
  • Lighthouse Beach Park - not scheduled
  • Turner Beach, Captiva - not scheduled

Schedule of Restricted Sanibel Beach Access Openings

This is the expected schedule of restricted beach access openings for residents and pass holders with parking permits. Beach parking permits go on sale Thursday, January 19 for residents/property owners and January 31 for non-residents.

Is the Sanibel Fishing Pier Open?

The Sanibel Fishing Pier is not open after the Hurricane Ian damage. There is currently no scheduled opening date, but I'll keep you updated when I hear of one!

Photo of the Sanibel Fishing Pier after Ian

Is Anything Open on Sanibel Island?

Yes, there are many businesses, shops, services, activities, accommodations, and restaurants on Sanibel & Captiva that have reopened since Ian.
Check out our post for the full list: What is Open on Sanibel?

Open Restaurants on Sanibel and Captiva

We are keeping an updated list of all the open Sanibel & Captiva restaurants that would be truly grateful for your business. You can see it here:  What Restaurants are Open on Sanibel after Hurricane Ian?

Help Support Sanibel Recovery Efforts

Sanibel Island is special in our hearts as well as many others, who are heartbroken over the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought this friendly little island in SW Florida.

Living in southwest Florida ourselves, and Sanibel being our "home away from home," we wanted a way to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian to rebuild and come back stronger and more beautiful than ever, so that families can continue to be able to create wonderful lifelong memories in this little slice of paradise.

$5 of every shirt purchased will go towards SW Florida relief efforts at: F.I.S.H. of SanCap and  Sanibel businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Click HERE to purchase. 💜 Thank you!

Sanibel beautiful strong loved shirt
What is Open on Sanibel?

What is Open on Sanibel?

Sanibel and Captiva Islands got hit hard by Hurricane Ian, but they are slowly rebuilding and recovering. You may want to support Sanibel and its recovery by coming for a visit, but are not sure what is even open yet!

Check out this guide to see what activities, shops, services, businesses, and restaurants are open on Sanibel and Captiva!

Things to Do on Sanibel & Captiva

sanibel things to do part 2 march 2023

Retail Shops Open on Sanibel & Captiva

Addition: Ace Hardware on Sanibel is now open!

Accomodations Open on Sanibel

Services Open on Sanibel & Captiva

Restaurants Open On Sanibel

Restaurants Open on Captiva

Full Directory of the Open Restaurants on Sanibel & Captiva

For a full, detailed list of all the open Sanibel & Captiva restaurants that would love your patronage, see my post here:  What Restaurants are Open on Sanibel after Hurricane Ian?

Open Beaches on Sanibel

To see all the open beaches and beaches opening soon, along with their scheduled opening dates, see our post Are Sanibel Island Beaches Open?

Is Sanibel Ready for Visitors?

Is Sanibel open and ready for tourists yet? Should you plan a visit or wait? Check out my post Is Sanibel Island Open? (Is it okay to visit after Ian?)

Support Sanibel Businesses through Online Shopping!

Another great way to support the Sanibel shops, artists, and restaurants is to buy through their online shops! Many of these are not open yet in their brick-and-mortar location, so online sales will definitely help them recover and rebuild so they can open in the not-too-distant future!

You can check out the online shopping directory at Sanibel Island Online Shopping Directory (after Hurricane Ian)

Help Support Sanibel Recovery Efforts

Sanibel Island is special in our hearts as well as many others, who are heartbroken over the devastation that Hurricane Ian brought this friendly little island in SW Florida.

Living in southwest Florida ourselves, and Sanibel being our "home away from home," we wanted a way to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian to rebuild and come back stronger and more beautiful than ever, so that families can continue to be able to create wonderful lifelong memories in this little slice of paradise.

$5 of every shirt purchased will go towards SW Florida relief efforts at: F.I.S.H. of SanCap and  Sanibel businesses that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian.

Click HERE to purchase. 💜 Thank you!

Sanibel beautiful strong loved shirt
Surviving Hurricane Ian (Sanibel Survivor Story)

Surviving Hurricane Ian (Sanibel Survivor Story)

The following first-hand account was taken from the personal Facebook page of Angelika Geerlof, a resident of Sanibel Island, Florida, who survived the terrifying winds and catastrophic storm surge of Hurricane Ian that devastated the island on September 28, 2022.

I nearly drowned three times.

It was the most terrifying experience of my life.

Thankfully, we are alive. I have not had phone service until now. Therefore, I was unable to touch base with anyone. I was unable to call, text, message, or post. (To all my friends who have been messaging me, calling me, and posting on Facebook, thank you so much for your care and concern.)

To say that this was one of the most horrific experiences of my life is an understatement.

We could have drowned in our own home. This was my street yesterday while Hurricane Ian was battering us.

Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof

 It was hours of relentless wind, rain, branches, and peoples’ belongings flying through the street.

The water level in our home rose from ankles, to knees, to waist, within half an hour. To leave the house required a split-second decision. 

Sanibel Survivor hurricane Ian Angelika Geerlof

At first, we could not get out of our house. Finally, we were able to pry open the glass doors and get out just in time.

My son was able to pull and lift the lanai door; the surge force caused the door to fall on him. Thankfully, he was not hurt, and this is how we were able to escape our home just in time.

We intended to go to a neighbor’s house which was diagonally across the street, but the current was too strong and that was impossible. 

We quickly decided to go across the street, to another neighbor's home. They had left the island and were gracious enough to offer their home to us. This was also impossible. 

Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof

We knew we had another safe haven up the road, so we started walking. Soon the water became too deep and we started swimming.

Within a few minutes we were able to reach our neighbors property. My son Kris was on the right side, clinging from one palm tree from the another with my puppy Scruffy in his arms and a backpack on his back.  With branches pounding into his back and arms, he eventually had to release the backpack in order to save Scruffy and himself from drowning.

Meanwhile, the current had already taken me past the neighbor’s house and I grabbed onto Seagrape branches. With my Bodhi, my other puppy, in my left arm, and my cell phone in a plastic bag in my mouth, and a bag over my shoulder, I made my way towards the house branch by branch - fighting the current. 

Sanibel dog and puppy Ian survivors

Sanibel doggie survivors Scruffy & Bodhi

It turned out I had not gotten very far and was actually only heading towards a different neighbor’s house.

 The surge kept taking me back to the house on the left of the house that was the intended safe haven.

No matter how much footage I thought I had gained, the surge kept taking me back to the house on the left. The surge was far stronger than I, that’s why I took so long to get to safety .

The branches that were tangled around my legs kept pulling me under with every powerful wave of the surge washing over me.

It was there that the three times occurred where I certainly thought I was going to drown with my Bodhi in my arms.

Sanibel dog survivors

Sanibel doggie survivors

Scruffy & Bodhi

Finally, after swallowing lots of gulf water, and sore arm and legs, I made my way through more branches and got tangled with my legs in some that were caught between the Seagrape trees. 

I finally was able to swim toward my neighbor's lanai, which is on the second floor, yet it was even with the water level. 

My neighbor punched a hole through the screen and rescued Bodhi, and I managed to swim to the stairs.

 Kristopher was still fighting to get from one palm tree to the next and my neighbor then punched a hole on the other side of the lanai and saved Scruffy, while Kris swam to the stairs. 

sanibel dog survivors

 Bodhi & Scruffy, Sanibel doggie survivors with Angelika's daughter Brianna pre-Hurricane Ian

We both thank God that we are alive. It was extremely draining and frightening.

 To lose things in the hurricane pales to the actual experience of struggling and being trapped in the surge. 😥

We are now in a shelter in Estero planning our next move in life.We received help from a Sanibel family that took us and six other people to the Port Sanibel Marina.

Then another kind family drove us to various hotels, that had no vacancies, and finally to the shelter.

To see so much devastation and the destroyed causeway is a lot to process.

My home, like countless others is destroyed with little or nothing to salvage.

I pray with all my heart and soul that all my other friends are safe and well.

I will now check all my various text messages and voicemails. Again… thank you all with love. }

Hurricane Ian Storm Surge Damage to my Sanibel Home

Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof
Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof
Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof
Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof
Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof
Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof

Lasting Effects from the Trauma of Hurricane Ian

Update from Angelika on November 30 2022:

We are very fortunate to be staying at a neighbors house, only two doors down from where we used to live. Our house has been completely emptied, gutted, and will most likely be torn down.

I lived there for 11 years. It’s been very distressing. 

I am blessed to be alive as are my son and doggies, but it’s still very very heart wrenching.

Sanibel survivor story Angelika Geerlof

It was the most terrifying experience in our lives, my son Kris and I both still have nightmares, and our pups will not leave our sides. 

 I’m usually hanging from the branches, at the brink of drowning, with Bodhi looking up at me with fear in his little eyes, or standing in my home, helplessly watching belongings begin to float around and the cold water forcefully surrounding me as the water level rises.

I remember trying to open doors and windows to escape,  but being trapped by the surge surrounding the house.

Often l wake up bathed in perspiration and in tears.

Angelika Geerlof and son Kris after surviving Hurricane Ian

Angelika and Kris with Bodhi & Scruffy 

About Angelika Geerlof

Angelika is a Sanibel survivor and artist. Her photography of Sanibel wildlife is beautiful and stunning.

Roseate Spoonbills Angelika Geerlof

Roseate Spoonbills photograph by Angelika Geerlof

Help Support Angelika's Recovery from Ian

Along with her home, most of Angelika's artwork was destroyed from Ian's storm surge, but thanks to supporters and friends, she has been able to partially replenish her supply of products that feature her stunning photography of the beautiful wildlife of Sanibel.

You also can help support her recovery by making a purchase of one of her beautiful pieces of art. 

Below are just a few of the items she has available. You can place on order by messaging her on her Sanibel Moodscapes Facebook page HERE or her website HERE.

"After the Storm" Coffee Table Book

Angelika compiled her own photographs of the aftermath of Hurricane Ian and put them in this beautiful coffee table book. 

After the Storm Angelika Geerlof Hurricane Ian aftermath

2024 Sanibel Island Calendar

Sanibel calendar 2024
2023 sanibel calendar osprey
dolphin sanibel calendar
sanibel 2023 calendar pelican

"Signs of Sanibel"  Totebag

I love this "Signs of Sanibel" tote bag, created from Angelika's photographs of signs found on the island after Ian.

To see more signs of Sanibel, check out my post Signs of HOPE on Sanibel Island after Hurricane Ian (in Photos)

Sanibel signs after Ian Angelika Geerlof tote bag
tote bag signs of sanibel

Sanibel Island Mousepads

sanibel island wildlife mousepads
sanibel island mousepads spoonbill

Sanibel Photography Coffee Table Books

Sanibel island coffee table books

Sanibel Canvas Wall Art

Any of Angelika's photographs can be made into canvas wall art in the size of your choice. What a lovely way to decorate your home, with memories of beautiful Sanibel Island!

sanibel lighthouse canvas wall art

Sanibel lighthouse on canvas

See More of Angelika's Work 

You can see more of Angelika's work on her Sanibel Moodscapes Facebook page HERE where you can message her to order, and her website HERE.

Angelika Geerlof Sanibel photographer

Angelika Geerlof with her Roseate Spoonbill photo on canvas