Have you ever fantasized about going to a deserted island, leaving your worries and cares behind? Have you ever experienced solitude in a place where the expanse of the ocean and sky, fills your soul in a way that nowhere else ever has?
I have dreamt of being on a deserted island my entire life, and have often visualized myself walking for miles on white sandy beaches, swimming in warm healing salt waters, while watching fluffy white clouds float by. There, I wouldn’t have a thought or care in the world.
On August 12, 2017, I finally made my long-term dream come true. Being a familiar traveler of southern Florida, I have visited many different and beautiful beaches but had never boated to a deserted island. On my last trip to Marco Island, I did some research and although there were several boating excursions to pick from, I chose Hemingway’s Water Shuttle, a relatively new company that had received positive reviews.
Hemingway’s Water Shuttle is located on Marco Island and is a small family run business that shuttles people from Rose Marina to a deserted island called Keewaydin. You have the choice to go to the island and stay for a couple of hours or for the entire day. If you stay for more than two hours, I would recommend that you bring a beach umbrella for shade. But if you don’t have one, not to worry, because Hemingway’s has all the gear and equipment that you need at a very reasonable price.
The boat trip is a fun, smooth sailing journey through tranquil turquoise waters, and you have the choice to either sit in the shaded covered part of the boat, or you can stand up front with the wind in your hair, like I did, pretending your onboard the Titanic with Leonardo DiCaprio, feeling a sense of freedom that you have never felt before.
Keewaydin Island is surrounded by beautiful crystal white beaches, and the water is so warm and soothing, that all your cares and worries literally float out of your head with each passing wave, being left onshore for the remainder of the day. (When I left, I chose to leave my cares and worries there).
One side of Keewaydin Island is barren, with only a handful of people who also share the same dream of tropical nature and solitude; while the other side of the island has more of a party feel to it, with food and cocktail boats floating alongside the shore. People picnic, socialize and dance to Latin music. You can start your morning off on a secluded desert beach, and then end the day dancing in the surf!
Steve and Val Hemingway are exceptional guides, both having warm friendly personalities and a passion for creating wonderful experiences for people who come onboard. They made it a point to get to know all of their passengers, finding similarities between people and asking where everyone has traveled from.
I asked both Steve and Val, what were some of their favorite stories from their boating trips. They shared several experiences, some of which really touched my heart, they include:
“Children’s excitement and joy when finding seashell treasures in the sand; An elderly man in a wheelchair saying he never thought he would feel the sand beneath his feet ever again, and a woman who hadn’t watched the sunset in years.”
The boat trip consisted of dolphin watching, slowing down to take pictures, and Riley the dolphin dog, who runs from one side of the boat to the other spotting dolphins. Riley, a cockapoodle, always knows when the dolphins are nearby. He travels on most of the trips with Steve and Val to Keewaydin Island. Having a canine boating companion was another fun and unexpected part of the journey.
Now back onshore and back home, I continue to dream about Keewaydin Island, and can still feel myself floating on the warm salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico, wishing that some moments would last forever. My worries and cares are still there, they continue to float in the gentle waves but probably have traveled far out to sea by now, carried away forever… I never needed them in the first place.
With many thanks and appreciation for a wonderful time with Hemingway’s, I was able to make one of my own dreams come true.
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