Everyone knew we were going to have a close call, but we all hoped that Captiva’s luck would hold and we would escape again relatively unscathed.
Hurricane Charley had other plans. Charley’s path unexpectedly shifted to the northeast at the last-minute and made landfall on the barrier islands the afternoon of Friday, August 13th.
Sanibel and Captiva Islands had mostly been evacuated, but Bob Rauschenberg, the late artist, rode the storm out and later had to be airlifted out by helicopter.
We know another fellow who was living on an old sailboat in Roosevelt Channel and was also determined to ride things out because he had nowhere else to go. As the storm moved in, he abandoned ship, put on a wet suit and scuba gear at the last-second and tucked himself into the mangroves of Buck Key for the duration of the storm, staying as low in the water as he could. He said it was terrifying, but he made it and lived to tell the story.
When the storm broke, Captiva and North Captiva were devastated. The destruction was stunning.