Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | July 18, 2014

What will eat your bones?

A gruesome concept to be sure, but interesting nonetheless.

Dr. José H. Leal, Ph.D., Curator & Director of Education at the Bailey-Mathews National Shell Museum, our neighbor on Sanibel’s San-Cap Road wrote,

“Another of the deep-sea mollusks discussed in my recent presentation at Mollusca 2014 in Mexico City was the bone-eating deep-sea snail Rubyspira osteovora Johnson et al., 2010.

“One of two species in the genus Rubyspira, the bone-eating deep-sea snail that derives its nutrition from decomposing whale bones. The species is found exclusively in whale falls, which are deep-sea ecosystems sustained by the energy released by decaying whale carcasses.

“The genus name Rubyspira pays a tribute to the dead whale, nicknamed Ruby, on which the snails were first found by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Marine Research Institute research team.

“The Deep-sea Mollusks exhibit in the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum includes a specimen of bone-eating deep-sea snail (see below) donated especially for the exhibit by Drs. Robert Vrijenhoek and Shannon Johnson of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.”
The Museum is a major attraction on Sanibel Island and one of West Wind Inn guests’ favorite non-beach excursions.
Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | July 8, 2014

West Wind Inn joins in praise for Sanibel’s Shell Museum

It seems our “little” shell museum is not so little after all.
Shell Museum
According to an article by Craig Garrett in the Breeze newspapers, the Bailey- Matthews National Shell Museum, located on Sanibel Island, has a current inventory that exceeds 58,000 shell lots.That’s the result of a count in progress by museum volunteers and staff. The lots amount to 275,000 individual shells that have been collected by the museum or have been donated to the museum by collectors over the past two decades. Some of them date back to the 1800s.

Actually, the museum estimates that the current count represents less than half of the shells that have been donated to it. The figure includes wet specimens preserved in alcohol for future DNA testing and the fabulous Redfern Collection of shells from the Bahamas.

The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is located off of San-Cap Road. The museum started as a repository for research purposes. It has grown to become a major attraction on Sanibel Island, which is known as one the foremost shelling destinations in the world.

Pam Rambo, who writes the “ILoveShelling” blog, considers it a privilege for Sanibel and its visitors to have this attraction. “Shellers around the world know Sanibel and Captiva and the Bailey-Matthews,” Rambo said. “It is a premier museum, and a very cool place.”

As the closest Sanibel beach resort to the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum, the West Wind Inn shares Rambo’s estimation of its value. For guests who stay at the West Wind Inn, the museum is an easy venue to visit.

Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | July 6, 2014

Give Yourself a lift at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn

Give Yourself a lift at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn.

Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | July 6, 2014

Give Yourself a lift at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn

“Lift” is the word the travel trade uses to describe airlines and flights coming to an airport.

At Southwest Florida’s RSW airport, lift is a serious consideration. If airlines discontinue or reduce schedules to Fort Myers, it has a pronounced negative effect on the tourism business. Folks who can’t get here, can’t stay here. That can result in diminished economic activity for the region.

On the other hand, when new airlines come into the market or new flights are added, one can count on more visitors arriving. That’s more people and business to fuel the area’s dominant tourism industry.

So, not only is it “lift”, it is “a lift” for people who make their livings satisfying visitors.

In the case of Sanibel and The West Wind Inn, it’s also a lift for visitors like you. You come here to escape the pressures and pace of home. West Wind Inn Sanibel Beach Resort

That’s what Sanibel’s West Wind Inn beach resort provides: a quiet, gentle, nature-loving respite, with friendly accommodations, good food and a great beach to “comb”.

So… when the airport authority issues reports like this, it’s a lift for everyone.






American Airlines
• Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
• Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
Delta Air Lines/Shuttle America/Chautauqua
• Atlanta (ATL)
• Cincinnati (CVG)
• Columbus (CMH) – seasonal
• Detroit-Metro (DTW)
• Indianapolis (IND) – seasonal
• Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP)
• New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
Frontier Airlines 
• Cleveland (CLE)
• Denver (DEN)
• Trenton, NJ (TTN)
• Washington D.C,-Dulles (IAD), starts September 9
• Wilmington/Philadelphia New Castle (ILG)
JetBlue Airways
• Boston (BOS)
• Hartford (BDL) – seasonal
• New York-Kennedy (JFK)
• New York-LaGuardia (LGA)
• Newark-Liberty (EWR)
• Washington, D.C., Reagan National (DCA)-seasonal, starts December 18
• White Plains (HPN)
Silver Airways 
• Key West (EYW)
• Orlando (MCO)
Southwest (WN)/AirTran Airways 
• Akron-Canton (CAK) – operated by FL, seasonal

• Albany (ALB)-operated by WN, seasonal
• Atlanta (ATL) – operated by WN & FL
• Baltimore-Washington (BWI) – operated by both WN & FL
• Boston (BOS) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Buffalo (BUF) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Chicago-Midway (MDW) – operated by both WN & FL
• Cleveland (CLE) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Columbus (CMH) – operated by WN
• Denver (DEN)-operated by WN, seasonal
• Detroit (DTW)-operated by FL, seasonal
• Flint (FNT) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Grand Rapids (GRR) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Hartford-Bradley (BDL) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Indianapolis (IND) – operated by WN
• Kansas City (MCI)-operated by WN
• Long Island-Islip (ISP) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Milwaukee (MKE) – operated by WN
• Minneapolis Saint-Paul (MSP) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Nashville (BNA) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Philadelphia (PHL) – operated by WN
• Pittsburgh (PIT) – operated by WN
• Providence (PVD) – operated by WN, seasonal
• Washington, D.C., Reagan National (DCA) – operated by FL
• Saint Louis (STL) – operated by WN
Spirit Airlines 
• Atlantic City (ACY)
• Boston (BOS) – seasonal
• Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
• Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) – seasonal
• Detroit-Metro (DTW)
• Latrobe/Pittsburg (LBE) – starts December 18
• Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP) – seasonal
Sun Country Airlines 
• Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP)
United Airlines/United Express
• Chicago-O’Hare (ORD)
• Cleveland (CLE)
• Denver (DEN)-seasonal
• Houston-Intercontinental (IAH)
• Newark (EWR)
US Airways
• Charlotte (CLT)
• Philadelphia (PHL)
• Washington, D.C., Reagan National (DCA)-seasonal

Air Berlin
• Düsseldorf, Germany (DUS)
Air Canada
• Montreal, Canada (YUL) – seasonal

• Toronto, Canada (YYZ)
• Ottawa, Canada (YOW) – seasonal
• Toronto, Canada (YYZ)

We are uplifted to have so
many friends in so many places.

Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | June 27, 2014

A Season For Sanibel’s West Wind Inn Music Lovers

We know that guests at the West Wind Inn on Sanibel Island’s beach appreciate the finer things in life, So, we offer this exciting news: With a new Music Director in place, the Southwest Florida Symphony is set for a great 2014-2015 season, including four concerts at BIG Arts Schein Hall.

First up, starting December 17, 2014, will be a Holiday Pops-Christmas in Paradise Concert. The concert starts at 8:00 PM under the baton of Conductor Leif Bjaland. Selections will include “Feliz Navidad” and “Mele Kalikimaka: The Hawaiian Christmas Song.”

On January 14, 2015, at 8:00 PM, the classics take over as new Music Director Nir Kabaretti conducts his first official concert as music director for the Southwest Florida Symphony. -maestrokbaretti.jpg20140521The title is Simply Classics and will include Mozart’s “Piano Concerto in A” and Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 4.”

On February 11, 2015, suitably for Valentine’s time, love is in the air as Conductor Bjaland salutes romance with Salut D’Amour, with selections to include Bizet’s “Carmen Suite No. 1” and Verdi’s “String Symphony in E minor.” Starting time is 8:00 PM again.

The fourth concert at Schein hall will feature Dvorak’s New World Symphony. Bjaland will conduct.

For more information about the concerts, including ticket options and any changes in the schedule, visit Or call 239-418-1500.

By the way, each of these concerts will also be performed at nearby Shell Point, if you can’t get to the BIG Arts concerts. In addition, the season includes classical and pop concerts at Fort Myers’ Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on the campus of Edison State College.

(Photo of Maestro Kabaretti by Andrew West/The News-Press)

Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | May 23, 2014

Modest payback for military veterans at Edison For Winter Estates

Thomas Alva Edison and Henry Ford were products of American exceptionalism. Each grasped the opportunity of free enterprise and  built things of great value for Americans and the world.

Southwest Florida is fortunate to have been the winter homes of both these American geniuses, and fortunate to have had their winter estates preserved for residents and visitors.

As a salute to more great Americans, 1932_Memorial day 2014our military veterans
that lost their lives in defense of our nation, our freedom and our way of life,  Edison Ford is offering FREE admission to United States veterans and their families on Memorial Day, May 26.

Free admission includes a tour of the historic homes, botanical gardens, Museum and Edison Research Lab.

If you are a military veteran staying at West Wind Inn, Sanibel Island’s beach resort, over Memorial Day weekend this may be an excellent opportunity for you to visit this world-class attraction. Just remember to have your VA identification card or your DD214 papers with you to receive free admission for you and your family.

On the other hand, non-veterans (or those without identification) will find this to be a wonderful way to spend any day.


Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | May 19, 2014

Turtle Nesting Time at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn

We are now three weeks into the official sea turtle nesting season. The nesting seasons continues through October.

We join the City of Sanibel, in partnership with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF), in asking all guests, including those who honor us by staying at West Wind Inn beach resort, to do their part in protecting these threatened and endangered species.

As you walk the beach, you may encounter active nests. You most likely will recommend them as being cordoned off with yellow tape, thanks to the dedicated service of SCCF volunteers.BabyLoggerhead-250-72

Please stay clear of the nest.
By no means should you disturb a nest.
In due time the baby turtles will emerge from their shells and dig their way out of the sand. They then follow the “light” on the western horizon to reach the protective waters of the Gulf.

But there’s more: by following some simple guidelines you can help ensure the survival of these important sea creatures

A. Turn off or shield lights near the beaches. Artificial beach lighting can inhibit female sea turtles from nesting and may disorient hatchlings.

B. Remove furniture and other items from the beach and dune area between the hours of 9:00 P.M. and 7:00 A.M.

C. Level all sandcastles and fill any holes dug during play. Please leave the beach as you found it, so that sea turtles and hatchlings are not hindered on their way to nest or to the water.

D. Pick up all trash. Sea turtles mistakenly eat debris, especially plastic, which results in death.

E. Honor the leash law. All dogs on the beach must be on a leash and not allowed to disturb nesting turtles or hatchlings.

By joining our campaign to protect the turtles, you can proudly say you contributed to the health of our Gulf and our planet.


Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | May 10, 2014

West Wind Inn salutes the “National” Shell Museum

One of the lesser-known highlights of stay on Florida’s Sanibel Island is a visit to the Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum, now designated as the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum. According to information provided by the museum, the new designation is to convey its unique passion for shells, as a national resource for information about mollusks and shells.

It is quite fitting, given Sanibel Island’s place at the forefront of shelling in the United States. The museum, which offers fascinating displays, also offers extensive programs to advance knowledge and love of sea shells.

An example of the latter is a collaboration with Captiva Cruises to present ecological experiences aboard the catamaran, “Adventure”, to educate and excite marine enthusiasts.

naturalist tripA Marine Naturalist from the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum accompanies a small group aboard the 40’ sailing catamaran for an unforgettable day of discovery. 

The 4-hour cruise is $100 per adult and $75 per child. Included with the boat trip and the tutelage of the marine naturalist is lunch and admission to the museum.

Sailings take place Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9 am, departing from South Seas at the tip of Captiva Island.

Reservations are required as space is limited. To book your place on this unique excursion or to get more information, call 239-472-5300.

If you are staying at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn beach resort, getting to the embarkation point is an easy drive up San-Cap Road to the point where Captiva Drive ends. As a veteran of this expedition, you will be primed to enjoy shelling at West Wind Inn’s beach even more.


Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | April 30, 2014

A Mother’s Day surprise at Sanibel’s West Wind Inn

Few traditions are more enduring than Mother’s Day Dinner.

Moms do the cooking on all sorts of special days. But, this is the day that Mom should be transported from her kitchen to a restaurant where someone else does the cooking for her.

Here’s a suggestion for folks staying at the West Wind Inn:
the on-site restaurant, Normandie Seaside Pub,NormandieInterior has a new chef,
a new décor and an exciting new menu.

After 30 years, the West Wind Inn Food & Beverage Manager, Wendy Dahlen, has retired and moved on to the mountains of Ecuador. Her shoes, impressive as they are, are being filled by Laurent Bosc, a native of France, with Food & Beverage experience in Paris, Italy and the Orlando area. (He was a manager at Alfredo’s at Disney’s EPCOT center.)

Laurent has revitalized the ambiance and the cuisine at Normandie, with resoundingly positive comments from West Wind Inn guests.

More news: Normandie is now open from Tuesday through Saturday nights for dinner, in addition to its daily breakfast and dinner.  Follow the link to the website page for Normandie, where you can learn more, including how to make dinner reservations.

Tell Mom you have a great new experience for her this Mother’s Day.

Posted by: westwindinntruesanibel | April 28, 2014

Young Artists Awards Finalists to appear at BIG Arts

Each year, Lee County presents its Young Artists Awards.

On Sunday, May 4, Young Artists Awards will travel to BIG ARTS on Sanibel, where three of the 2014 finalists will perform from 3-5 PM as part of the Annual Family Day 2014 

Performing arts scholarship winners Callie Atkinson, Hae-Yang Chang and Sarah Daigle will be perform in the Schein Performance Hall.

Dancer Hae-Yang, a 17-year-old senior at Cape Coral High School will perform the original dance that earned him both Judges Overall Award and the Audience Choice Award on March 10 at Broadway Palm Theatre. Also appearing will be vocalists 14-year-old Callie Atkinson, a freshman at Cypress Lake High School, and Sarah Daigle who will attend the New York Conservatory for the Dramatic Arts this fall. Both were finalists in the 2014 11th Annual Young artists Awards Competition.Young Artists 2014

Having seen these young artist perform in March, I can assure you they will leave you calling for more.

The Young Artists Awards, in its twelfth year of programming, is a not-for-profit education, performance, audition and scholarship program for students from throughout Southwest Florida. The May 4 event is free and open to the public. BIG ARTS is located at 900 Dunlop Road on Sanibel Island.

For more information on the Young Artists Awards, please

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