May 2016 HOW TO OPERATE THE HOUSE.
Keewaydin Beach House Orientation
Welcome to Paradise.
House Manager: Shawn Cassel 303-548-2345 ShawnCassel@msn.com
Owner representative: Espen Schiefloe 239-777-5813 EspenPSchiefloe@gmail.com
Arrival Check In Check Out
House Operation Notes
For your convenience, there is a online grocery shopping service called shipt.com. For a service fee of $100 to our staff, your grocery order will be delivered to the house managers house on friday afternoon and stocked into the house Saturday AM,. so that you can go direct to the house without grocery shopping.
The idea here is to place your order under Shawn’s account, but just fill up the basket don’t hit order. Text or email Shawn when you are done along with the item count number ex. 120 items, this confirms your order is the right one. We will send you a Paypal invoice later for the groceries and delivery fee.
1)Download Shipt app.
2) log in with 'already have an account'
(Write to Shawn for information)
(Write to Shawn for information)
Save order. Do not place order. I will submit order on Friday morning.
Arrival Check In Check Out
Default Arrival at Check in Gulf Shores Marina 3:00 pm.
Please confirm that the above time works for you, also, email us your cell telephone numbers and arrival schedule so we can make sure and coordinate meeting up.
Your adventure begins a gulf shores marina. www.gulfshoresmarina.com.
3470 Bayshore Drive Naples, Florida. 34112. (Note: after hours gate code is 3470 same as address) You can park there for the week free of charge. On check in, suggest driving car through north gate (Along Riverview Drive) closer to turning basin, to unload persons and luggage. If you are early, suggest bringing your luggage and groceries down to the picnic table adjacent to the water, as there is a nice shady place to wait for us and it's easy to load luggage and persons and groceries onto the boat from that point. Once you have unloaded, drive car out gate and park parallel on grass on along Riverview Drive or up front of building.
On arrival day, we meet you there, generally at 3:00 pm., and a representative loads your luggage and groceries. We then take you out to the island and orientate you.
What to bring from home: Its tropical weather, so we generally only wear tee shirts and shorts and at most a pair of flip flops. Suggest leaving you sweaters and shoes at home.
If you have a favorite game or fishing pole, an Ipad, some sunscreen, that's usually what’s possibly worth bringing with.
Getting to the house:
As you head south from Naples Bay, once you pass the manatee slow zone, we are the fourth dock on your right. The house number, 10181 is posted on the end of the dock.
The most important navigation rule is to stay in between the red and green channel markers. If you venture outside of the channel, you will almost always eventually run aground. The old saying "red right returning" may apply while heading back to Naples, but I like to remember that the red markers are on the east or land side and the green markers are on the west or gulf side. Staying in between the navigation markers going to and from the island will guarantee an uneventful and safe and easy passage back and forth from town.
House Address: 10181 Keewaydin Island Naples Florida 34102
We are located on the intercoastal waterway marker 40.
THE BOAT(s) Continued Operation Notes:
Our intention is to fill the boat full with fuel just prior to your arrival.
The most common boat mechanical issue is leaving lights on and the battery running down. We suggest using the switch to turn off the batteries when the boat is not in use, this avoids accidental discharge. Vary between battery one and battery two with each day’s use, that keeps both batteries fully charged. Avoid using the all position except when necessary. In theory, if you use say battery 1, and it goes dead, you should be able to switch to battery 2 and be on your way! If you decide to venture out and about, study charts beforehand.
The most common boating issue is to run aground. Luckily here in southwest Florida, its soft sand not generally rocks. That means the sand does not generally harm the stainless steel propellor or boat. However, inexperienced boaters, who run aground, may fail to raise the outboard motor. Just make sure you please do not use brute force of engaging more power trying to motor out by force toward deeper water. Well that's a real no no, as it sends sand through the cooling system and that almost immediately destroys the plastic impeller which pumps water. Now you have a serious issue ($1300) which may create more serious mechanical issues.
Instead, if you are in very shallow waters, take notice of where deeper water lies, (usually where you came from) and carefully maneuver the boat back to deeper water. (RAISE THE OUTBOARD SLIGHTLY), or if super shallow get out of the boat and push it towards deeper water. You may also even “pole” your way out to deeper water. Just please don't power through the sand with the motor. Its also a real no no to do so in a seagrass area, you can get a big fine from the powers that be.
The local authorities love to stop boats and do safety checks. They ask for registration, a throw cushion, fire extinguisher, life jackets etc. It's all on the boat, familiarize yourself with these safety items in advance. We suggest taking one of the hand held VHF Radios from the house with you when you take the boat out from the house. Always keep a charged cell phone with you as well.
If you have any mechanical or stranding issues, call SEA TOW or BOAT US or hail them on channel 16 on the VHF. Remember the coast guard and boatUS monitor channel 16 especially for emergencies. Weather reports are on channel 7.
In the event of stranding or mechanical issue, depending on where you are, you may want to be towed back to either the house or where we get boat service, which is Gulf Shores marina on Bayshore drive. (Where your car is parked) For example, you have a boat break down in the channel going to town, you could have the boat towed back to gulf shores marina, by Sea Tow and then take the second boat, which is moored at gulf shores, back to the island. Alternatively, you could get towed back to the island, settle in, and have Seatow take the boat to gulf shores marina, and contact us to arrange transportation. You will likely have to cover the initial cost of towing. If it is covered by insurance we carry, (Most likely would be), we would reimburse you after processing the claim with our boat insurance carrier.
When docking at the marina or the beach house. Allow for tides twice a day to go up and down. When docking, the key is to go at very SLOW SPEED. All inexperience is made viable by just going super slow. This is the secret to looking like an expert boat captain while docking for us long time boaters. So remember! dock SLOWLY. Approach the dock in slow speed, go to neutral throttle and hand move the boat into position. Motoring from forward to reverse and back again is going to make you look like a rookie, remember just go super slow while docking and pay attention to the tide movements.
Again while docked, we suggest battery switch off and outboard motor in fully up position.
If you decide to go out into the gulf of mexico, please don't attempt hurricane pass located on the south side of keewaydin. Shoaling will make the passage impossible especially at low tide. Rather go through Gordon pass at the north side of keewaydin, separating Naples from Keewaydin. Or go the backway to Marco Island and then out to the gulf. If you head towards Marco, study the charts, there is a backwater way with markers that is how we get there and back. It goes inland a bit and not around the south tip of Keewaydin or out to the gulf.
Night time operation: We suggest not operating the boat after dark. It is highly difficult to see where you are going. If your itinerary requires coming and going after dark, we suggest hiring the owner rep for that task.
As beach houses go, ours is modern and well equipped. The art and science of creating a beautiful home on Keewaydin Island, consists of using state of the art energy, water and waste systems. You see, there are absolutely no public utilities here. No roads, no mail service, no electricity, no water, no sewer and not even garbage service. Well for all those no's, you wouldn't know it!
How do we accomplish this? Our first priority was to have plenty of solar power. With 36 three hundred watt solar panels lining the roof, power is fed into a bank of batteries. This power is converted to standard home 110 electricity using two Outback inverter/chargers. Typically, the sun charges the batteries all day and provides electricity during the day, at night, the batteries provide power. We find that using lots of power with all A/C units on full blast and lots of lights on will just about make it all night until the sun kicks in the next day. It helps to turn off the AC heads in each bedroom which are not in use or at least keep the temperature at 72 or so instead of maxed out at 66. (Guest dont’ usually turn the thermostat down to 66 at home, yet sometimes we find they do at the island, and given the energy used to run the AC compressor constantly, the generator will almost certainly run every night or early morning)
PlEASE KEEP ALL FANS OFF WHILE ENJOYING THE AC.
If we have a power deficit, such as during extended overcast periods or heavy power use, the propane generator will automatically start and charge the batteries.
Its during the summer months where energy conservation make a larger impact on minimizing propane generator backup demand. As we often have rainy summer days and constant high energy consumption air conditioning demand.
Trouble shooting: On very rare occasion, the power will go out and the generator fail to start. In this case, please go to the generator and manually turn the switch from auto to manual on. It will start and run until you turn it off. As of this writing we have two generators. The most likely primary generator is the one halfway down the path towards the dock. Lift up the cover and push the RUN button. Call and or text us immediately should there be a power failure.
DURING THE EVENING TIME, IT IS HELPFUL TO BE CONSCIENTIOUS ABOUT POWER USE, FOR EXAMPLE, SUGGEST WAITING TO RUN THE DISHWASHER UNTIL 10 AM IN THE MORNING WHEN THE SUN IS OUT AND PRODUCING SOLAR POWER INSTEAD OF DRAWING ON BATTERIES AT NIGHT. A FEW ENERGY SAVING MEASURES AT NIGHT CAN HELP YOU MAKE IT THROUGH THE NIGHT WITHOUT THE GENERATOR RUNNING AT NIGHT OR AT LEAST POSTPONE IT HAVING TO START AND RUN UNTIL EARLIER IN THE MORNING WHERE IT WILL HAVE THE SUPPORT OF THE SOLAR POWER PANELS STARTING AROUND 10:00 AM. IN OTHER WORDS WE TRY AND MANAGE IT SO THAT THE SOLAR PANELS PROVIDE POWER AND CHARGE THE BATTERIES AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE RATHER THAN THE GENERATOR WHICH BURNS PROPANE. AND WE TEND TO HAVE LOTS OF FREE SOLAR POWER DURING 10-AM TO 3PM. YET AT NIGHT WE ARE DRAWING POWER FROM BATTERIES THAT WILL HAVE TO BE RE CHARGED WITH THE GENERATOR ONCE THEY RUN DOWN ENOUGH, WHICH CAN HAPPEN PRETTY QUICKLY WHERE WE ARE USING AIR CONDITIONING AND RUNNING LOTS OF LIGHTS AND HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND TELEVISIONS.
Again, kindly keep all fans off while using AC.
Our water supply is from rainwater and a shallow well. The rain water and shallow well water are filtered with several stages of filtering. The rainwater has two filters to remove sediment and a third UV light filter to kill bacteria. The shallow well water is run through sentiment filters as well before it fills up the water tanks. In all but the most extreme severe droughts we should have a fairly reliable supply of water of quality water. The rainwater is the prefered high quality water at its abundant from June through November during our rainy season. However all winter long, we receive almost no rainfall to replenish our water tanks, and will utilize the shallow well to refill the water tanks. This shallow well water, although acceptable for showers and toilets, we believe likely has some higher salinity and perhaps remnants of natural elements found in surface water which don't get entirely filtered out. For this reason, we provide a reverse osmosis unit on the kitchen sink for drinking and cooking.
Drinking and Cooking: During winter months, kindly use the reverse osmosis tap for cooking and drinking.
Hot Water: The hot water works great and is very reliable. However, a few of the fixtures do not clearly indicate which is hot and cold, and faucets further from the hot water heater take longer to have warm water flowing. About one in three of our guests mistakenly believe upon first turning on the tap that the hot water does not work. Well it does, pay attention to the setting of the fixture and give it a minute or two for the warm water to flow. Turn the HOT all the way on, run full blast until it is too hot, then back it off slowly until comfortable..
Our septic system works by anaerobic type of bacteria processing the waste in a septic tank and the excess water draining then into septic fields. This process works great yet it's important to remember to not flush cotton balls, dental floss or bleaches etc. You see it's a bit of its own natural processing that makes it work and we need to not interrupt it by flushing non biodegradable items or harsh chemicals or bleaches which would destroy the natural enzymes which break down the waste. So don't flush one of those bleach towels but rather throw it in the garbage. The vent from the septic systems like most vents goes up through the roof. If the wind goes in just the right direction, it may put off a slight sulphur smell. Not to worry, it’s rarely noticeable, yet on a very rare occasion we will catch a whiff mostly outside between the buildings.
We put the tall kitchen garbage bags into a big black heavy duty bag and take it to town to throw in the dumpster located at Gulf Shores marina. A couple of suggestions, take garbage with you when you go to town. Secondly, don't leave food garbage outside as the raccoons will tear it up and make a mess. If you have a lot of waste and want to get it out of the house but aren't headed to town, double bag it and tightly seal it with knot or tape and put in garbage can in the outside shed located behind the house until you are headed towards town again, then please take it with you and drop off in dumpster at Gulf Shores Marina.
Kitchen and Pantry:
Since you can't go to your neighbor to ask for a cup of sugar, nor is it convenient to go to town if you are missing something, we tend to leave a lot of items in the pantry and even the refrigerator. Its for your use, so don't be shy, go ahead and utilize what you can. We would like to think that meal planning involves a supply of perishable items from the grocery store. More often than not, spices and oils are already here. A few things about the kitchen. The dishwasher has to be turned on and then the door closed within five seconds or it won't work. In which case, reset it by hitting cancel so that all lights go off. Then hit normal and start and close door within the five seconds.
The stove, we suggest having the overhead vent fan on HIGH, also CRACK the door open or a window to allow air into house. You are after all cooking with burning propane. The fire alarms will go off if the exhaust fan is not on high and the windows are closed. To light stove or oven, push in and hold while turning until the flame is well lit. When you are finished cooking, make sure that all knobs have "off" front and center when the stove is not in use, that assures that all burners are off. The oven is lighted similarly, turn the oven knob to light and fan, push in the temperature valve while it is turned and hold with the oven door open and observe that the flame is burning below the bottom grates. Hold for a few seconds, if when you let go of any knob, the flame of the stove burners or the oven goes out, you have to repeat the process of holding in the knob by pushing it in and holding it while it lights itself. It sometimes needs to burn for a few seconds before it will stay lit and you have to hold the knob in during that time.
Make sure when you are done cooking that all knobs and burners are in the OFF position. Finally, open a window slightly during summer, so there is some air that can come in to balance the exhaust air being vented outside.
Grocery Store to stock up
While we personally suggest going back to marina and driving to our favorite all organic grocery store, www.foodandthought.com, we have become accustomed to the much greater convenience of taking your boat directly to the grocery at Winn Dixie on Marco Island. There is ample boat parking directly in front of the store. Please note that you must study very closely a detailed chart of the route below, as the markers are spread far apart and you must have some idea of where you are going or you will run aground. Below is the overview, we try and keep charts on hand in the house and on the boat.
Outdoor Grille: Turn on and off the propane bottle before and after use. Extra propane bottles are provided and even more extra ones are located behind the washer dryer shed.
Televisions in bedrooms. With the satellite receiver powered on and the television on it should work, if not and you have to troubleshoot, manual buttons are located on the right side of the television side. On rare occasions, if power is on to both the satellite box and the television is on but no signal, the input selector may have been changed and will require being set back to the proper input.
WIFI: INTERNET. We use satellite internet service. Dish gives us 50 gigs each month at high speed and then they throttle us down. If you have a data plan on your phone and or tablet, we suggest you use it as is without connecting to wifi. Save the wi-fi for more important computer or tablet operation.
Downloading HD movies, such as on netflix or similar will us up our allowance in a couple movies, and then everything will be slow after that. We will occasionally add gigs of data during the month, which they sell us for $10 a gig. If you find yourself slugging through a painfully slow internet connection or the Sonos player is not staying on music tracks because the data transfer speed is slow, email the owner at EspenPSchiefloe@gmail.com and I will add manually to the plan so that it speeds up during your stay. As normally it is very fast, just like home.
Cell Repeater. This powered device is in the living room east wall. How it works: The indoor antenna receives signals from your cell phone, it then amplifies the signal and broadcasts and receives through and external roof mounted antenna. That’s why if you have an cell data plan, you may be better off keeping your phone connected to your own carrier instead of connecting the wifi to our satellite internet provider.
If you are in emergency situation and your cell phone is not getting reception, try walking to the beach or the dock.
AC Mitsubishi system:
Each bedroom and the living area feature a mitsubishi head unit. On the remote controls, you can select, AC, Dehumidify, and Heat. The units work great, in the summer they cool the house and on an occasional cold winter day they offer warm heat. During winter months, it's usually best to leave all the windows open (screens of course closed) and all the fans on. Suggest turning on the AC unit in the bedrooms which are used to sleep in at night and setting at 72. The AC unit in areas not used can be turned off at night to save energy. PLEASE KEEP FANS OFF WHILE ENJOYING AC.
Note: The master bedroom mini split system does not have a heater function.
SUP. Stand up paddle boards. Of course use common sense. The gulf is safe but be sure the wind is not in an offshore direction. There are generally no real currents on the gulf side but the wind and waves should be paid attention to. (If its windy its another story altogether, you could then have some side currents) Safe practice would be to take a life jacket with you. Stay within your skills and limits.
On the bay side, check the tides, consult charts and maps. We like to go with the tide, if it's flowing north, it is an incoming tide, and we like to paddle up the channel. About 1/2 mile on the left before the manatee zone, there is a narrow part of the island, and a small concrete post marks a convenient spot to carry your paddle board over to the gulf and the paddle back down to the house. (sometimes you will see tour boats or recreational boats parked on the bay side at that point, its approximately a quarter mile this side of the manatee slow zone)
On an outgoing tide, the water flows south, we like to go about a three quarters of a mile down and carry the boards across the island at one of the neighbors houses where there is say not a boat on the dock so likely no one home, and just walk it over to the gulf and paddle home. Last but not least there is a great small loop directly behind the house heading east. Spend some time on google earth studying the terrain and also monitor the tides. Bring a portable VHF radio with you. Just be careful to not get lost or in conditions beyond your strengths and skills.
Three SUP rules please:
Pick up and carry the boards, do not drag them.
Do not run aground at shore, instead, step off just prior to board coming in contact with the beach, and pick up the board.
Turn the board upside down while not in use.
Things to do: Must read and lounge and cook and eat great food. Long walks and or swims on the beach. Boat rides.
Safety: Use common sense, in the event of a dangerous emergency, call 911, you are located at 10181 Keewaydin Island. Mile Marker 40. If all power is out, cell phones work on the dock or out at the beach. Generally speaking, we have very safe waters in the gulf for swimming, with small waves and really no currents. The backwaters have tide currents going in and out twice a day. The gulf has its share of airborne nuisances, so be very mindful of keeping the doors to the outside closed. The screens work but if you leave the doors open you're in trouble. Use bug spray and or skin lotion if you're going to be outside especially at dusk and around the vegetation. The beach area rarely has any bugs, as the gentle winds usually push them away. So inside the house, on the beach and on a moving boat, are usually safe from pesky bugs.
Fires: Please no Beach fires
CHECK OUT TIME 10:00 AM
Our cleaning turnover crew arrives between 9:30 and 10:00 am and will help you load your luggage onto the boat. Most often the one of our staff will accompany you back to town in the guest boat and drop you off and help you load your luggage into your vehicle and deposit trash into the dumpster.
Kindly remove the bed linens and towels and leave in the large baskets in the patio area. Beds not used can remain made.
If you are driving yourself back to the marina, such as in the event you are leaving earlier in the morning in order to catch a flight, kindly find your way back to the gulfshores marina and leave the keys in the ignition of the boat.
Thank you, and we trust you had a great adventure in paradise!
Wildlife and Nature:
During summer, several loggerhead turtles come up upon the beach and dig and lay their eggs in nests. It’s important to not use bright flashlights, instead they should have red tinted ones if any. Later in the summer eggs will hatch and hatchlings will make their way to the surf.
On the gulf coast of Florida on a barrier Island, there are bound to be mosquitoes and no see ums. For the most part, bug spray works for the mosquitoes, but not so much for the no see em, also known as sand flies. Use the provided skin so soft Avon product for sand fly’s. What our experience has show is that first of all you must keep all doors to house with screens closed. As holding open a door is an invitation many bugs will accept. At dawn and dusk it's critical not to linger near the bushes outside or down to the dock area especially if it's not windy. The safest places are inside the screened patio and house, the beach, close to the water, and if you head towards the bay, get quickly out on the boat to get the air moving. Small bugs can't fly fast, so don’t hang out where they do at a slow pace.
If you follow these rules you should stay relatively free of pesky bugs.
There are literally 100s of species of birds, plants and animals on keewaydin island. We have wild pigs, kee deer, raccoons, armadillos, lizards, bobcats, snakes, rays, small sand sharks, dolphins, manatees and even an occasional bear family. Having said all this, none of these wild animals are aggressive or threats to humans. What we want to avoid is leaving garbage out, instead, double bag and tape shut excess garbage waiting to go to town and leave it in the garage, and take with you when you go to town and drop off in dumpster at gulf shores marina or winn dixie when you head to town, so that animals with good noses, are not enthralled with our house.
Fishing is great right off the dock or on the beach. We suggest chumming for bait, cast net for the small fish, then use the bait and hooks for the real prizes or redfish or snook. Shrimp, live and frozen can be purchased in Naples or Marco at the fuel docks. There are commercial fishing boat captains available for inshore and offshore guides.
Here is our fishing charter recommendation, call for others.
Marco Island, FL(239) 389-1575 Naples Florida 239-877-6406
Chef service/concierge service or provisioning: Our Chef, Michael offers these services for a fixed $350 per full day plus fixed costs of food provisions for up to 4 persons. For larger groups, a steward is an additional $150. Its best to arrange this service further in advance as possible as michael has a day job he has to rejigger his work schedule to accommodate our guest requests. This service is highly recommended for one or even two nights of your stay. As it's a convenient way to enjoy a fine meal and be waited on. Our guests usually enjoy this very much.
Michaels telephone number:239-234-3192
Shelling. Kee Island has perhaps the finest shelling of almost any beach anywhere. We understand there are 150 different kinds of shells. Please remember that small animals live inside them, so if they are alive, please leave them on the beach.
Optional Beach Bike, Wide Tire Electric Bikes are available to rent. As of this writing, we have a total of two available. Should you be interested in renting them, they are available for the weekly rental rate of $225 each.
The rental must be arranged one week prior to your arrival so that we can bring them out to the island for your stay.
Please email us for invoice if you would like to rent them. EspenPSchiefloe@gmail.com
During stay Housekeeping and light maintenance. Our house manager and one housekeeper will come out to island one, generally on the weekend such as a Saturday. This is typically a requirement for multi week guests. The fee is $450.
Tips: While not at all required, guests often feel that the staff has gone out of there way to make their stay enjoyable and want to do something nice for the house manager or cleaning crew.
We have included an envelope in this folder to make it convenient for you. We suggest giving it to Shawn when he arrives on your departure day and let him know if it's just for him or to divide amongst the cleaning crew. Our staff consists of 2 housekeepers, a maintenance man and a boat driver and the house manager.
Enjoy your stay in paradise.