Keewaydin Beach House Orientation  3-6-2014

Welcome to Paradise.

Please find the information below to help you become informed as to the operation and orientation of the beach home.

House Manager:  Espen Schiefloe 239-777-5813. Or Michael Spoor 239-234-3192

Check in orientation is at 3:00 pm.  Your adventure begins a gulf shores marina.  3470 Bayshore Drive Naples, Florida.  34112.  You can park there for the week in front of the establishment.  We meet you there and a representative loads your luggage and groceries.  We then take you out to the island and orientate you.

Default Arrival at Check in Gulf Shores Marina  3:00 pm.

Please let us know that the above time works for you, also, email us your cell telephone numbers and arrival schedule so we can make sure and coordinate meetng up.

Address:  10181 Keewaydin Island Naples Florida

We are located on the intercoastal waterway marker 40.

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.

We will generally have the second boat at the house.  This is to serve as return boat for our representatives so that you won't have to take us back to town.  On rare occasions, we will require that you take our representative back to town, such is the case if our second boat is perhaps in for service or other logistical issues.

January 2014 Update:  Check in at Marina 3:00 pm.  This gets you out to island before 4:00 pm.

Check out is suggested between 9-11 am on day of Departure.  This will have you back at marina between 10-12:00 Noon.


Note:  Cleaning crew turnover crew arrives at house at 9:00 am on departure day.

Boat Operation Notes:

Both boats use regular gasoline.  Our intention is to fill up with fuel your boat prior to your arrival.  

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.

The most common boat mechanical issue is leaving lights on and the battery running down.  Both boats have battery switches.  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 days 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 and use the on board GPS units.  The most common boating issue is to run aground.  Luckily here in southwest Florida, its soft sand not generally rocks.  That means the sand doe not generally harm the stainless steel propellor or boat.  However, inexperienced boaters may fail to raise the outboard motor, and force by using power through the sand.  Well thats 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.  You can try raising the outboard slightly, or if super shallow get out of the boat and push it towards 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.  Their is a VHF radio on each boat.   Take the hand held one with you as a back up.

If you have any mechanical or stranding issues, call SEA TOW Naples 239-263-3188 or hail them on channel 16 on the VHF..  Member name Espen Schiefloe, the member number is located on the card found on the boat.  Remember the coast guard and boat us monitor channel 16 especially for emergencies.  Weather reports are on channel 7.  Depending on where you are, you may want to be towed back to either the house or where we get boat service which is called Gulf Shores marina on Bayshore drive.  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.

When docking at the marina or the beach house.  Use a four point tie up.  Where each corner has a line.  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.  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.


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 which are not in use or at least keep the temperature at 70-72 or so instead of maxed out at 66.  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.  The power system works so well, we don't usually notice anything different then if we were on the grid somewhere.  We tend to have lots of power and the generator almost never runs.  Everything in life though is about balance and our systems are no exception.  With adequate sunlight and power demand at normal levels, we have plenty of free solar power, especially during the winter months, where we tend to have sunny days and are not using high power consumption air conditioning.  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.  Its possible that during extended periods of overcast days and a/c use that the generator will consume our supply of propane over a period of days.  So its primarily a summer issue where energy demand outpaces free solar solar power.  During the winter, its safe to assume that we don't have to worry too much about conserving energy.  Between long lasting LED light bulbs that consume very little power, a few high energy use devices like microwave oven and bathroom fans, generally are not on long enough to run down our winter high sunlight solar power reserves.  

Trouble shooting:  On 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.  It will start and run until the batteries are charged or you turn it off.  We suggest running it for an hour or two or longer depending on weather and time of day.

If the power fails to come on in the house after the generator is running, the breaker on the side of the generator has tripped.  Flip the switch and the power should come back on.

Water Supply:

    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 and a ozone generator before it fills up the water tanks.  In all but the most severe droughts we should have a fairly reliable supply of water.

Drinking and Cooking:  Please draw water from the small tap on kitchen sink.  It is a reverse osmosis water filter and that water quality we expect is very good.

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 occasionally 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 filter it again through the house system and during winter months when its mostly shallow well water in our tanks, we generally drink only from the reverse osmosis from the kitchen sink.

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.  As of this writing, one of the bedrooms faucets is reversed, so the cold water side is actually the hot.  

Septic Tank:

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 its important to remember to not flush cotton balls, dental floss or bleaches etc.  You see its 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.


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 Gulfshores 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, put it in a garbage can in the outside shed located behind the house.

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 wont 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, unless all the doors and windows are open in the house say during winter, we suggest having the overhead vent fan on high, you are after all cooking with burning propane.  The fire alarms will go off if the 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.

Outdoor Grille:  Turn on and off the propane bottle before and after use.  Extra propane bottles 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.  In the master bedroom that input is HDMI 1 and in the second bedroom it is composite.

Projector screen in living area.

Behind the desk and stereo amplifier, the two wall switches must be in the "on" position.  The screen can be manually brought up or down by selecting the buttons next to and on the left side of the screen.  This will bring the screen up or down.

The projector should be powered on, the satellite box powered on and the Denon sound receiver on.  The latter should be set to satellite/cable.  With power on and the satellite set to sat/cbl, the system should work.  When powering off, after the screen has been raised, and everything turned off, you can switch the wall switches to off in order to have the whole system powered down.  For music from your phone, suggest plugging in the phone to the receiver and selecting aux.

Wifi:  As of this writing, we now have T Mobile 4g provided by a wifi radio and router.  The wireless name is and there is no password.  

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.  With this system not turned on, chance are you would have to walk out to the dock or beach in order for your cell phone to work.

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, its 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 from 70-72.  The AC unit in areas not used can be turned off at night to save energy.

SUP.  Stand up paddle boards.  Of course use common sense.  The gulf is safe but be sure the wind is not strong in a offshore direction.  There are no real currents on the gulf side but the wind and waves should be paid attention to.  On the bay side, check the tides, consult charts and maps.  We like to go with the tide, if its 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.  On a 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.

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.  If all power is out, cell phones work on the dock or out at the beach.  Boats have VHF radios and you can call for help on channel 16.   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 air borne 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 your 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.  When we use the patio in the evening, we typically light a lot of citronella candles to deter the no see ems from coming through the screens into the patio area.

Fires:  Please no Beach fires


CONTACT OWNER ESPEN SCHIEFLOE 239-777-5813 or Michael Spoor 239-234-3192

DEPARTURE DAY:  Kindly remove the bed linens and towels and leave in the patio area.  Beds not used can remain made.   Very often, when we have guests checking in and out on the same day, the house manager Michael, , will arrive with his housekeeping maintenance crew early on the morning of departure and arrival.  (As of this writing we have narrowed that time down to 9:00am arrival.  Most often, when there is a new check in the same day you are checking out, Michael will accompany you and take your luggage to the boat and drive the boat back to the  Gulf Shores marina.  Typically again depending on your schedule, anytime in the am or up to around 11:00.  On days where there is not a new guest arrival, usually you will just take yourself and the boat back to the Gulf Shores Marina..  In which case we generally ask that you have the boat back to the marina by 12:00.  Please leave the keys in the ignition.

THank you, and we trust you had a great adventure in paradise!