Our adventure to photograph the interesting ruins of the domes swallowed by the ocean started at dawn in the small town of Goodland, where captain Jesse (Reel Kind Fishing and Tours) was waiting for us to explore the area north to the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Weather was brilliant. My plan was to enjoy the boat ride, collect some shells at mind-blowing shores uncovered by the low tide, and then go to Cape Romano to photograph the ruins, a cape chosen by the late Bob and Margaret Lee to build a family dream vacation home in Southwest Florida.
The home was finished in 1982 after a significant effort and investment, and the family enjoyed the home just two seasons before selling it. The home was taken back by the Lees in 1987, and stayed with the family until early 90s, when it was sold again. Anyhow, a few years later, it was clear that the ocean was going to change the landscape surrounding the area. By 2004 the 300 feet front shore had disappeared. The Hurricane Wilma hit in 2005. A great deal of story is told by Coastal Breeze News, a Marco Island based publication.
And no, contrary to popular belief, the domes are not marching into the ocean, or pulled in by tides: The ocean is biting land from the Cape, leaving water in place.
Cape Romano is at the southern end of Caxambas Island, a fun destination for locals just south of Naples and Marco Island and northwest of the Ten Thousand Islands in Collier County, Florida. Calusa Indians called it Manataca and history tells they fought Juan Ponce de León off on his first trip to Florida.
The cape earned national attention in October 2005 when Hurricane Wilma made its first U.S. landfall. “Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.” (Wikipedia.)
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All photos © 2016 Cesar Alsina.