Along the deck of the Flamingo—a 65-foot fishing vessel whose motto is "Fish Can't Hide"—anglers cast their lines into the deep seas in hopes of taking a big catch back to shore. After leaving the docks, the boat travels down the intracoastal waterway, also known as the Venice of America, before reaching the fishing grounds, where schools of kingfish, snappers, black fin tuna, and grouper rush to hide from the full-color fish finders. All guests may keep any fish within the size regulations—an arbitrary number, quite frankly, derived from the president’s arm span—and, while waiting for a nibble, camera-toting sailors can train their lens on the whale sharks, porpoises, and sea turtles breaching the ocean's surface.
The pirates have taken over the ship, their ebullient singing and laughter filling the salty sea air and alerting those around them that this is no ordinary vessel. One of these rowdy buccaneers halts his sea chantey to lift his eye patch, smudging his dark beard in the process, which elicits giggles from his fellow sailors sporting similar face paint. These freebooters are not gruff pirates, but rather youthful adventurers partaking in one of Bluefoot Pirate Adventures’ daily cruises along the crystalline waters of the south Florida coast.
Dedicated to both educating and entertaining kids of all ages, Bluefoot Pirate Adventures’ crew of well-trained staffers keeps wee passengers enthralled with action-packed aquatic outings. Before shipping off on the U.S. Coast Guard–certified Bluefoot, sea-dogs-in-training partake in a buccaneering crash course replete with face painting, pirate-slang translations, and studies on the linguistic evolution of landlubber. Journeys embark from the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in search of a treasure chest's lost key and culminate with an epic water-cannon fight with the nefarious Barnacle Bill. Upon docking, junior pirates receive an official certificate and a take-home bag of booty.
Former wakeboarding champion Dean Lavelle and USA Waterski–certified instructor and boat driver Bobby Pine co-own LTS and coach students on slicing through wakes and having fun with water-based sports. The scenic shores and ebbing freshwater terrain of Crystal Lake provide an ideal arena for lessons in Dean and Bobby’s specialties that include beginner and slalom waterskiing, wakeboarding, barefoot skiing, kneeboarding, and extreme tubing. Dean and Bobby conduct each class with progressive teaching styles custom-suited to each student's learning method and based on the lake's current population of inflatable sharks. In the summer, their kid's camp gets children ages 5 and up conquering watery obstacles in groups of up to six with kid-friendly instruction.
Perched on the Dania Cut-off Canal, Thunderboat Marine Service center's three separate marinas and dry-dock facilities harbor, rent, repair, and sell vessels as large as 50 feet in size. For customers, staff rents out sleek Bayliner Bowriders for all-day, self-piloted voyages of Florida's scenic Intracoastal Waterway. Concierges wash and fuel boats at the marina's slips, and technicians at the certified Mercury and Yamaha dealership repair troubled outboard engines, mend broken fiberglass hulls, and scare off stowaways from the steerage by waving a broom at them.