A yacht that goes by the name of First Star that was voted one of the favorites of Cruising World magazine. A captain who goes by the name of Matthew Mancini, who loves introducing people to sailing. An array of islands that go by the names of Catalina, Santa Barbara, Anacapa, and San Miguel. Put all of these elements together and you have Old Plank Sailing Adventures. Old Plank Sailing Adventures' Captain Matthew Mancini corrals visitors aboard a luxury yacht and then whisks them on various adventures throughout the sparkling waters.
The sailor keeps guests closer to home on jaunts around Marina del Rey's picturesque harbor or leads them on multiday adventures to nearby islands. He also captains dinner cruises, whale watching expeditions, and moonlight sails in Santa Monica Bay, where all the fish are named Monica.
First String Sportfishing sails the open seas off of Southern California, taking passengers on both fishing voyages and educational marine tours. Its largest boat, First String, can hold up to 149 people for its whale-watching tours. On board the 93-foot boat, you’ll find two 9-ton fish holds, two radars, a large-screen television, and a dolphin-to-English dictionary. First String Sportfishing’s other boats depart for both Californian and Mexican waters on fishing excursions. These trips typically yield shallow-water rockfish such as Sculpin and Whitefish and larger varieties including yellowtail and barracuda.
The waters around Marina del Rey teem with seasonal gamefish. Beneath the ocean's surface, halibut, sand bass, and barracuda swim from Rocky Point to the Big Kelp Reef. That is, until they cross paths with The Betty-O, Spitfire, or the New Del Mar—the fishing boats of Marina Del Rey Sportfishing's fleet. Aboard these vessels, experienced guides help small and large groups cast lines and pull prize catches from the water.
But sometimes, the ocean's beauty makes anglers put down their fishing poles. Sea lions, dolphins, sea birds, and several whale species also make their home in the water. This diversity of wildlife prompted the owners of Marina Del Rey Sportfishing to start their whale and eco tour, during which sightseers can admire the ocean's majestic creatures and the teams of Aquamen who groom them.
Harbor Breeze Cruises has run whale-watching cruises for over 15 years, regaling passengers with breathtaking views of marine animals. Aboard one of Harbor Breeze's vessels, passengers are educated on the characteristics of whales while looking out for gray and blue whales during their respective seasons. Other varieties of marine life commonly seen are fin, humpback, and minke whales, along with orcas and several species of dolphin. Customers aboard the ships, customers also enjoy lounge areas where they can enjoy a snack or drink, and expansive deck areas for viewing and photography.
Standup paddleboarding, or SUP for short, combines all the best aspects of surfing and kayaking. SUPers eschew the hours of practice required to catch a wave for the paddleboard's calm-water stability, still enjoying an upright position so they can easily see any merfolk in the waves below. Paddle House even arranges VIP-style board valet, parking, and a launch slip so guests can enjoy their time on the water rather than worrying about logistics. After a day paddling across the deep blue, guests return to relax in the onsite sauna or calm their minds in a yoga class. Paddle House members can even rent one of the club's boats and enjoy free refreshments on the open-air lounge.
Nestled against the edge of the Kenai Fjords National Park, Miller's Landing retains much of the natural scenery and charm that surrounded the area when the Miller family first built its homestead on the site in the 1950s. The small community has withstood earthquakes, fires, and the Earth's transition from black and white into color to grow into a premiere camping destination where wilderness seekers can pitch tents or rent quaint cottages. The location surrounds its visitors in panoramic views of Resurrection Bay, Mount Alice, and Fox Island, inviting them to hike across its coastal trails.
Relaxing and adventurous activities complement Miller's scenic landscapes, with local experts leading boat tours and chartering fishing expeditions. Horseback tours trek across secluded terrain, whereas sea-kayak classes float in the shadow of snow and whipped-cream-capped mountains.