Boats dance and glide over the crisscrossing wakes carved into Tampa Bay, each craft anxiously revving toward its respective dock to arrive before closing time. All the while, a handful of boats remain on the open water, swaying atop the undulating waves as its passengers continue to enjoy the fiery sunset reflecting off the bay's surface. These select aquatic vehicles carry Lotto Boat's boat club members, who have access to a slew of exclusive perks, such as extended marina hours. Stationed at Harborage Marina, Lotto Boat's 10 rental vessels include kayaks, WaveRunners, and power boats equipped with GPS navigation systems. After hopping aboard a vessel, landlubbers can go jet-skiing, drift over to nearby tiki bars for dinner and live music, or take in scenic views of downtown St. Petersburg. Once patrons make their way back to one of Lotto Boat's two docks, staffers thoroughly cleanse the boat of interior debris and exterior mermaid hitchhikers to prepare for the vessel's next excursion.
The Electric Marina Boat Rental allows boaters to enjoy a smooth pleasure cruise atop an electric vessel, a clean, green floating machine to fulfill shimmering blue ocean dreams. Each 24-foot, easily navigable floating apparatus arrives liberated from the shackles of loud engine noises, pricey fuel costs, and diesel-guzzling first mates. Bring along some beverages to chill in the on-deck fridge, kick it in the shade using the remote-controlled conversion-top cockpit cover, then blast your favorite environmental yacht-rock hits on the four-speaker marine stereo system as you inhale charming snapshots of The Pier and downtown St. Petersburg. The safe, reliable nautical navigator gently ripples through the waters at about five miles per hour, permitting safe dives from its swim transom and stomach-friendly, splash-resistant visits to the onboard sink, shower, and private restroom. Though not included with today's Groupon, a propane grill is available for rental at $28 per rental. Call ahead to make a reservation.
Looking out at the quiet, moonlit waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s impossible to know what’s on the line, other than that it’s big. Word has spread around the deep-sea-fishing boat, and now a crowd has gathered on either side of you. You pull the fishing pole back and guide whatever is snagged on the other end of the line nearer and nearer. The splashes gradually become louder. A few fellow fishermen help pull the creature onto the boat, and proudly hold the fish up for the crowd.
There are countless deep-sea-fishing tales like this one to be told at Hubbard’s Marina. During its many day or night fishing trips, its crew and guest fishermen board the US Coast Guard–certified vessels for excursions into the Gulf to reel in fish of all sizes. Not only does Hubbard's Marina offer fishing trips, but they also allow opportunities for people to visit and observe Florida wildlife in their natural habitat. Animals such as dolphins, pelicans,manatees, and bald eagles can bee seen from the boat. After cruises, visitors can go shopping along the picturesque boardwalk and enjoy the local culture and history in the quaint fishing village.
They also captain sunset cruises, dolphin-watching cruises, kayak tours, rent kayaks and paddle boards, and even take to the streets during segway tours.
It only took two weeks on the picturesque shores of Tahiti and Moorea to send Craig Stewart into a tailspin. He and wife Evelyn fell in love with the South Pacific’s crystalline waters and beachy breezes, so much so that the prospect of remaining in their native Oklahoma turned gloomy. Six years after the Stewarts’ Pacific vacation, they stumbled upon Sanibel Island. With a love for the waters still coursing through their veins, they uprooted and moved there, making it home base for Adventures in Paradise. In 1986, they started out with one boat—Miss Paradise—and one tour, the sunset dolphin cruise. Today, the Stewart family maintains a much larger operation. Their tour topics range from fishing and shelling to dolphin watching to historical sightseeing on a trolley.
The adrenaline junkies at Estero Island Parasail send guests soaring through clear Floridian skies whether it's warm or cold. Their small fleet of powerboats cuts through Gulf waves as parachutes carry guests high into the sky and back down to the water's surface to avoid collisions with low-flying UFOs or for quick dips into the sea.