Captain Brooks Mitchell has devoted his life to exploring the U.S. coastline's natural splendor. His 35- and 45-foot pontoons cruise the Intracoastal Waterway, indulging guests with 360-degree views of manatees, dolphins, and eagles. Captain Mitchell fosters a congenial atmosphere, stocking his pontoon with beverages and snacks, and, on some cruises, even inviting local musicians aboard to serenade passengers and drown out the mating call of passing tugboats.
Joining forces with Georgia Aquarium's Marineland Dolphin Adventure and the University of Florida's Whitney Lab for Marine Bioscience, Ripple Effect Ecotours launches intrepid kayakers on voyages through the town of Marineland's natural coastal habitat. For four hours, solo paddlers or a group of up to three can traverse the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve's dolphin-laden waters, observing the aquatic residents and testing their alleged intelligence with science-fiction movie trivia. The estuary is located in the biologically diverse area where the Matanzas Inlet collides into the Pellicer Creek Stream. Home to the Jordan and Mellon Islands, the Princess Place Preserve, and the Pellicer Creek Aquatic Preserve, the estuary provides several spots to aimlessly explore the 500+ plant species and 300+ types of fish that call it home. Guests can prepare for adventures by loading sturdy kayaks with sunblock, binoculars, and water shoes.
The guides from Calypso Kayaking Tours take explorers into native wildlife habitats of the Florida inter-coastal waterway, traversing the shorelines in search of bottle nosed dolphins. The kayaks come within a few feet of the marine mammals, and patrons have an opportunity to wade in shallow waters. Guides also conduct trips to the Port Orange Wildlife Sanctuary, where Brown Pelicans, egrets, and herons play poker in the mudflats.