The green-blue Floridian waters and deserted cays seem to call to Tropical Sailing’s experienced crews in a sort of inescapable siren song, beckoning the sailors back to the Atlantic day after day. Tropical Sailing's team of seasoned mariners—composed of licensed Coast Guard-certified Master Captains as well as first mates certified in first aid and rescue—share their love of the sea with visitors via scenic cruises off the coasts of Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Crews pilot a meticulously maintained fleet of catamarans along aquatic paths, including the 78-foot Caribbean Spirit whose shaded lounge area shelters skin from intrusive sun rays and offers seating to passengers who haven't yet mastered walking in their mermaid costumes. Tropical Sailing’s daily roster of adventures ranges from picturesque Full Moon Party Cruises in Fort Lauderdale to high-energy Ski and Splash Water Sports Adventures in Miami.
Following in Ernest Hemingway's footsteps takes true dedication to the craft of writing—or a Grand Yacht Club cruise. The club's Hemingway's Holiday excursion, which lasts up to 14 days, whisks voyagers off to the iconic author's favorite adventure spots, from the Florida Keys to the islands of the Bahamas.
The club's cruise packages aren't all so lengthy, though. The beachside Millionaire's Weekend, for example, consists of two cruises and various alfresco meals spread over three days. The fleet of spacious vessels, which house up to five bedrooms apiece, are also available by the hour. Watersports equipment comes free with each charter trip, allowing for plenty of jet-skiing, fishing, and competitive ice cube-making.
Co-owners and master SCUBA trainers Brian Gagas, Steve Gagas, and Dave Hoffert don't just teach scuba classes; in their free time, they can be found in the water diving up to five times a week. Gold Coast Scuba offers classes for beginners and more advanced students that follow PADI-certified curriculum. Advanced classes include night dives, dives that focus on navigation and peak performance buoyancy, and deep-sea and shipwreck diving in the bathtub. The shop also offers 24-hour equipment rental for snorkelers and divers.
As Luis Niño programmed the printer for another press run, all he could hear was the ocean—the waves rolling against the boat's hull, the wind whipping across the sails. After navigating waters from the Florida Keys to the Bahamas for years as a recreational sailor, he dreamed of one day captaining his own ship, eventually taking the leap and launching Sailing on Biscayne Bay.
Today, Captain Niño and his wife, first mate, and professional photographer Mabel welcome passengers with English and Spanish salutations as they board the Dorinda, a Tartan 34 sailboat. They charter two- or three-hour, half-day, and full-day sails through Biscayne Bay along Miami, Brickell, and Key Biscayne. Luis and Mabel entertain guests with drinks and snacks and can also arrange a catering menu.
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Van Staal, Penn,Accurate reels, owner hooks, berkley braid
Pro Tip: please bring sunblock, sunglasses, for utlimate sun protection
Parking: Parking lot
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: paradise fishing trip
Recommended Age Group: All Ages
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
Aside from fishing, I ... offer sight seeing tours around the famous Miami islands, [such as] Star Island and other points of interest.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
The boat's flexibilities- its a flats/bay boat that can go into ... places where other, larger boats can not go. Also, the wide variety of fish available. And you never know what you may encounter: a pod of porpoises chasing food or a log-head turtle just getting air.
What?s your favorite part of your job?
Seeing the look on people's face catching fish. Its so gratifying as a guide to get your clients [a] fish. Aside from the fishing is when we all head up to a local sandbar, have the client decompress from fishing, and just wade in knee deep 85 to 90 [degree] water with their favorite beverage.
The Floridian sun sparkles off rolling waves, reflecting dancing patterns of light onto the white-and-red hull of Aquaworld Miami’s excursion vessel, the Caribbean Spirit . The double-masted catamaran catches the gulf’s gusty winds in its twin sails to journey to a shallow sandbar for a day of watersports, offloading jet skis, banana boats, and a parasailing-equipped speed boat into the knee-deep water. On Atlantic Ocean excursions, the 78-foot vessel parks over a shallow water shipwreck for guests equipped with snorkels to explore. The rhythmic thump of the waves combines with Calypso music that constantly drifts from the boat’s speakers, offering the only method of sonar capable of identifying an undersea dance party.