On father-son fishing trips, Bart Swab’s dad taught him not only how to cast his line but also how to treat the aquatic ecosystem surrounding him with respect. Now a licensed and insured guide, Swab helps other fisherman appreciate the open water’s beauty, helming kayak trips through Florida’s pristine saltwater marshes. After arming prospective kayakers with safety tips and familiarizing them with their fishing equipment, Swab guides lead paddlers into the water. They maintain a 3-inch draft that allows students in kayaks to sneak up on fish without having to glue sequins to their skin to look like scales. Kayakers can also gaze through binoculars at the diverse fauna roaming the area’s shores. Trips range from a half day to a full day, and for a more structured route, participants can opt for destination trips to seasonal hot spots, where they can search out fish such as black drum, sheepshead, and tarpon.
As the sun dips below moss-cloaked oaks, Fun Cat Sailing’s gleaming white catamarans glide slowly down the coast of Ponce Inlet. Crews settle into benches that circle around open decks and salute the sunset with a glass of wine, while more industrious sailors help the captain trim the sails. The sunset cruise is one of Fun Cat Sailing’s three leisurely itineraries. During the day cruises, passengers and curious submarine captains can scour the sunlit surface of the calm waters, taking in the picturesque beauty of the sea or searching for dolphins. Catamarans can accommodate up to 30 passengers at a time, and small cabins provide a break from the sunshine.
The roughly 5-kilometer Survivor Mud Run challenges athletes from around the country with 20 mud-soaked obstacles, including monkey bars, tire courses, giant slip 'n' slides, and net climbs. A team of licensed contractors builds all the obstacles, ensuring stability throughout. The dirt-drenched course allows participants to put their stamina, physical fitness, and mental determination to the test in a much more fun and safer way than challenging a Central African chimpanzee to a staring contest. Adrenaline and sheer force of will boost runners over walls and beneath low-slung wires in the mud-filled trenches, leading them to the finish line where a post-competition party awaits with beer, music, and food. After each race, announcers honor the top three male and female participants in each age division, bestowing a special distinction upon the runner who was brave enough to don the wackiest costume.