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.
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.
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 Beneteau Oceanis sailboat, "Quitasueño". 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.
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.
There's a whole other city off Miami's coast, lurking just beneath the Atlantic. Eels, stingrays, and tarpon swim across terrains as unpredictable as the sonnets formed by a pot of alphabet soup—terrains made of sunken yachts, oil platforms, army tanks, and even a 727 airliner. To date, Miami Beach holds more than 75 wrecks and manmade objects, many of which were sunk as part of an artificial reef program. Only two things stand between adventurers and these submerged wonders: equipment and training.
Enter South Beach Divers, a PADI five-star facility and equipment retailer that has certified more than 4,500 divers since 1995. Its aquatic alumni continues to grow thanks to versatile instructors who, combined, speak seven languages. These experts teach the full PADI curriculum, starting with Discover Scuba and Open Water Certification and working into specialized areas such as night diving, wreck diving, and rescue diving. Once students acquire the basics, South Beach Divers takes them on daily trips to Miami Beach and Key Largo's John Pennekamp Marine Sanctuary, where more traditional, coral reefs lay.
At Adventure World Skate & Fun Center, kids and adults alike entertain both muscle and mind-matter in through a variety of heart-pounding activities. In the laser tag arena, players strap on receivers, holster a laser-emitting gun, and re-enact the galactic phase of the Crimean War on a phosphorescent battlefield. Competitors have the option of playing the four 10-minute games consecutively or spacing them out to fuel grudge matches or plan for potential roommate border disputes. With an additional admission fee ($3–$6), zapped compatriots can take backward victory laps around the skate rink ($3 skate rental) or purchase tokens to conquer the arcade room.