Fish Galore Offshore’s catch experts outfit explorers with watercraft to explore backwaters and canals, as well provide fish-hunting provisions to lure in gilled prizes. Captains of the sleek watercraft can head to Midnight Pass Beach for afternoon picnics or glide to waterfront restaurants to load up on stomach-sating provisions. Paddle to Oscar Scherer State Park to explore the trails, or affix bait from a stuffed tackle box to a rental pole and cast its line into the Intracoastal Waterway to mine liquid reserves for redfish, trout, and amphibious sasquatches.
Freedom Boat Club supplies seafarers with a catalog of boats for exciting voyages or relaxing lounges atop the waves. The one-day trial membership presents shipmates with membership perks such as unlimited access to a variety of motor-powered boats that the boat club preps by flooding the gas tank with fuel and the cabin with seaweed-scented air fresheners. An experienced captain leads members through a thorough orientation course that highlights essential boating techniques and on-board safety measures. Crews of up to 10 people can select any available vessel, except for offshore fishing boats, and spend the day beach hopping, fishing, and trailing wakes through Poseidon’s facial hair.
The guides at Black Water, Blue Water Tours tailor their kayaking trips to the crew accompanying them. Wildlife tours, sunset tours, island-picnic tours, or even journeys under the full moon introduce kayakers to South Florida's Myakka River, mangrove tunnels, and canals laden with wildlife such as manatees. If visitors have specific sightseeing locales in mind, the guides can create an entirely new tour to fit their parameters.
Mark Toomey once helmed his own recruitment firm in Nottingham, England, on the outskirts of Sherwood Forest, but a disdain for damp winters led him to the sun-drenched beaches of Siesta Key. Since opening Robin Hood Rentals in 2009, Mark has persevered through what he calls "Florida's harshest winter in 30 years," during which temperatures teetered near the freezing mark. He equips visitors with rental land-based and aquatic craft that let them explore the area without having to saddle a horse or propose to a dolphin.
From its perch near the Jim Neville Marine Preserve, the company fits cyclists with a range of beach, mountain, and tandem bicycles; matches riders to a fleet of two-seat 49cc automatic scooters; and trains visitors to venture off on newer-model i2 LeanSteer Segways. They also let kayakers explore the local waterways from sunrise into the nighttime.
Paddleboarders and kayakers flock to Hooked on SUP's cabana, lounging by the pool before they paddle out into the Gulf of Mexico's waters. The staff includes kayak and paddleboard instructors, who teach newbies the finer details of understanding a dolphin's traffic signals. Aside from rentals and lessons, Hooked on SUP occasionally leads special eco tours.