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.
O-Sea-D Aquatic Adventures guides paddlers through Gasparilla Sound, an 80,000-acre estuary teeming with more than 100 kinds of invertebrates, 200 fish species, and 150 shore and wading birds. Fifteen minutes before launch time, O-Sea-D's owner, operator, and master naturalist Vince Molnar outfits kayakers with gear, instruction, safety equipment, and swamp-thing repellent. During the 2.5- to 3-hour voyage, Vince shepherds the fleet under the canopied mangrove tunnels of the Woolverton Trail, about six miles of aquatic alleyways that slink through a tangle of exotic leaves and limbs. Vessels' hulls will brush against tendrils of turtle grass and glide past shoals of oysters and starfish, and their admirals may spy dolphins and manatees or even cradle seahorses in their palms. O-Sea-D Aquatic Adventures posts its scheduled tours on its online calendar, and Vince will also add dates to accommodate guests' schedules and desire to experience peak mud-storm hours.
What services does your business offer and what makes your business stand out from the competition?
Seashore Eco Tours holds the highest safety standards in the area. Safe ratios guaranteed for a personalized experience on the water. Seashore Eco Tours is a paddle-sports company with a certified staff in lifeguarding, CPR, and First Aid.
What is the experience customers can expect?
Learn about nature while paddling in Florida's most pristine coastal environments. Florida master naturalist tour guides provide environmental education about marine life, birds, and coastal vegetation, while creating memories that will last a lifetime.
What was the inspiration to start or run this business?
One of Seashore Eco Tours' goals is to educate the public. As a touring company we are in a unique position to provide environmental awareness that can help protect wildlife and local waterways.
What do you love most about your job?
Watching people light up with joy from seeing a dolphin or manatee for the first time. Sharing precious moments with people and their families brings light to my day!
Kayak Boca Grande's knowledgeable guides unveil Florida's natural marine beauty and untamed wildlife during kayak tours through the Mangrove Tunnels and the beautiful calm waters of Gasparilla Bay. As paddlers propel themselves over the sparkling water, they find themselves sharing the splendor of the Gulf Coast with fauna such as dolphins, manatees, and great blue herons. Those who may have already taken a guided trip or prefer to chart their own course can rent a kayak instead and go out for a self-guided spin.
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.