-Article courtesy of the Marco Review-
Off The Hook Adventures, offers Marco Islanders and Naples Florida visitors exceptional boat tours on their beautiful and relaxing sailing catamarans **
for over 19 years**.
“In 2012 we were pleased to announce that
we added another 6 passenger sailing catamaran to our fleet. Now we offer double the fun for couples, families and now accommodating groups of up to twelve people with both catamarans sailing together.
Our sailing catamaran boats are both very comfortable and perfect for relaxing and touring for Dolphins and wildlife.
A shaded canopy beneath the boom covers the entire back deck,
which has cushioned seating with back support stretching along each side,
and offers a welcome respite from the hot Florida sun. But if catching some
rays is what you have in mind there are two large trampolines up front with
plenty of sunbathing space for everyone.
Off The Hook Adventures’ boats also feature a large cooler with an assortment
of sodas, bottled water and light snacks including chips, crackers
and cookies for your enjoyment.
When I was lucky enough to join a recent trip with Off the Hook
Adventures, the captain used his outboard motor to take us from Caxambas
Park and Marina to a nearby small mangrove island which is home to nesting
brown pelicans (which until 2009 were on the endangered species list),
great blue herons, and snowy egrets. When we were close to the island he
told me that erosion is causing this amazing bird sanctuary to get smaller
every year and he is working with local islanders and experts to see if it
can be preserved and protected. However, in spring and early summer it
is still possible to get some great photographs of adult and baby brown
pelicans there. As we continued the eco tour, we made our way across the pass
to a sandbar off Kice Island where the shelling is second to none. We
were accompanied by a curious dolphin who constantly appeared and
reappeared around the boat and swam alongside us, watching our every
move. When our companion eventually tired of the chase and swam
off to join a pod of dolphin fishing in the bay, the captain anchored the
catamaran on the sandbar and pulled it close in so that, with the aid of
some small steps, I was able to gently ease myself off the boat and into
the ankle deep-waters. Left to explore the beach while the captain secured the boat, I gazed
out across the sparkling waters of the Gulf of Mexico and felt as if I was
the only person in the world. It was absolutely gorgeous and despite
my decision not to take a bag for shells (I didn’t want to get sand on
my camera) I just couldn’t resist collecting a few perfect sand dollars
and some of the quite rare shells which dotted the powder soft sand.
When he caught up with me, the captain was a mine of information
about the shells I had collected and the flocks of seabirds which
fringed the shoreline. He also told me that sometimes, especially in the
spring, the water here is as crystal clear as it is in the Keys, so he keeps
snorkeling equipment on board in case some of his more adventurous
passengers wish to use it. Summer and early fall is such a great time to
take this trip because the warm waters are perfect for manatee, and
loggerhead sea turtles come in closer to shore during their nesting
season. Off The Hook Adventures’ passengers will often see dolphins,
manatees, and turtles during their guided tour. And now it was time for the part
I had really been looking forward to… setting sail!
The captain expertly raised the sails, cut the engine and
with no fuss at all we were slicing through the shining waters with barely
a sound. The feeling of exhilaration with the wind rushing through my
hair was matched only by the excitement of seeing a spotted eagle ray
jump from the water as we skirted the shore of a deserted island just
south of Marco. I ask you… what more could you want?
For more information about Off The Hook Adventures you can
visit their website at www.offthehookadventures.com
or text message 239-571-4665