We heard and read so much about the catamaran charter – TropicBird out of Goodland, FL that when our son and daughter-in-law came for Thanksgiving we decided this was a perfect time to make our own adventure aboard the TropicBird.
We were greeted warmly on the dock and escorted to the boat by Captain Patrick Higgins and his wife Martha. Once aboard, coffee and pastries were served while Patrick gave us a brief overview of the 10,000 Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Rookery National Estuarine Reserve.
It’s true what they say on their website, www. Tropicbirdsailing.com, that it’s your private charter. They tailor the itinerary and activities to your interests. You feel welcome, comfortable and pampered as they provide you with an abundance of food, drink and lively conversation aboard their fully equipped boat.
We enjoyed the loungers arranged for us on the foredeck and had an unobstructed view of the scenery and wildlife. Patrick pointed out flora and fauna so we could get pictures and ask questions. Throughout the day we spotted dolphins, we even had one who swam alongside the boat for several minutes, allowing ample time for photos and movies. Patrick informed us that the water temperature was too cool for manatees so they moved to inland waterways in search of warmer water.
We anchored near an island and sandbar where we were served a delicious lunch followed by a short trip via a dingy to shore. Once ashore Patrick led us on a nature walk pointing out all the different species of wading birds, followed by a quiet walk on the white sandy beach and some shelling.
We arrived back to the dock as the sun was setting. One more drink and a toast to our hosts and a spectacular day!
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