Liked everything but the rain! The refuge is huge and has more than one location on the island. We first went to the main site, hoping to view the crocs and alligators but alas, that part of the refuge is closed to all visitors on Fridays. Still had an enjoyable afternoon both inside the facility, attending a live presentation and walking through the open area of the preserve on very well maintained paths, doing some bird watching ( absolutely bring binoculars!!!) although we are not regular "birders". In the main building there was a wealth of information about the plants and animals residing in the preserve so we had some idea of what we were looking at! It was there where we learned about other activities available at different sites so we signed up for the marine (dolphin and manatee) observation at the Tarpon Bay location. That took place the following day just down the road. First we all met with one of their naturalists', Steve, who gave an awesome hand-on presentation about the smaller marine inhabitants of the bay, right in their marine lab. He also prepared us for what and why we might see on the boat tour. Then about 25 of us headed onto the boat where Donna, another staff member, took over to do the onboard experience. She was equally well prepared and animated with her information. Their enthusiasm for this work was contagious and energizing to the participants as m any questions were asked and experiences shared. Back at the dock, people were coming in and going out on kayaks, both singly and in groups with leaders and it was obviously a major activity of Tarpon Bay.
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