Your experience will start right at our dock nestled against the mangroves on the edge of 10,000 Islands Reserve. Frequently in the morning there are fresh raccoon prints on TropicBird’s deck. Mangrove crabs scuttle across the dock, ospreys reel overhead, and in the warmer months we may spot a manatee or see a pod of dolphins cruise by even before we’ve cast off.
Our philosophy is to go softy. We hoist the sails as soon as we can. We want you to relax, unwind and enjoy the gurgle of water sliding by and get a taste of cruising life. You can help crew the boat as much or as little as you like.
Our route for the day will depend on wind direction and tides. But as we head out civilization is quickly left behind and ahead lies a maze of pristine islands stretching into Everglades National Park and all the way to the Florida Keys.
As we wind our way through the back channels we may have to use the engine, but up forward in our comfortable deck loungers you’ll barely notice.
Every trip is different but we can promise you beautiful views, refreshing sea breezes and an attentive host. We’ll see scudding clouds, plunging brown pelicans, double-crested cormorants, royal terns, perhaps magnificent frigate birds and bald eagles as well as an assortment of Florida’s some 30 species of wading birds. In warmer months if we’re lucky we might even spot a sea turtle. During the day there’ll be plenty of opportunities for informal interpretive moments with your naturalist skipper.
We’ll anchor out for lunch in some pretty spot. Perhaps if it’s hot you’ll swim off the stern while your host prepares it, or you can just sit back and enjoy a refreshing drink. Then typically we will dinghy ashore where we’ll explore the beach plant community, investigate life in the intertidal zone, look for shells or just go for a walk and perhaps encounter raccoons foraging in the surf line or spot stingrays cruising the beach. If someone in your party wants to stay aboard and read a book that’s fine too.
We only do one trip a day. It’s your private charter; this means we can start and finish to suit your plans and tailor our itinerary and activities to your interests and party’s composition. There’s always time for you to obtain that perfect camera shot. Typically we leave about 9:30 AM and return about 5:30 PM, but sometimes it’s just too nice to come in and we have time to linger. It’s your own personal adventure.
TropicBird is fully equipped to make your day as comfortable as possible with ample lounging areas on deck, including a hammock/settee hung over the stern, a shaded cockpit, loungers and two bow seats on the foredeck, a large salon with panoramic views for anyone who wants to escape the sun, secure berths for a child’s nap if appropriate, private areas to change, a washroom with a self-contained marine toilet, and a fresh water wash-off on the stern for sandy feet.
There’s a self-service cooler well-stocked with bottled water and other drinks in the cockpit, and with the sails up, there’s always some shade on deck. We even have a small reference library aboard to help identify your beachcombing finds and dip nets for the kids. Everything is included to make you comfortable, including lunch, snacks, all drinks and refreshments.
Tropicbird ecotours and sailing adventures are perfect for families, groups of friends or that very special occasion for a couple.