There are only a handful out there like this outfit that do it because they love it and love the manatees. What made the difference:
Us: Nice new (small) boat and wetsuits. Manatees over there? Let's load up our tiny party and cruise over. Capt. Mike knows the spots, and can see their signs. Capt. Mike is retired and just does this because he loves it. No hurry. You like hanging out here? We're going to hang out. Even though it's warm and only a handful of manatees are left (we went 4/5/12) we're surrounded by Manatees as long as we do what Mike says. If Mike can't find manatees, it's because there aren't any.
Them: Cattle Barge. Splishing and splashing running the manatees off. Pretty much drop everyone off at a single spot as it's a huge affair getting everyone in & out. One crazy guy even ran his boat onto rocks!
Also, don't discount the swim visit to the crystal spring area at the end. Clearest water I've ever seen, fishies everywhere, fiddler crabs on the shore, a nice relaxing way to wrap up the trip.
Mike makes it safe, fun, educational, and most of all memorable. Mike & Stacy run a solid outfit, there's a reason they're #1 here.
Was about $250 for a private tour of 3 ppl. Crazy cheap when you think about the level of service and experience you get with them.
Many thanks guys. I didn't really expect this to be anywhere as fun/memorable as it turned out to be. Mike even took pictures while we were out and sent them to us free.
Note: There's another "Capt. Mike" out there that runs a manatee outfit in the same area who gets really bad reviews on this site. Totally different Capt. Mike. This Mike & Stacy are wonderful to deal with, polite, and knowledgable. Everybody seems to know and like them.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.