Red Tide and If You Will See Manatees
March 9, 2023
The two questions we have been getting the most this busy season is if red tide is affecting our area, and if manatees will be seen this time of year. I am here to tell you the good news...no to red tide and yes to manatees!!!
We are located in Port of the Island's Marina which is six miles up river from the Gulf of Mexico. This time of year, the manatees take haven from the colder waters and live up in our area for the fresh drinking water and warmer temperatures. Our water is warmer due to it being brackish with a muddy bottom, which holds heat better than a sandy bottom like the Gulf. What this means is that it is the best time of year to see the manatees. We have counted up to 15 in our area at one time. While manatees are always on the move, we can pretty much guarantee you will see one on your adventure! To make you feel even better, we track our trips, and since January 1, 2023, our success rate is 97% for seeing manatees. If nature happens to be difficult at the day and time of your tour and you do not see a manatee, you get to come back for free!
As for the red tide, this goes hand in hand with our location. Because we are six miles upriver from the Gulf and protected by mangroves, we have not been affected by the red tide. It is mostly seen on Marco Island and central/north Naples. We are actually further south and east than Marco Island and have no signs of it in our area. So you can rest assured that when you book our adventures, even our 3 hour Manatee, Dolphin and 10,000 Islands Eco Tour that goes to the edge of the Gulf of Mexico, that you will not come across any red tide.
We hope that this alleviates any concerns and that you will join us for one of our four ways to see manatees! We know that our captains can put on a great experience for you and that you will enjoy the sights and sounds of the Everglades and southwest Florida. So what are you waiting for... let's go see some manatees!
Where to See Manatees in Florida
February 8, 2023
Manatees are Florida's state marine mammal and they are often found on both the East and West coast of Florida throughout the year. So, where is the best place to see manatees in Florida? Well that depends on where you are visiting and the time of year. The migration pattern of manatees determines where to see them during certain parts of the year. As the air and water temperature rises, the manatees tend to move north. As it declines, they flee south to warmer waters. Kind of like snowbirds! Manatees can't survive in water temperatures below 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter months, they take haven in warm rivers and springs. This bodes well for seeing manatees in southwest Florida!
In the Port of the Islands located in Naples, Florida, you will find the Faka Union Canal which is a 6 mile river leading to the 10,000 Islands and the Gulf of Mexico. The canal is brackish water which provides fresh drinking water and warmer temperatures all year around. Because of this, it is the perfect home for manatees! During the winter months, they live in the canals of the Port to stay warm. During the summer months, they travel out to the Gulf but still return for fresh drinking water and food. Unlike some places, the Port of Islands is home to manatees all year round, not just in the winter.
We are lucky to have these perfect living conditions for the manatees. There aren't many other spots close by that manatees call home. While some have heard of seeing them by the Fort Myers power plant, they aren't there during the summer. The next closest manatee sanctuary is almost 4 hours away in Crystal River. So as for southwest Florida, the Port of the Islands in Naples is the place to see Manatees!
A bonus is that you will see them in the wild, in their natural habitat. Our boat tour ethically views the manatees by trolling motor which allows us to get close to them without harming them. Watch as they swim along the mangroves and come up every 5 minutes or so to breathe. It is a truly magical encounter! And maybe you'll even see a mama and her calf, a truly breathtaking sight.
If you're looking to see manatees in Florida, look no further and visit us at Manatee Sightseeing and Wildlife Adventures in Naples, Florida. See manatees or come back for free!
Why our Adventure is Special...and Why You Should Choose Us!
January 10, 2023
There are plenty of tour operators to choose from in the Naples and Marco Island area. With the beauty that southwest Florida has to offer, your options are endless. You can see the area by boat, bike, Segway, foot, trolley and more. So why choose us?
First and foremost, we are the only tour in the area that focuses on and sees manatees year around. If your main desire is to get up close to these gentle sea cows, we are the excursion for you.
But for many travelers, they are looking for a more broad experience. Whether it's the wildlife or ecology you are into, there are plenty of options that provide experiences for both. However, based on what you want to see, how close you want to get, and the atmosphere you want to experience it in will determine which provider you go with.
So here is a short list of what you may see when you choose us:
4. Bull Shark
6. Sea turtles
Where you will see it:
1. Everglades National Park
2. Amongst the mangroves
3. Port of the Island's Harbor/Canals
3. Ten Thousand Islands (Beach Eco and Sunset tour only)
4. Whitehorse Key (Beach Eco and Sunset tour only)
Here is the atmosphere in which you will experience this wildlife and ecosystem:
1. On a covered boat.
2. Deck boat similar to a pontoon which means comfortable seating and space to move around.
3. No waves or loud noises- which means no chance of getting sea sick and all ages are welcome! (unlike airboats).
4. Max 6 passengers per boat (multiple boats for large groups) - this allows for a semi private experience (option to make it private) as well as the chance to get as close to the wildlife as possible. There are only 3 ways to safely view a manatee: by land, with a paddle, and with an electric trolling motor. Our 22 foot boats can be operated with these trolling motors which allow us to get the manatees right up to the boat. You won't find a larger boat or another tour company that can get as close as we do! Because of this, we can only take 6 passengers per boat but take multiple boats out and keep them close together for parties larger than 6.
5. With a USCG certified captain that will teach you about the local wildlife and ecosystem.
6. With your choice of beverage in hand-all food and drink including alcohol is permitted!
7. With polarized sunglasses and camera lenses for your phones to take awesome pictures!
So while we know there are a lot of great tour options out there, there aren't any other ones that focus on seeing manatees and that can get up close and personal with the manatees. Additionally, there are very few that take all ages and can guarantee no waves or loud noises suitable for your infant child and your great grandma! (We are even ADA accessible and dog friendly!)
We hope this helps in deciding if our adventure is right for you and your family. And at the end of the day we want you to have the best vacation experience as possible! Whoever you choose to go with, we know you will have fun in the sun in our beautiful southwest Florida!