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Welcome to the Springs and Manatees of Florida Snorkeling Kayaking Adventure.
I hope you will consider joining us as we explore the Florida Springs!
I saw my first manatee at age eleven. I was surf fishing in a quiet lagoon with my father. I will never forget my father's startled expression as a massive, unidentifiable creature surfaced next to us in the warm Gulf waters of Florida. I have been swimming with these gentle animals nearly every winter since.
Each winter as the Gulf temperatures begin to drop, The West Indian Manatees migrate into the clear warmer springs of Florida. By January, the manatees have been in Crystal and Homosassa River for several months. Most of the population will leave the rivers for the Gulf waters by late March. January is an excellent time to visits these spring fed rivers. The weather in January can be very pleasant and there are typically plenty of manatees basking in the spring-fed water. We may experience daytime temperatures ranging from the 50's to 70's.
Our trip will also include the Chassahowitzka River offering a leisurely kayak run. During our day on the Chassahowitzka we may drift by cypress knees, basking alligators, river otters and a multitude of birds such as little blue herons, white ibis, great egrets and anhingas.
We are very excited to offer both The "Chass" as well as the crystal clear water of Rainbow Run, both spring-fed rivers to explore during our unique and varied itinerary.
January 24th-30th, 2021
7-8 Women: $2175~~ 9 Women: $2025 ~~ 10 Women: $1975
Our 7 Day Adventure includes: 6 nights of lodging, van transfers in Florida, 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, 2 days of guided kayaking~snorkeling, 3 guided snorkeling tours via pontoon boat, guided hikes, entrance into wildlife parks, all permits, interpretive slide shows, naturalist -led in water programming and the extraordinary experience of snorkeling with a 2000 pound mammal!
This price does not include air transportation, snorkeling gear (mask and snorkel) or personal liquor. Snorkel gear may be rented in Florida. Farmer Jane style wetsuits are provided for our 2 kayaking days and full wetsuits are provided on our 3 pontoon boat excursions. All meals are included with the exception of lunch on Day 3, dinner on Day 6, breakfast on our last morning or any optional stops at river side "happy hours".
There are several options for travel to Tampa International Airport (airport code TPA). Please make arrangements so that you can meet the group between 5:30pm and 6:00pm outside baggage claim on January 24th.
From the San Francisco Bay Area many flights arrive between 4:00pm-5:30pm, the earlier the better for our first day of travel. Some travelers arrive into Florida a day or so prior to our trip and meet us at the airport, something we do recommend.
This helps avoid jet lag during our active adventure together. There are hotels near the Tampa Airport and many Florida attractions including Clearwater Beach on the Gulf Coast, about 45 minutes from the airport. Others arriving early or staying an extra day visit the renown Florida Aquarium in Tampa.
I have found great flight deals into Tampa on Kayak.com Our trip ends at 11:00am at the Tampa International Airport on January 30th allowing people to catch afternoon flights.
PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR RETURN FLIGHTS BEFORE 1:00 PM on January 30th. We suggest that you follow our recommendations regarding the strongly suggested trip insurance.
Snorkeling and drifting down Rainbow Run with BWV guides towing your kayak!
For our first five nights, we have rented a private waterfront home on a tributary of Crystal River. The location is fabulous and our comfortable Florida style home has several rooms which sleep 4-5 people as well as a few beds tucked away throughout the house. Your Blue Water Ventures staff will be cooking most meals. The rental house is cozy, has a heated pool and creates a relaxed atmosphere, somewhat like a big slumber party! You may take a look at our rental house in Crystal River.
On our final night, we will enjoy the southern comforts of the nearby waterfront Plantation Inn where we have reserved double occupancy rooms. Activities around the resort include: tennis, volleyball, shuffel board, golf, work out room and relaxing in the juzzuci complete with Tiki Bar!
We will have WiFi connection at both the rental house and Plantation Inn
While experience in snorkeling or kayaking is not required to participate in this program, good general health is recommended. Some level of upper body conditioning is advisable to prepare for our active and adventurous trip. On several mornings we will be out the door by 7:30am to improve our chances of the best manatee viewing and interactions.
Please don’t hesitate to give me a call if I can be of any other assistance.
Kim Powell, MRPA
Owner, Operator & Naturalist
Blue Water Ventures
127 Mason St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060