Florida on a Tankful: Dolphin-spotting cruise in Keewaydin IslandComments Off on Florida on a Tankful: Dolphin-spotting cruise in Keewaydin Island
The sound of trumpets echo under platinum skies for a morning of discovery on the water.
Author Molly Jebber is on board to feel reconnected to nature before writing her next novel.
"We decided we wanted to go on a boat ride," Jebber said. "(We’re) always looking for new ideas. It helps me get detail about description."
The novelist believes there’s nothing fictitious about the wild dolphins she hoped to see.
"I love learning about the facts — how they teach their children, how they name their children, have their own language and are smart," Jebber said.
Jebber and her husband, Ed, joined Naples tour operator Pure Florida to explore Naples Bay.
Capt. Marty Martino guides the catamaran to where wildlife gathers.
"We spotted a dolphin out here," Martino said.
Jebber had a front-row seat to observe feeding dolphins, who seemed happy to show themselves, along with birds having breakfast.
"He’s got a fish in his mouth," Martino said. "Now try to do that without any hands."
Keep your eyes open. Martino knows where to find animals.
"They are (like) a raptor," he said. "They rip and tear."
Halfway through, something unexpected happens when Martino beaches the boat and drops the ladder.
"Right across there is a path," Martino said. "It’s about 100 yards."
Everyone is soon overboard. Passengers quickly take in the attraction to Keewaydin Island.
"It’s quite a surprise to come from one end to the other," Molly Jebber said.
In a natural setting, everyone must arrive by boat. There are no roads, no parking lots and no sidewalks. Lose the shoes. The serenity gives the feeling Keewaydin Island is all yours.
"You have people here who live for shelling," Martino said.
Martino does it all, really. In addition to driving the boat, he’s also a Florida master naturalist, offering insight into the Gulf Coast environment.
All too soon, it’s time to climb back aboard. People like Molly and Ed Jebber will take memories of Keewaydin Island back to Ohio for years to come.
"The white sand, the water is clear, there is not a lot of people there," Molly Jebber said. "It’s very quiet, isolated."
Tankful on Television
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Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly
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