Our experience with Captain Mike and Green Water Boat Tours could not possibly have been more positive. I booked him off of strong recommendations in a Marco Island Facebook group, mostly locals. Out of 10 recommendations, he received 7 referrals so I felt safe on the booking. I emailed him. He asked for my cell so we could talk. Friendly, polite fun on the phone...asked the ages of my kids and what we were looking for. I said I want a private tour that is laid back and can focus on shelling, seeing the dome houses and plenty of dolphin watching. That my children are young (6 and almost 3) so we need to play a little bit by ear. He checked in with the day before to make sure the tour was on and suggested we move from 10am to 12noon due to the unseasonably cool temperatures. When we go to the marina, he was there, waiting and ready with a cooler bag of water for us. Helped us load our gear. My 6 year old immediately identified with him as Captain Mike talked to him, getting him excited for the ride. My kids have never been on a boat. Made getting their required vests on a fun adventure and off we went. He really seemed to gauge what we wanted to spend our time and filled the 3 hours perfectly. We first went looking for dolphins. This was a lifetime memory. We saw some from a distance and as he moved the boat around, they got closer. He was hoping as he sped up, they would want to play and chase the boat and they did, jumping out of the water. It was out of this world! My kids were screaming with excitement! I wish I had videotaped it but didn't have my phone on me! Then, he took us to see the domehouses, shared a lot of history, even had a booklet he made with old photos. From there, he took us to his favorite shelling island on the Thousand Islands. No one else was there. We had the island to ourselves. We docked, he walked with us for a little bit, identifying all the different types of shells to my kids. Then he let us adventure on our own and at our own pace. When we were loaded up with shells and ready for the ride back, we meandered back. The only thing my son wanted was a starfish and sand dollar. We found a sand dollar but no starfish. Captain Mike knew that and found him a starfish while we were shelling. Made my son's trip! Nice trip back through the islands. Even on a cool windy day, it was an amazing adventure we will never forget! 3 hours to the minute! As you can tell, I can't recommend enough. Small private and the same price for a family as the 'bigger' companies. Booking him is booking a local Marco Island native. Captain Mike and Green Water Boat Tours is where it is at!
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