Anyone done a day cruise?

Discussion in 'Sports and Recreation' started by BeachDreamer, May 26, 2005.

  1. BeachDreamer

    BeachDreamer Beach Fanatic

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    Has anyone been on any of the area day cruises for shelling, snorkeling or dolphin watching? This seems to be the best way to get out on the ocean without hauling our boat along for the 12 hour trip. Any thoughts, suggestions, or reviews? We're thinking about Island Time, in PCB.
     
  2. alic65

    alic65 Beach Lover

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    My family and I have gone to the PCB area two years in a row, Destin once. Our first year there, we went on waverunners for a dolphin tour. It was great. We were taken to an area where there were no waves, it was only about 4 or 5 feet deep, we picked up sand dollars. We then went a little further out where dolphins swam very near. In fact, the tour guide gave us the okay to jump in with them if we wanted, my son and i did, but they quickly swam away. I'm a big dolphin lover and would LOVE to swim with the dolphins some day, it's SOOO expensive. We also took a tour on a pontoon type boat to "shell island" . It was very remote, nothing but a walkway and beach and some shells, not even a restroom, but GORGEOUS. We didn't find many shells though. Last year in Destin, we went on a boat to tour the area for dolphins, they came very close to the boat, I got it on video, they were beautiful, so serene. We had no complaints at all about any of the tours we went on, I can't remember the names of the companies we used, but i'm sure they all do about the same thing. We were even given a family type waverunner that held our family of four. Great time! :clap_1:
     
  3. UofL

    UofL Beach Fanatic

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    We have rented pontoon boats in PCB (at the bridge, near the Treasure Ship). Great fun to take yourself out to Shell Island, slow down where you want to watch dolphins. We did the 4 hour/half day thing in the morning each time. Plenty of time.
     
  4. BeachDreamer

    BeachDreamer Beach Fanatic

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    Thanks for the information! This all sounds wonderful. Are there more available shells when you are snorkeling off of the shore? I have seen some cruises advertise snorkeling around sunken ships, does anyone know anything about this?

    Renting a pontoon or jet ski may be better for us since we could take our time and do our own thing privately. Then again, one member of our party is extremely interesting in sailing, and I think he would enjoy the catamaran cruise. We'll have to see if sharing the vessel with 77 other people would ruin the effect for him. :blink:
     
  5. melodiagrand

    melodiagrand Beach Crab

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    have done several.
    Island time is great for beginners a fun 3 hour trip very inexpensive i thing 25 $ each or something close. Dolphins all over the place in the water with them, the whole family
    More fun was blue dolphin tour, same kind of trip but much more private on a small boat w a captain, i think they also rent boats to do your own thing
    850-234-7245 www.bluedolphintour.com
     
  6. melodiagrand

    melodiagrand Beach Crab

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    Day cruise, Dolphin Tour, wave runner tour

    Same company at the Treasure Ship restaurant across the water from capt andersons does several trips. we have done them all over the last 3 years. Its only 15 miles east from Rosemary 30A intersection to pcb much closer and less traffic ethan destin believe it or not.
    1) Island wave runner tour
    2) Blue dolphin tour. private swim snokel
    3) Shell island boat rentals, boston whalers and pontoon boats
    4) Island time (55'catamaran snorkel swim)
    there was a brochure in the house we rented i think they know the owners
    850-234-SAIL
     
  7. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    :D The Island Waverunner Tours by the Treasure Ship Restaurant are where we go and take a guided waverunner tour. Great ride! There is a brochure in the beach townhouse that we rent for that tour. The first year we went the water was the clear emerald green way out there. About 8 to 10 feet deep but very clear. The dolphins swam under our waverunners. Year before last we went again on the same tour and some of us got off the waverunners and the dolphins came right up to a couple of children and took a fish from them. And believe it or not, when we were heading out on the waverunners two years ago, out of all of us heading out, me and the guide were the only two that actually saw a whale. It was a young one, dark with white spots. It was going the opposite way of us heading out. Couldn't believe it. We like that ride the best of all we have tried. Shell Island is nice, you find all kinds of pieces of big shells but no sanddollars or spiral shells or anything. The prices for two on a waverunner the last time we rode them was $99.00. Do not know what they are now but we are going to ride them this year. Worth the money. We have tried several different places over the years, bayside and gulfside.
     
  8. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    if you bring your own or rent a u-drive-it boat, jet ski or whatever, in PCB ST Andrews Bay please be aware that the navy is conducting underwater operations with a submersible and divers in both the bay and gulf daily, and that the pass is the entrance to a real seaport - large cargo ships, navy warships and coast guard ships regularly go through the bay, pass and gulf

    keep 1000 ft away from all navy vessels unless you want to be shot by Port Security

    do not enter Alligator Bayou where the navy boats are, without getting clearance from NSA Port Control (yes, National Security Administration) unless you want to be shot by Port Security

    when you see a large cargo ship going by, get well away - the waves put off by large ships are about 10-15 feet high and can capsize almost any boat if not handled properly

    and (duh!) make sure the number of people on your vessel is equal to or less than the suggested number on the vessel's sticker and you have at least the minimum number of life jackets, one for each person aboard, and for heavens sake don't have a drink if you're driving the thing

    there were 18 boardings with over $10,000 worth of fines and seizures just yesterday alone

    otherwise, enjoy!
     
  9. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    All the years we have gone on those guided waverunner tours, we have never once seen any navy or cargo ships. I do not think they would come into a tourist area for underwater operations. Where, by the way, is Alligator Bayou? I am sure these guides that take you on these guided tours avoid those areas. We went gulfside the very first year down there and we went out right in front of all of these huge boats. Couldn't believe the guide took us right across in front of them. But they were not any navy vessels.
     
  10. John

    John Beach Fanatic

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    I've been told that there are hefty fines for feeding dolphins.
     
  11. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    :scratch: That may be. But it is not the Island Waverunner Tours guides that took fish along for you to feed to the Dolphins. I should have clarified that. This was another group just up the street from Island Waverunner Tours, on the side where Captain Anderson's is. We got on theirs and came back under a small bridge and out past the Treasure Ship where Island Waverunner Tours is. The other group is probably not even there now. This was 2 or 3 years ago. This was a young guy that took us out, and he mentioned himself that we were not supposed to feed the dolphins but he let them do so anyway. This other place was on Lagoon Dr. Do not even know the name of the group that was in that other place. Don't want them getting in trouble for nothing!
     
  12. aquaticbiology

    aquaticbiology fishlips

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    i know who you're talking about and that first one isn't there but the other group is ;-)

    were you on the yellow ones? or the red ones?

    today's are:

    Blue Dolphin Tours - (850) 236-3467 - 3605 Thomas Dr, Panama City Beach, FL - 3.79mi - map
    Aquatic Adventures - (850) 235-8051 - 647 Clara Ave, Panama City Beach, FL - 2.24mi - map
    Diver's Den - (850) 234-8717 - 3120 Thomas Dr, Panama City, FL - 3.73mi - map

    as for the big ships, they come or go maybe once a day

    the whole reason st andrew pass is there (built in 1950's, maybe '52?) is that the shoals around weakfish point at the end of shell island (which wasn't an island then until they cut the hole for the pass through it) made it difficult to keep a channel open for the big cargo ships to go in and out

    hamilton's (still destroyed but still standing :sosad: ) had some really great pics of the navy tug chippewah (the one you can dive today) as she went through the pass she had helped create

    references:

    http://community.emeraldcoast.com/military/panama_city/navy_panama_city.php

    and

    http://www.portpanamacityusa.com/

    [​IMG]


    as you go south on Thomas Drive from 98, look to the left behind the Diver Training School and you'll see glimpses of Alligator Bayou

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Lady D

    Lady D SoWal Insider

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    That has been 2 or 3 years ago but I'm thinking a yellow one. But not so sure of that. The building we went in was a rather small glassed in building with a long counter to the right and bench seats along the opposite wall, if I remember correctly. The waverunners were parked up on wood ramps. The guy leading the group looked no more than his early 20's. Had dark hair.
     

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