I have lived in Sarasota county for over 25 years but until today had never been on Mote Marine’s Nature Safari. It was amazing! My best friend from high school was here from Missouri visiting for the week and she booked us this wonderful boat ride. There were six of us. Three adults and three children,Â we had the boat to ourselves along with the boat captain and his seven year old daughterÂ and our wonderful marine biologist Sondra.
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Â We started off with a short boat ride over to Lido Key for a very informative nature walk where we learned about many different types of trees, animals, and conditions of the grasslands, wetlands,uplands and tidal mangrove forests. Then we got back on board the boat and headed off to a sandbar. We got in the water with nets in hand to discover live shells, fish, crabs, sponges andÂ a few other sea creatures. We got to spend about 45 minutes exploring and learning about the type of crabs, fish and sea life that were surrounding us.
On the cruise back Sondra explained in more detail the marine life we had collected on our safari. She was so patient with the kids and made sure to pass around the creatures for us to feel, smell and take pictures. The blue crab had to stay in the bucket because he looked pretty mad but other than that everyone had a great time!
The trip lasted about 2 1/2 hours. I would strongly suggest water shoes. I wore flip flops and found it very hard to walk around on the sandbar. The water only came up to my thighs but it was nice having a change of clothes after the boat trip so we could walk around Mote Marine after and not have wet clothes on.
Â There are other boat tours available as well, you can find out more information on their website at sarasotabayexplorers.com/sealife
We made a day of it and wandered around the aquarium and save the sea birds santuary. Some of my favorite things were the manatees and sea turtles!