“Oh, sh*t!” I screamed while a huge wave drenched me from head to toe while sitting in the comfy catamaran seat with my right hand on the throttle and left hand on the steering stick.
It wasn’t a bad “oh, sh*t” but a gleeful “oh, sh*t” because the adrenaline was pumping through my body as I raced through Southwest Florida’s Lemon Bay Estuary over and through waves aboard a powered catamaran. I have never seen anything like this cute, yet powerful two-person boat before but I sure was loving it. Best of all, I found my sea legs, err, hands, and quickly understood how to handle the boat.
Figuring out how to operate the boat – and not grounding it atop an oyster bed or on a log – is a big accomplishment for me considering I have challenges with motorized vehicles. For instance, both times I have been on Segway tours I have crashed the vehicles. And, while riding the muddy trails at Florida Tracks & Trails I got stuck in the mud several times and needed to call for help.
These speedy little gems are offered by Riding the Waves located at Skip’s Marina on Placida Road in Englewood where guided tours are offered. RTW has a fleet of six, zippy boats designed in a way not to flip over and a draft shallow enough to coast over the waterways of Cape Haze, Englewood and Placida. Although these catamarans are designed for two people, you’ll be okay if you’re doing this adventure solo.
Various tours are offered ranging from the one-hour Intro Eco-Tour to sample the Lemon Bay Aquatic Preserve to the 3.5 hour Twilight Sunset Eco-Tour which stops at Gulf Beaches and admires the sunset. During the trip I took, we stopped at Stump Pass Beach State Park and searched for prehistoric shark’s teeth and seashells and could take a dip in the Gulf of Mexico, which the guests from up North did. The water is still too cold for my Florida blood this time of year.
I’m not quite sure how fast I was going and although it felt as though I was racing at 100 mph, I was probably pushing 18 mph at the most and it was a thrill! In addition to racing atop the water, the group spotted dolphins which swam under our boats. Will I do it again? You betcha!
Riding the Waves
Skip’s Place Marina
1990 Placida Rd.
Englewood, FL 34223
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links in order to support this blog, my traveling habit and my special-needs dog.