This past weekend we went out on the Shark Bite Tour to experience one of these cool land and sea vessels that we’ve been hearing so much about. Having seen them in San Francisco, in Boston and even Stone Mountain, Georgia, I had often thought that a land and sea attraction would be a great idea for this area. But, unlike Boston and San Francisco, where visitors often go to learn more about history and see famous sights, this area is more about being in or on the water than on land.
The owners of Shark Bite Tours knew this and designed their trips to take place mostly in the water. They spend very little time on land and approximately one hour in the water. And the Larc vessels are the ideal vessels for this purpose since they are able to venture out into rougher seas.
The group gathered at the Shark Bite headquarters in Beach Walk Plaza, which is located at the foot of the Hathaway Bridge at the corner of Front Beach Road and Thomas Drive. After signing in, we set off in the Larc and within minutes we’d splashed into the bay!
The water tour started at the ramp on the west end of the bridge. We learned about the activities (those that are not top secret) that go on at the Navy Base and some historical facts and trivia. Shortly after we put in we encountered our first dolphin of the day. He was all decked out in sargassum (the brown seaweed that you often see on the beaches) which Alan, owner and captain, said is unusual to see in the bay.
There was another dolphin a little bit later, while we learned more about our surroundings and watched as Kasey, the deckhand, (reservationist, cashier, etc) removed plastic bags and other debris from the water, which made this eco-minded turtle-hugger happy. Often more dolphins are encountered but we were pleased with two.
Alan also took us into some shallow water to see what sea critters we might find feeding in the grasses. We were back on four wheels, peering through the clear water and saw several small sting rays.
It was very interesting to learn of some industry that we have right here in Bay County as we toured along the port and back toward the bridge.
We came out at Carl Grey Park, on the East side of the bridge. Coming across the bridge we got lots of attention and had amazing views of the bay from the open deck of the Larc.
We definitely recommend this tour and there just happens to be a coupon that you can use to save on their regular prices. Give them a call at 850-630-6169 to schedule your own tour!