(By Kim Ryan) One of the best parts of Beach Talk Radio for me is meeting so many fascinating people and the wonderful opportunities to join them in some amazing experiences. This week I was invited to join a kayak tour guided by Ranger Rob. His knowledge about all things marine life, conservation, and nature is unparalleled. He exudes a passion for the animals and ecosystem of the bay which is palpable all the while educating guests of all ages. To say Ranger Rob is good with kids is a wicked understatement.
During our time we paddled across the bay navigating around the moored boats and those making their way out to the gulf. It was a little intimidating to be on a small kayak looking out for some of the larger boats but Ranger Rob provided safe passage. He made a point to remind or inform boaters who were not observing the “no wake” speed zones to slow down, all in an effort to protect, not only us, but those animals who can’t speak for themselves.
On this tour we were treated to viewing dolphins as they swam bobbing up and down. It’s like a treasure hunt to scan the water to see where they pop up next. At one point to my delight, one did just that directly in front of my boat heading straight for me then diving down presumably under the kayak. We also saw a variety of birds flying over head and sunbathing on rookery island, a small shark darting around in circles to collect it’s lunch, crabs crawling on the sandy bottom and one fortunate honey bee who was scooped up out of the water and allowed to dry itself off on the finger of a young boy in our troop.
After dangling my foot in the water in an attempt to cool off I was surprised to see I too had a visitor in the form of a tiny box crab who’d attached himself to my shoe. He accompanied me throughout the rest of the trip.
All in all, this is one of the best ways to see the beauty and nature of the Fort Myers Beach area. I have kayaked often by myself, but to have him provide a narrated tour chock full of interesting facts was priceless. Please avail yourself of this unique opportunity to spend some time on the water to enjoy and learn more about the wonders of the waters around the island.
Kim Ryan is co-host of Beach Talk Radio every Saturday morning at 9AM and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org