Recently, we joined Groupon and have been waiting for a good deal to come up for an activity that we’re interested in. It didn’t take long, as this area is full of fun things to do (and it helps that the weather continues to cooperate for us!)
We decided to purchase a coupon to go on a 90-minute dolphin cruise in Madeira Beach, which is less than a 1/2 hour away from where we live. The weather was absolutely fantastic! The warm sunshine and blue skies made the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico a bright aqua.
The tour started out quite promising with the boat captain spotting a lone dolphin swimming toward us immediately after we left the dock. We watched it pass by our boat, and as it came for air, we got this photo:
That was our only dolphin-sighting. For the remaining 88 minutes of our cruise, we learned of how all the canals were man-made, where a Venice-like residential community now exists. We saw the house where the opening scene of the movie Cocoon was filmed. We saw the 2nd largest veteran’s hospital in the U.S. We saw numerous islands that are dedicated bird sanctuaries, and thus, we were able to catch glimpses of lots of different birds: herons, egrets, pelicans and osprey, just to name a few.
Despite the fact we only saw one dolphin on our trip, that wasn’t our most disappointing part. Apparently, the company that offered this Groupon deal also arranges fishing tours. We understand that sport-fishing is an activity that many people enjoy. However, when the marketing campaign to attract customers refers to these tours as the “Grouper Slayer” or “Shark Hunter”, we get disgusted. We got the sense that this particular company only cares about the bottom-line, and not the environment or the animals that are getting killed. Sharks are getting over-fished (take 90 minutes and watch the documentary, Sharkwater) and the ecosystem is on the verge of collapse.
Please, before you book your next dolphin tour, do your research and support eco-friendly companies. We’ll do the same from now on, regardless of what we’re booking.
Stay tuned for more!
Mindy & Ligeia 🙂 🙂