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Capt. Alex Saputo of Florida Backcountry Adventures specializes in customizing his 10,000 Island boat tours. We met Capt. Alex over ten years ago, shortly after he established his business, and speaking to him again recently we recognized that he hasn't lost any of his tremendous passion for the wonderful area surrounding Marco and the Everglades. He still strives everyday to make his trips unique - exploring new areas, teaching kids about environmental protection, seeking out rare species and magical photo opportunities. His love for the area shines through and he obviously enjoys helping his customers experience it and learn to love it too.Wildlife specific? Shelling specific? - It's up to youCapt. Alex takes immense pride in understanding potential customers' desires for their adventure and will fine-tune trips to meet their specific interests. Recognizing that tides are different each and every day, weather conditions will vary and wildlife responds differently depending on the time of day, Capt. Alex seeks to understand what his customers are hoping to see so he can tailor the trip to give them the best chance of seeing them. So there are no set departure times... if the primary objective is to go shelling on a deserted beach and high tide is at 10am, it doesn't make sense to leave the dock at 9am. Most trips are 2 to 4 hours in length and nearly all of them go past their time limit.Has much changed in the last ten years around Marco?The islands have definitely taken on different shapes over the years. In October 2005 Hurricane Wilma made landfall near Cape Romano and had a major impact on the local mangroves, kill-ing many, which in turn has contributed to the change in shape of the islands. This has possibly affected the way shells are washed up onto the many beaches in the 10,000 Islands. Also, more people are collecting shells so there is definitely more pressure on the good, collectible shells. But the great news is What Capt. Alex will bring:. A 22ft center console boat with shaded area, dry on windy days, suitable for 4 adults or 6 including children. . Ability to explore offshore if needed.. Intimate knowledge of the local waters, its birdlife, sealife, flora and fauna.10

What you should bring:Snack, drink, sunblock, camera, polarized sunglasses, beach shoes and plenty of questions! that more visitors are coming to the area specifically to experience the tre-mendous diverse wildlife and spectacular scenery.Captain Alex knows.... Photographing birds in the backwaters means an early departure to achieve good light (Capt. Alex took all of these amazing photos so you can see that he really does know his stuff!).. Dolphin seem to be more active two hours after an incoming tide.. Shelling is best towards the end of a falling tide.. Because this winter has been unusually warm, sea turtles have been arriv-ing earlier in greater numbers. He has seen 30 to 40 regularly in one area (both Loggerhead and Kemps Ridley) and they will be strong through mid May and disperse more widely around mid June.. Roseate Spoonbills are seen more in June, July and August, but then their presence starts to decrease.What still excites Capt. Alex?. Seeing a bottlenose dolphin explode out of the water when you least expect it.. Spotting manatees in the backcountry with not a single person in sight.. Anticipating the excitement when a giant sea turtle surfaces within a hand's length of the boat.. Working one-on-one with people, teaching them the importance of environmental stewardship.. Having families return year after year with the kids he got to know when he first started, who are now at college but still eager to con-tinue to learn about our local environment.Want to learn more?In addition to their 10,000 Islands boat tours, Florida Backcountry Adventures also offer Everglades hiking, backcountry kayaking and fine art photography. For more information call 239.595.7495 or visit 11