With the wind in your hair, a drink in your hand and glorious gentle seas lapping against a 50-foot-long catamaran, you can experience a deeply profound moment as the sun sinks into the water. The pinks, the oranges, the blues, the purples and the utter sense of peace is simply beyond compare. Engines cut and mainsail unfurled, we all quietly watched as the day came to a gentle end with Island Time Sailing.
Taking a sunset cruise with a large group of strangers can lead to beautiful connections. On board during our sailing excursion there were two couples celebrating their anniversaries, there were young kids seeing dolphins in open water for the first time, there were people laughing and chatting easily with one another though they would most likely never meet again.
Boegley got the opportunity to drive his first vehicle…I never imagined before we took off on our gypsy life that he would drive a big boat as his first. The beautiful seriousness on his face as he steered touched my heart in a way I simply can’t explain. It was magnificent. He’s been such a shy kid for most of his life, but he is starting to come out of his shell. That evening, he walked up to the captain and asked to not only sit in the captain’s seat, but to steer the catamaran. The entire crew were amazing with all the kids on board. If they wanted a chance to steer, they got it!
After we go on an adventure, we like to share at least three of our favorite things about it with you. This time we had so many things we really loved it was harder than normal to narrow down.
- Seeing the jellyfish floating by the boat.
- Watching the dolphins surface and schools of fish jump out of the water.
- The gorgeous sunset on the water.
- Watching our son steer the catamaran.
- The amazing hospitality of the captain and crew.
Boegley loved steering, and he was fascinated with the dashboard controls. I lost count how many times he went back to check and see how deep the water was below us. But, his favorite thing was seeing the jellyfish float by in the boat lights after the sun had set and we were heading back to the marina. Some of these jellyfish were the size of basketballs while others were quite small. He enjoyed seeing the dolphins come to the surface, but they weren’t jumping or overly playful the evening we were out. So, the jellyfish caught his eye more 🙂
Rob was excited from the get-go as the bartender set the Gilligan Island’s theme on play before we even pulled out of the slip. Luckily for us it wasn’t a three-hour-tour!
His favorite aspect of the cruise was all of the wildlife. Pelicans perched on the pilings throughout Grand Lagoon, dolphins breaking the surface, schools of fish jumping out of the water, and yes, the jellyfish drifting along next to the boat. Oh, and let’s not forget a beer in his hand with a bit of good island music playing in the background.
My favorite aspect of being out with Island Time is really just the overall experience of being on the water. Mind you, it was a very calm night. Warm and simply beautiful. I loved how the crew were so welcoming to everyone – very, very friendly from the ticket window to the bartender to the young man handling the sails to the captain. They made the cruise so much fun and so relaxed.
After the sun sank beneath the horizon, they had a hula hoop contest and then brought around the conch shell. Rob, Boegley and I all had some success blowing the conch. Trying things that new and different are certainly worth it – they make memories!
If you’re going to be in or near Panama City Beach, FL, we highly recommend taking a dolphin sunset cruise or a snorkling cruise with Island Time Sailing. We’ll never forget our beautiful evening with them!
Life is an adventure, so live it,
Janelle, Rob and Boegley
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