Over 80 fourth grade students from Tommie Barfield Elementary, teachers and parent chaperons enjoyed a special two-hour ‘Nature & History Cruise’ Friday morning aboard Sunshine Tours’ Marco Island Princess Island Girl. When all cruisers were counted, over 110 people enjoyed the cruise.
The special cruise was fully narrated by Captain Rodger Parcelles. Parcelles along with his crew of Linda Stearns, Dick Warwick and Katie O’Hara provided the passengers with comfortable and informative tour of the waters surrounding Marco Island.
During the cruise passengers learned all about the colorful history of Marco and the 10,000 Islands. Parcelles explained the islands history in detail starting with the Calusa Indians, and Spanish explorers, through the founding of Marco by W.T. Collier, to Deltona Corporation’s development and current day Marco Island.
The passengers not only learned about the history of Marco Island, they also learned about its local wildlife. During the cruise, Parcelles pointed out and provided interesting facts about local wildlife encountered along the way including many species of birds, dolphins, sea turtles, and manatee. Captain Parcelles also provided information about the local tropical plants and vegetation such as the many varieties of Mangrove trees and their importance to the 10,000 islands and local wildlife.
Pam Baldwin, fourth grade Team Leader, “I hope to make this an annual trip for the fourth grade.”
Mrs. Baldwin’s class took notes during the ‘Nature & History Cruise.’ The notes from the students in Mrs. Baldwin’s class will be used for a presentation to air on “The Morning Show” at Tommie Barfield Elementary.
Mrs. Baldwin said, “This is one of the best field trips I have ever been on.”
Baldwin continued, “The students not only learned about Marco history they got to see nature and learn about local animals.
“I have had several children tell me that this is the best field trip they have been on since being in school.”
The Nature & History Cruise is educational and fun for all ages and sails regularly from Rose Marco River Marina each Thursday and Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. You can enjoy the delicious buffet lunch on board or purchase a sightseeing only ticket. Call Sunshine Tours at 239-642-5415 for more information and reservations.