Sea Serpent Airboat Tours

There are three very different sides of St. Johns County:

  • historic district
  • beaches
  • natural, Old Florida -best experienced by heading west

Drive as far west as you can and you’ll end up at Outback Crab Shack on Six Mile Creek, which boasts the longest dock on the river. We went last week and saw gators, flocks of birds and five manatee feeding inches from us- you can read about them in the Outback Crab Shack post.

Our adventure was aboard Sea Serpent Tours’ airboat where we quietly slipped through a canopied creek, admiring old growth cypress and looking for turtles, then laughed out loud when a rush of speed pushed us into the St. Johns River for a thrilling sunset ride. You’ve gotta do this! Here’s why…

Sea Serpent St Johns River Airboat Rides
Sea Serpent Airboat Tours holds 6 guests for the FUN tours!!

First, Captain Mike is just about the friendliest guy on the river. He and his crewman outfitted my kiddos with life jackets that were both new and comfortable- anyone who’s tried to force a kid into an old, stiff life jacket knows how important this is! Before we went, I read about Captain Mike’s background on the Sea Serpent Tours website:

“Our captain is a veteran of the United States Navy, certified through the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) Boater Education Safety Program, maintains a valid US Coast Guard Master’s Captains License, and has over 30 years of safe boating experience operating in Florida waterways.” To say the least, we were at ease and quite comfortable aboard his craft and among his crew.

Captain Mike Sea Serpent Airboat Tours logo
Captain Mike, of Sea Serpent Airboat Rides

Speaking of Captain Mike & his crew- when we went, his daughter was his crewman. She was friendly and comfortable with the kids, helpful and respectful. If you can judge a man by his children, Captain Mike just received another commendation!

John James Audubon said, “A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” When we passed a discarded plastic bag tangled in  the tree canopy, Captain Mike turned the boat around to leave the creek better than we found it. #respect

sea serpent airboat tour alligators
How many ‘gators do you see?

Sea Serpent Tours has a uniquely configured airboat- a small boat motor allows it to move quietly through creeks for up-close encounters with nature. The Sea Serpent’s home port is Trout Creek Marina & Fish Camp and she’s clearly at home exploring the area’s tributary creeks. The craft easily nosed up beside banks to allow our children to view flora and fauna up close & personally.

We spotted turtles, gators, sparrows, a hawk, heron and white waterbirds I can never remember the name of {LOL}. Fortunately, we did not see any snakes. There are many “good snakes” in Florida but I was ok that we missed them.

largest cedar on the creek sea serpent airboat ride
One lone “old cypress” remains across from the sawmill. Many younger trees surround it but this giant reminds visitors what Old Florida was like before logging.

Each trip is slightly different, depending on winds and the season. We motored back to an old wood mill site and stopped by the lone remaining “old growth” cypress on the Six Mile Creek. The rest were logged almost a century ago- cypress wood is very hardy and desirable for both construction and furniture. Seeing the giant next to the younger trees elicited wows from the kiddos until they went back to “spotting gators”. They saw a lot more than Captain Mike and I did. LOL

The sun was starting to set as we left the creek and hit the St. Johns River and turned on the airboat fan.

airboat sunset
Part of the ride was calm and quiet, allowing us to enjoy nature.

When the airboat motor is on, Sea Serpent Tours plays music or stories through headsets. This provides ear protection and also adds to the experience. One story involves treasure… I won’t tell you more because spoilers are no fun but keep that in mind for the end of this post…

One of five-year-old Clara’s summer bucket list ideas was to watch the sun set. This girl doesn’t know how amazing her sunset was. What a breathtaking evening!

St Johns River Sunset Cruise Sea Serpent Airboats
Sunset over the St. Johns River.

As we pulled back into port, we heard one last ghost story over the headsets and then Captain Mike pulled his treasure chest out for a final surprise- Sea Serpent necklaces!! The boys haven’t taken theirs off yet. One could say that the entire evening was a hit and one would be very, very right!! What a great, well-rounded experience!!

Sea Serpent Airboat Treasure Chest

We had a blast as Captain Mike’s guests and can’t wait to return… my only regret is that we left hubby home! But not really; now I’ll get to go back! 😉

Sea Serpent Airboat Tours is an exhilarating mix of eco-tourism and thrill ride that will beckon you to return again & again!

Sea Serpent Tours
Home port located at Trout Creek Marina & Fish Camp: 6550 State Rd 13
(904) 495-4200

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