This tour is also famously known as “Eli’s Eco Tour“. Using our open 52 foot powercat designed to get into shallow waters and tight reefy spots. Here is a little video of the tour:
Local Antiguan and former Olympian Eli Fuller grew up on the North coast of Antigua, spending most of his spare time boating, windsurfing, snorkeling and diving in the pristine eco-system of the North Sound area. His knowledge and love of these unspoiled waters, with their mangrove and reef habitats, prompted the design of his famous Eco-Tour which has now been running since 1999 and has been the template of many other tours island wide over the years.
Eli’s aim has always been to make everyone who comes on the tour feel like they have spent the day with old friends and his crew is proud to claim that the personal attention they lavish on guests would not be surpassed if they really were family members from abroad.
The emphasis of the tour is on the ecology and history of the area. The warm, clear waters, protected by over twenty little islands, countless reefs, flats and mangrove nurseries are always calm and there are perfect opportunities for spotting some of the local residents, including Turtles, Frigate Birds, Herons, Pelicans, Spotted Eagle Rays, Sting Rays, Barracuda, Osprey, Turns, Noddies, Laughing Gulls, and the beautiful Tropic Birds. The crew will talk about local flora and fauna and the interesting scientific turtle project at Jumby Bay, and guests will be entertained by their anecdotes and stories of local history and folklore.
During the tour guests have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities. Before lunch, a snorkeling lesson will be given for those who have not snorkeled before or who want a refresher. All equipment is supplied and crew members will accompany both guided snorkeling sessions after lunch. For those who wish to enjoy spectacular views of the North Sound and the north coast of Antigua, we recommend taking the easy nature trail from the beach at Great Bird Island, up to the summit, and if you really want to get off the “beaten track” there will also be a chance to explore a cave.
However, if you simply want to relax, there is plenty of shade on the boat and of course, easy ladders for those of you who fancy a refreshing dip. There is also a chance to bathe in the natural jacuzzi at Hell’s Gate island. And throughout the day there will lots of time to take those souvenir photos that will make you the envy of your friends back home! Local fruit juices like Passion, Tamarind, Guava, and Lime are available throughout the day and the delicious lunch is served on the boat while it is moored in one of the breathtaking bays of Bird Island. As the tour draws to a close and the boat heads home into the setting sun, Eli’s “secret recipe” rum punch is presented to make a perfect end to a perfect day.
The boat itself is extremely spacious and comfortable and has a fresh water shower and a restroom. Designed in the USA and US Coast Guard certified for 49 passengers, numbers on this tour are deliberately kept lower (a max of 31 on an exceptionally busy day) to enhance the casual and relaxing feeling, Eli wants his guests to experience.
You will leave this tour feeling that you have been welcomed into a very special community of the most privileged visitors to Antigua and Barbuda: those who have had a taste of what is really means to have grown up in the islands, and have been let into the “secrets of the North Sound”.
Snorkeling gear, food and drinks are provided.