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Dogs have their day on the sea

By Staff | Jul 16, 2010

Capt. Louise Alt, owner of Water Woman Adventures features an opportunity for pet owners to travel by boat to dog-friendly beaches and locales. Nancy Morgan, a recent passenger is pictured with her dog Argus.

Ahh the feel of wind in your fur and salt air in your nostrils.

Kind of makes you want to be a sea dog doesn’t it?

Alas we will never fully get the canine experience of drinking in the smell and feel of the sea. But we can get the next best thing – we can do it vicariously through our pets.

For those who like to travel the waterways in pursuit of the sea life with their beloved pet at their side, one local boat captain is answering the call.

Captain Louise Alt is featuring dog day adventures through her business Water Woman Adventures.

Darla, a cocker spaniel and first mate to Capt. Louise Alt, owner of Water Woman Adventures, relaxes on a remote stretch of beach off the islands.

During the trip pooches are kept comfortable aboard Alt’s vessel with towels, fresh water and a supply of toys. There are also life jackets for fido’s safety. And here to help with the sea adventure is Alt’s first mate and four-legged friend Darla.

During a recent visit aboard Alt’s boat, three large and rather ahppy dogs made themselves at home. Roman, Argus and Chica – all rescues of one sort belonged to Nancy Morgan, a Fort Myers resident.

Before the cruise to North Captiva and other outer areas of the islands, Alt made sure all of the passenger furry and human were comfortable. Just before taking off, Alt flicked on a CD with doggy music. Yep soul music for the hounds.

A whirl of the engine and set a spray of water up and the adventure began. As soon as the vessel moved, the canine passengers pranced about checking out the vast lick of blue and white foam. They seemed to be taking in the sights, enjoying their fur being ruffled by the sea breezes.

“It’s like hanging your head out of the car,” Alt said. Only its safe.

Nancy Morgan is romping with dogs Argus and Roman on a remote dog-friendly beach off of the islands.

Morgan grinned as she watched her dogs soaking in the sun and surf.

“It’s so good for them,” she said.

Alt takes owners and their pooches to pet-friendly beaches and locales. On North Captiva, Barnacle Phil’s in Safety Harbor is friendly to dogs.

“They are more than happy to accomodate all species,” Alt said.

And while playing on remote beaches, Alt said she is conscientious of wildlife and the environment.

A ghost crab finds it way on a frisbee being tossed about during a dog day’s adventure conducted by Water Woman Adventures.

“There’s no chasing birds,” she said. “Our goal is for all creatures to get along.

During playtime, Alt has a variety of toys including frisbees and tennis balls for dogs to use.

One popular destination for a dog day adventure is Boca Grande which have some pet friendly eateries.

And if the notion of sailing off into the sunset with your pet by your side seems far-fetched – its not according to the Pet Travel Center’s website pettravelcenter.com, 84 percent of folks travel with their pets via automobile.

Alt said she is just filling a unique niche for pet owners.

Roman, a passenger aboard Water Woman Adventures drinks in the sea air and sunshine during a recent dog day outing with her owner Nancy Morgan and canine pals Argus and Chica.

“These days more and more people are traveling with their pets,” she said.

Morgan, a busy working woman, delights in taking a day cruise with her dogs to relax and recharge.

“It gives them an opportunity to get out and stretch their legs,” she said. “It makes them etter dogs.

And one major perk for those harried like Morgan.

“I don’t have to worry about traffic,” she said.

To take a dog day adventure with Alt, call Water Woman Adventures at 410-0064. Cruises typically leave from a port off of Captiva. Cost is $65 an hour.