Thanks so much for visiting me online! My name is Lorraine, and I am the owner and operator of this tour. I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself.
I am originally from Germany. I moved to Florida from Colorado as soon as I turned 18 with nothing but an old car that was falling apart that I had bought weeks before and never driving before in my life (how did I or the car make it to FL!?),the rest my life savings from working hard all throughout school, and knowing no one within thousands miles. I didn’t have much of a plan. No job or place to stay or anything lined up. I stayed in the cheapest motels I could find. All I knew was that I was willing to do anything to eventually work with marine animals. It has been my lifelong dream and passion to work with marine life. I have been obsessed with whales and dolphins since the age of 3. Growing up, I had dreams of becoming a marine biologist. I also wanted to spend my free time doing water sports and enjoying the Florida outdoors.
I did work with some marine animals in a few parks, I helped in training and rehabilitating animals. I did this for mainly for free, I landed a couple of internships. I quickly learned that this industry was very hard to get into, and also a tough way to make a living. Dolphin research center says it is statistically easier to become a Hollywood movie star. When I was younger, my social skills were not much better then those of a feral cat, this made it nearly impossible for me to become a dolphin trainer. This was definitely a career that required an outgoing personality. I was a very timid kid. I have since changed 100%.
Being young and easily influenced at the time, I listened to peers who would tell me that I needed to find a “real” career. I started to think that my dreams where just a childhood fantasy and were not realistic for me. If I ever find a time machine, I will go back and knock some sense into myself.
I worked lots of different jobs. I spent a lot of time in the service industry.
I went through the fire academy and became a fire fighter because it seemed like it was a path to a more stable career. That path led absolutely no where, as much as I tried to force myself to be interested in firefighting, I just wasn’t (I was interested in some of the firefighters, but that’s about it). Friends that knew me well would drop hints and say things like, “You know Lorraine, in your free time I see you reading about dolphins, not fire engines.”
Through a coincidence, I met a nice man while going through fire school with me who managed a water sports company, he eventually gave me the opportunity to work on the water. I earned my Captains license after spending some time working on the water and chartered boats for many different companies.
After landing my first full time Captain’s job, all I wanted to do is explore the area, underwater and on land. Every night I would research animals of the area that I had seen that day, I would wonder about all of the fun facts about them. Things I would learn would blow me away. Who knew that this water bird I see every day can dive to 200 ft!? I had the sense of waking up and feeling excited about the day ahead, this feeling I had long forgotten. I knew that chartering tours was what I wanted to spend my time doing, its a good life when you absolutely love what your doing, and when you love what your doing, you tend to be good at it. (Sorry, I’m not trying to blow my own horn)
After seeing how different tour companies operate, I developed my own ideas, there were things I liked and there were also things I disliked. I also spent a lot of time talking to guests and seeing what they liked, disliked, and what they thought would be fun to do on a tour. I kept the the things I liked, ditched the things I didn’t like and added new things to my tours, which make mine extremely different from any of any of the others in the area. I wanted to make my tours meaningful, educational, I wanted to give people an experience they will remember for years and make people feel special. This is very fulfilling for me. I opened my own tour company with the support of amazing friends I met along the way.