A LITTLE STORY ABOUT
Capt. Duke Davis is compactly built and deeply tanned. There are no fancy epaulets on the shoulders of the uniform of this Master Captain. He is attired in “Florida formal,” a loose-fitting t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. His dry wit is punctuated by a raspy laugh, animated with a broad smile.
Having spent several years at the helm of one of the bigger tourist attractions featuring airboat rides, Captain Duke couldn’t help but feel that his passengers were being herded like cattle on to large, generic vessels, with very little personal interaction or opportunity to share his vast wealth of knowledge of the historical St. Johns River, it’s amazing ecosystem and the many indigenous and endangered wildlife that call it home. With a strong desire to really reach his passengers, Capt. Duke decided it was time to strike out on his own and create a tour where he could introduce his guests to what the locals call “Old Florida.”
Captain Duke’s “six-pack” airboats offer a sense of freedom because they are capable of moving through a few inches of water and even across dry land, if necessary. Capt. Duke easily pilots the craft around and over fields of lily pads, reeds, and other water plants; the howl of the engine scares up egrets, heron, duck, and other waterfowl feeding in the shallows. Passengers are provided headsets to shield their ears from the noise of the propulsion system.
The excursion becomes a more intimate and personal experience when Captain Duke shuts down the engine to narrate the tour, point our rare wildlife or simply give guests the opportunity to ask questions and capture some of the breath-taking photographs you’ll see on our website.
No, Captain Duke doesn’t have the large overhead of some of the other businesses on the river, no fancy building or snack bar; and no, he won’t take you out on the river in high winds or while it’s raining. What he does have is many years more experience on the river than most of those other places; he is a U.S. Coast Guard recognized Master Captain. He enjoys the moments he gets to interact with you as human beings. What he will do is ensure your safety and well-being while giving you what some have said was the best part of their Florida vacation. Making our customers feel like family is the way we to do business.
“You couldn’t ask for a better job,” Capt. Duke always says.