On a beautiful night in Sarasota, 94-year-old, Bob Rosas arrives at Mote Marine Aquarium wearing his fishing bucket hat and khaki cargo pants. Rosas isn’t at the aquarium to view the marine life in captivity. Instead, he’s about to see fish, birds and dolphins in their natural habitat.
“It’s going to be awesome and a litter better,” he said.
Rosas is participating in an ecotour, a program sponsored by the 2017 World Rowing Championships, Ecko Tours, and ten other local organizations. Those organizations are sponsoring 14 of the kayaking excursions, which lead up to the rowing championships in September.
“It’s a way for us to showcase the natural gems this area has to offer,” said Julia Hoffman, the special events and programming manager for the 2017 World Rowing Championships. “Not only does it tie in nicely to rowing, but it’s a great way to educate and promote the practice of sustainability.”
The moonlight excursion, which will take 16 kayakers into Sarasota Bay at night, is Rosas third ecotour. Future tours include: the Myakka River, Blackburn Point, Gamble Creek and more.
“I like the water. I haven’t done a lot of kayaking. I’ve done more canoeing, but I love the scenery and we’ve seen a lot of wildlife,” said Rosas.
Everyone who participates in the ecotours receives a passport which is stamped at the beginning of each paddling adventure. Those kayakers who participate in seven (7), ten (10), twelve (12) and fourteen (14) of the excursions, will earn prizes such as t-shirts and tickets to the 2017 World Rowing Championships.
The 94-year-old is hoping to do them all, and his age isn’t getting in the way.
“I just keep going,” said Rosas. “I don’t mention my age because I don’t want my body to know.”
To learn more about the paddling adventures and to purchase tickets, visit: eckotours.com/paddle