Rumbles of thunder and ominous clouds on the horizon did not deter a group from My Autism Connection, Inc., from enjoying a nature and sealife cruise Saturday, June 29, at Tarpon Bay Explorers.
My Autism Connection is a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for individuals with Asperger’s and high-functioning Autism within the Autism Spectrum Disorder to develop skills towards independence in the community while building healthy relationships.
“We’ve worked with My Autism Connection before and really enjoy having them out,” said TBE Program and Education Manager Adam Sauerland. “Everyone is enthusiastic and you only see smiling faces.”
The group’s day started with a picnic lunch and a side of drizzling rain on Tarpon Bay’s deck area. Moments of doubt may have been felt here and there, but as the radar started to clear, the group was excited to get underway.
Captained by Steve Yetsko and narrated by naturalist, Donna Yetsko, the group was able to experience wildlife ranging from baby pelicans to glimpses of manatee noses. After the boat ride was over, the crew went in to the Touch Tank Aquariums to learn about what they couldn’t see underneath the water.
The aquariums are always a highlight as it’s a way to really get a feel for what life is like for smaller critters like sea stars or horseshoe crabs. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, but the group was extremely thankful.
“We greatly appreciate Tarpon Bay Explorers for taking the time to support our organization as well as for spending their Saturday with us,” said Sandra Worth, Executive Director of My Autism Connection. “Supporters like Tarpon Bay Explorers make it so that we may continue to help these individuals succeed in all aspects of life.”
Tarpon Bay Explorers is the concession to the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The company provides educational and recreational opportunities within the refuge and 15 percent of what is taken in is given back to U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the care and protection of refuges around the U.S.
Call Tarpon Bay Explorers for tour reservations or more information at 239-472-8900 orvisit their website at www.tarponbayexplorers.com. It’s open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.