100 Ton Master Captain Traci Wood

Owner/Operator of the Homosassa Manatee Snorkeling Center, LLC.

I was born in my 28th year, coming home to where I had been only once before.  I visited the manatees in March of 1999, had some interaction with the manatees, and afterwards, I was sobbing so hard, that speech was nearly impossible.  Right then,I decided to move, and about 2 months Iater, I moved from Clarkston, Michigan, to Crystal River Florida, to begin my dream come true, to work with and around the manatees!

I remember exactly what it is like, to sit on the boat with anticipation and a little fear of finally seeing the manatees, up close and in person. I was certainly excited but also a bit apprehensive as well.  The manatees are huge, and I, just like most of our customers, had the same reaction.

I have decided to use my experience, knowledge and passion to share this amazing experience with my customers and raising awareness about the manatees. Upon my arrival, I took some marine mammal classes, met several people in the field, got my Captain's License, and started out very small. I have moved several times, trying to find the right spot, and finally, 4 years ago, I have landed at our newest, and last location, at Homosassa Manatee Snorkeling Center, in Homosassa.

I certainly consider myself lucky to have found a career doing something I love every day and sharing it with people from all over the world gives me a feeling that I truly cannot describe.

During the past 21 years of providing amazing experiences for friends, families, school groups, educational groups, and people from "everywhere", we have expanded to 5 boats in our fleet.

All of our captains greatly enjoy what they do and consider it a privilege to be able to share what we love with all of you.

We recycle, use biodegradable cups and trash bags.  We believe it is important to protect our environment and that of the manatees and all of our wildlife.

50 Ton Master Captain Laci Gist

I am a Citrus County Florida Native who has been on the water my whole life, and started driving boats at the age of 2, and have also had a passion for the water my whole life.

I have owned Sheds Now & More since I was 18 years old, but I have always felt the pull from the ocean and the rivers of Florida and had the desire to be a USCG Licensed Captain, and specifically to transfer large yachts. 

In 2017 I made my first goal of becoming a Captain and joined the Homosassa Manatee Snorkeling Center team that February as my first job on the water, as a USCG Certified Captain, which has been a joy these past years.

In May of 2019 I made my other goal of transferring yachts and transferred my first, from Sarasota Florida to Miami Florida,

In September 2019, I also became  business partners with Captain Traci, and we both very much enjoy daily life as captains and running the Snorkeling Center together.

25 Ton Master Captain Charissa Madison

I found my forever home in Homosassa Florida in September 2018. I was visiting at the time, and was intruduced to an amzing new world full of opportunities and adventures. I already posessed a love and passion for all of the amazing creatures the world has to offer, and that live in Florida. However, when I embarked on a few tours and adventures with the Homosassa Manatee Snorkeling Center, I was able to see, up close, my spirit animal, the bottlenose dolphin, and found a new love in the manatees as well. 

I moved my sons and I to Homosassa in February 2018 from my home state of Oklahoma, once I arrived I was finally able to start my incredible new adventure called My Life, and became a boat captain!  I soaked in all of the knowledge of the area and I am still learning new information every day.

I truly enjoy meeting people from all over the world and sharing my new piece of paradise with them.  I love being a captain, and a part of my passengers lives and memories, and being able to express my love and knowledge of the manatees and Homosassa.

Also, as of May 2020, I have become ordained, and am now able to perform weddings on the boat!

Doing what I love has become an exciting and fun career, and it never feels like a "job"!