Crew

Meet Rockin' Rhonda, One of The Most Experienced Captains in The Area!

When Rhonda is not Captaining Ms. Manatee, you can find her digging into a great book of inspiration, traveling, scuba diving....and she LOVES music! She's also a big sports fan so you might catch her watching college football on Saturday to keep up with her Wisconsin Badgers or watching the Packers on Sunday. Shout out to all the other Cheeseheads out there!

Meet Captain Emerson

Other than Mother Nature, manatees and growing food, Emerson's passion lies in music. Chelsea and Emerson have a traveling musical duo and are called 'Well Worn Soles'; they are FANTASTIC and the crew loves to go watch them play at Burke's and Crackers. He an a-typical Tauras; caring, kind and generous with the best of intentions. He's like most of us, saying that the least favorite part of his job is the early alarm clock ringer. He's never had a job where he had to rise before the sun every day!

Meet Captain and Guide extraordinaire Mike Milsci

Mike was born in Puerto Rico (hence his nickname Rico Sauve! shhhh) but grew up in the Boston area. Like most folks from Boston he is down to earth and a super Red Sox and Patriots fan. Mike comes from a huge Italian/Portuguese family and is married to a lovely lady who bakes us all cupcakes (shout out to Jessica!) Family is very important to Mike, and he's become a very important member of our River Ventures family! We are grateful to have him!

Meet Captain Laura

She was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and actually went to high school with musical purple royalty, Prince! Laura loves powerboat racing, but would spend any free day cruising around on her Harley. She's a feisty redhead that loves to feel the wind in her hair. Laura's motto is one we all subscribe to here… Crazy hair, don't care!

Meet 'Marvelous Matt'…swim guide extraordinaire!

Marvelous Matt loves to tinker….so when he is not swimming with manatees you may find him making inventions, modifying different objects to make them useful or riding the team around on his go-kart. Man is it fast!! He also loves bugs, spiders and lizards…..you won't believe the species that he collects! He has been a fisherman, a wet suit washer and has worked his way up around here to earn the respect of all his peers.

Meet Captain Wade Black

Captain Wade is a happy-go-lucky, fun loving spirit and his motto is... Be happy, or go away. There is so much beauty and blessings all around if you just open your eyes! He's not sure he ever wants to retire, but he does look forward to growing old with his loving family. Until then, we are PROUD and humbled to consider him an essential member of our River Ventures family! 

Meet Captain Phil

Phil is from Greenley, Colorodo and left when he was 17 to join the Army. He's been doing manatee tours for 5 years now and found his way to Crystal River because of his love for the Nature Coast! He came to town to be a scuba instructor, but quickly fell in love with the manatees! Prior to this, he was a professional Pirate on a cruise ship! Say arrrrgghh when you meet Captain Phil... and he'll know exactly what you mean!

Meet the Staff - Captain John Baltzell

Thank you, John - for all your years of loyalty, service and providing an inspiration to thousands of animal lovers!! If Johnny B sounds like the Captain for you, it is always possible to request him when making your dreams of swimming with manatees come true!