From the Delta to Kaneohe Bay

Hope you had the chance to embark on an EcoTour with Delta skipper Jeff Hart.

After years of declining business, Hart sold his boat, the Tule Queen II, last spring to a Japanese American man who now uses it to shuttle folks around Kaneohe Bay, on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

And apparently, business there is brisk.

“He was turning away 50 people a day,” Hart told me today. “Tourists wanted to swim with the dolphins.”

Hart ran a neat tour. I was lucky enough to tag along when he took a bunch of journalists out on the estuary in 2007. He wasn’t just a navigator, but a narrator of the Delta’s natural and human history.

And his tours attracted plenty of interest — until the economy tanked. Passengers on the 45-seat catamaran became fewer and fewer.

“I have no regrets,” said Hart, who still keeps his Delta EcoFarm on Grand Island, along Steamboat Slough. “I had the time of my life. It was a lot of fun”

And he appreciates the fact that the Tule Queen II is still hard at work. “You can still do an EcoTour, but it’ll be a very beautiful setting in Hawaii,” Hart said.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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