Expedition Sponsors

It takes money to go on an expedition. The money pays for things like food, lodging, transportation, clothing, and specialized expedition equipment. For our expedition, The Crystal River Florida Manatee Online Expedition, most of the money comes from us. The money we earn from our school assembly programs and selling our picutres to books and managazines helps us pay for our expeditions. We have sponsors that also help us with our expedition. These sponsors support the work with do, getting students excited about the nature, science, technology. Our sponsors provide us this some of the equipment that we nned to make our expedition. Listed on this page are the sponsors that are supporting us on The Crystal River Florida Manatee Online Expedition.

Think about past and present explorers and adventurers and their expeditions. Did they have any sponsors or supporters? Who were their sponsors or supporters? Why did the sponsors want to help those people and their expeditions? Do you think those explorers and adventurers could have made their expeditions without the help of their sponsors.

To find out more about our sponsors and the equipment they make,
click on their logo.

Kayak and Accesories

COBRA KAYAKS - This California-based company supplied us with their best sit-atop expedition kayaks and completely outfitted us with paddles, seats, and all the other kayak accessories we needed to prepare for our expedition. Our kayaks were literally "fresh out of the oven". The owner, Mr. Aitkens, gave us a tour of his factory and we got to see how our kayaks were made...Really cool...Actually, really hot!...He bakes them in these big, kayak-sized ovens. Powdered plastic is poured into the kayak mold, then the mold placed in these huge ovens, heated to about 500ºF. These ovens don't just sit there on the floor like the oven you have at home, these ovens tilt back and forth, like a see-saw, and spin over and over, like chickens on a rotisserie! After about about an hour, the molds are taken out of the ovens and spun over and over as they are cooled by huge fans. After a couple hours of cooling the molds are opened up and what was only colored powder a three hours ago is now a complete kayak! Our kayaks are yellow, Cobra Tourer Kayaks.

Kayak Personal Floatation Devices (PFD)

LOTUS DESIGNS - Lotus Designs has supplied us with specialized kayaking PFD's. This speciallized company makes only really excellent PFD's for rafters, canoeists, and kayakers. These PFD's are not like those big, ugly orange things that they sometimes make you wear on boats and ships. Lotus Designs makes PFD's in all sizes, in nifty colors and styles, and with outside pockets. Wayne is using the front zip PFD Strait Jacket, in Electric Blue. Karen is using the side zip PFD Lola, in Electric Blue.


GPS Navigation Equipment

MAGELLAN GPS - Magellan has loaned us their Blazer 12 GPS navigation device.This GPS unit is great for us because not only is it waterproof, but it floats, too! (In case Mr. Brown drops it in the river.) Magellan makes GPS navigation units for anyone who needs to find out where they are and how to get to somewhere else, without getting lost. GPS units are used by plane pilots, boat captains, but anyone could use it. You could use it to find your favorite fishing spot, you could take it hiking to find your way back to the car, our parents could put one in their car to find out how to get to Crystal River, you could even put on on your bike to find your way back home. Besides using the Blazer 12 GPS while we are kayaking, we are also using it in our van to find our way, too.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Equipment

AQUA LUNG / U.S. DIVERS CO. - Thi is the world's largest maker of snorkeling and scuba diving equipment. The inventor of scuba diving, Captain Jacques Yves-Cousteau, started this company. U.S. Divers has been a supporter of our school assembly programs, The Ocean Adventure, for years. U.S. Divers supplies us with all of our colorful, high-tech snorkeling and scuba diving equipment.

Computer Equipment

XTEND MICRO PRODUCTS- This company supplied us with an important piece of equipment so we can use our computer in the van as we are traveling. Our laptop computer runs on a special rechargable battery that only lasts a few hours. To make sure we can use our computer as we are traveling without having to worry if the batteries are going dead. We plug this device in the power outlet in our van and we can run our computer off the van's battery all day long.

Underwater Camera Equipment

SEA & SEA UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY - Sea & Sea loaned us all of our digital photography equipment. A Sony Mavica with their special underwater housing is the way we can show you what's going on underwater.


IKELITE UNDERWATER PRODUCTS - Ikelite helped us in buying two of our most powerful underwater camera strobes. The Ikelite Substrobe 200's we are using are ideal for taking flash pictures of the huge Florida manatees we will be working with. In case we are in dark water, these special strobes also have built-in flashlights!

Above Water Camera Equipment

NIKON USA - Nikon USA has loaned us a Nikon N90s for taking pictures above water. This is a professional film camera with interchangeable lenses. Nikon USA has also loaned us some auto-focus lenses for the N90s and a flash, too.

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