This young man’s love for nature, especially the Everglades, never changed. Born and raised in Coconut Grove area of Miami, FL he spent a little more than half of his time fishing as he was able to ride his bike to docks. Being a young scallywag, he was thrilled at just being given the chance to be a wash down boy on the docks from ages 6 to 12.
By 12 he started mating and the ocean was his until a few years ago when his call to inland nature had him wrapped up. He knew all too well what the Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park had to hold as his father would take him on the airboats, hunting and fishing out there every chance he got. As a young teenager, Capt. Ozzie Gonzalez found himself hooking up with some other hunters and heading to the swamps to spend the weekend out there to camp. Finding new trails and paths cut by the animals he would walk from sun up to sun down, stalking them. He grew to have great respect for the animals, flora, fauna and weather the Everglades had to hold.
He prizes himself of his hunts and guided tours he gives. There is no doubt his passion for the Everglades thrives and he loves to show and tell the world his story. He spends his private time wood carving fish and animals; his up close and personal relationship with the wild life is what makes his art work so detailed and beautiful. Whether you speak English or Spanish Capt. Ozzie Gonzalez is guaranteed to educate, have fun and always wear a smile.
The Lorentzen family moved to Highlands County, Florida in his mid youth. While being away from the ocean's edge, Capt. Erik Lorentzen found that his calling for inland flora and fauna started to explode. He found himself involved in the FFA and 4H clubs taking trips to the Everglades to explore the fishing and camping in the undisturbed natural preserve of the Everglades. His interests of life in the Glades grew so drastic that he decided to pick up photography in order to capture those moments for when he wasn't able to be out there; at least he could see them and ponder on what he had seen.
As Capt. Erik Lorentzen grew, so did his eagerness to see what the rest of world had to hold. Being from a Viking family background of Norwegian commercial fishermen, Capt. Erik Lorentzen started his own voyage across the globe. He has wandered through the lands and fished the seas from Australia, Norway, Ecuador, Guatemala to Hawaii with an array of countries in between. Though his travels through life were because of fishing, he never went anywhere without touring or giving tours of rainforests, estuaries or Glades. One of his favorite places besides his beloved Everglades was the OSA peninsula of Costa Rica. He lived in the primary rainforest on the out skirts of Corcovado National Park and gave tours and fished for several years. He loved the fact that he found a place where both his worlds collided and he could be two places at once.
As time went by, Capt. Erik Lorentzen found himself back in Florida fathering a beautiful baby girl and had settled in Crystal River, FL on the Nature Coast. Nature Coast, coincidence? We don't think so, we think it was his path back to his love of boats, nature and most of all talking to folks from around the world about his homeland...The South Florida Everglades.
An educated, decorated captain with 100 ton master license, he is also ready for the any client who speaks English, Spanish, Norwegian or German.
Growing up, Captain Albert Hernandez convinced his Mom to be his personal Everglades and Miami taxi driver. She would drive him and his friends out into the Big Cypress and other areas off the Tamiami Trail for hunting and fishing and then back to the Miami charter boat docks where he would work as mate during his teen years. This job kept him out of trouble while pushing him to fulfill a life surrounded in Nature. After graduating high school, at the age of 18, Albert pursued his life long dream of a career in the great outdoors by entering the USCG Maritime school, where he became a Licensed 100 ton Master Captain with towing endorsement. Captain Albert Hernandez graduated in 1996 and began captaining private yachts throughout the USA, Bahamas and North Caribbean waters. While competing in fishing tournament circuits, Albert was gaining recognition as a contending fisherman because he had this bizarre attraction in finding fish that would always land his team in the money slots or in the top 5 slots of most tournaments. Albert also held a piloting job in South Florida for the Biscayne Bay Pilots for a short time.
In 2002 Albert removed himself from the private sector of boating and opened up his own backcountry and offshore charter boat company, Extreme Fishing Charters. Though he loved his work, he found running 3 offshore boats and 2 back country boats kept him away from his wife and 3 sons way too much. In 2008, Captain Albert Hernandez entered his euphoric state when he was offered the opportunity to manage 15,000 acres of privately owned land and run a 70' sport-fish for a private owner. He could finally combine his love for hunting in the Everglades, as well as, guide offshore boating along with spending more time with his family in one job. To further enhance this opportunity, Albert was able to enjoy having his three sons following in his footsteps in loving and respecting all that Mother Earth has to offer.
Today, Captain Albert Hernandez's love of the Glades has him and his family continuing to enjoy the great outdoors by running DEK Freelancing, a contracted enterprise for ENT. From salt water to fresh water fishing; to hunting hogs; to touring the Glades via airboat, Albert feels enthralled and accomplished in his beautiful everglades. To him, sharing his passion and respect of the South Florida outdoors with everyone he can has always been his 1st priority
After a few years, Edgar Peralta had the chance to develop a new fishing/vacation lodge from the ground up. He initiated all the planning for this new loge and created job descriptions for each position of the lodge’s personnel. A couple of months passed and Edgar was presented with the opportunity to rebuild a house abandoned for over two years. He turned this house into a 5 star fishing lodge in Guatemala. Guatemala is the capital of the world for sailfish and other billfish species. Edgar ran this lodge by himself for both the Chauffeuring of clients and running the office. Taking on both jobs cut down costs for Edgar but he soon realized he couldn’t continue in this manner and continue to give his clients the best of everything. Edgar hired and personally trained a chauffeur to handle all the driving and tours for the clients while he handled all the office management duties. Edgar knew that the chauffeurs were the first thing that the clients would base their experience on and presentation to the lodge was very important to their whole fishing trip.
Being the office manager didn’t stop in the office. Edgar was determined to take care of all clients’ needs at the lodge and worked hard to anticipate not only their needs but also their likes. This was challenging but rewarding for Edgar. His great work ethic paid off when Edgar was offered to be a manager assistant. Being an assistant required more responsibilities but also another move he took advantage of in order to learn more about fishing lodging and customer service. Being an office manager assistant got him more involved in government issues related to the fishing industry in Guatemala. He participates with the Tourism Department in the Guatemala City to develop new ideas in how to increase the fishing tourism for Guatemala; fighting for the law of conservation of the billfish in the coasts of Guatemala; and showing the people the importance of a live fish compared to a dead one. Edgar is currently part of the local Tourism Committee to develop and increase the Tourism in the Puerto San Jose area.
Edgar Peralta is now working at ENT helping to develop the Spanish side of the business from Guatemala.
Over the years, MJ Attong has been battling a demyelinating disease acquired while in the Service. Because of this disease, it recently appeared as if retirement was inevitable. But then a great opportunity and idea came across her plate. Anyone who knows MJ knew she would not let her disability get in the way of this new adventure. Turning her attention inland, she used her passion, training, and experienced skills to develop a business plan that would bring back the old and introduce the new with a great twist; and that is how Everglades Nature Tours (a.k.a "ENT") was born. This multi tiered touring company brings class, professionalism, hospitality and education to the swamp. ENT welcome’s any and all travelers, adventurers and sportsmen who want a unique experience. Their slogan says it all; "Where pictures and adventure stories last a lifetime." MJ Attong has added conservation and preservation to her list of best qualities. She assists and lobbies to safe guard and protect its forestry. She will continue to safe guard the integrity of the Indian reservations and the lasting beauty of The Everglades, or as some call it "The North American Amazon."