Kayaks, Kayakers and Kayaking Kayaking can be recreational as well as adventuresome. Kayakers are serious about their sport. Kayaks give them an opportunity to see the world from a different perspective and, if they so desire, to pit themselves and the kayak against Mother Nature's wildest rivers and rapids. Basic Kayak Terms Basic kayak terms include bow, bilge pump, bulkhead, chine, demo boat, dry bag and stern. The bow is the front of the kayak. A bilge pump is a hand pump used to remove large amounts of water from the inside of the kayak. The bulkhead is a vertical partition inside the kayak. It's usually made of foam. It serves two purposes. It reinforces the hull and aids flotation. The chine are the edges of the kayak. The term refers to changes in angle. A demo boat is a demonstration boat dealers use to allow kayak drivers to test drive specific models or styles. The dry bag is a waterproof bag used to keep items dry. The bag is available in a variety of sizes for large or small items. The stern is the back of the kayak. Basic Kayak Equipment Basic kayak equipment includes kayak, paddle, life jacket or PFD, helmet and spray skirt. Kayakers choose a kayak to fit the type of kayaking they plan to do. There are different types of kayaks for recreational kayaking, sea kayaking, and rocky river or creek kayaking. The kayakers size will affect kayak size. Kayaking paddles come in multiple styles. Kayaker size and paddling style play a part in determining which type of paddle will be used. Personal flotation devices or life jackets are required by law on most bodies of water. The Type III PFDs are legal for kayaking. Proper fit is vital. Kayakers can choose helmets that reflect their style and personal tastes if they wish. Helmets are now available in a wide variety of colors and designs. In addition to the basic kayaking style helmet, there are helmets which include protection for the face. These resemble football helmets and are used when extra protection is required. Spray skirts are used to keep the wearer dryer and to keep water out of the kayak. A properly fitted spray skirt seals the cockpit. Spray skirt style varies according to kayak style. The best spray skirt is made of neoprene. Sea kayaking spray skirts often contain both neoprene and nylon. Nylon spray skirts are often used in recreational kayaking. Kayak Trails There are kayak trails mapped out on many United States rivers and other waterways. Kayakers can choose short or long rides, wild or calm rides. Some of the National Forests feature kayak trails. Kayak Tours Kayaking is a way to see the United States and even the world with a different perspective. Kayak tours abound all globally. Kayakers can paddle through the area in Hawaii where Jurassic Park was filmed. They can see killer whales up close while sea kayaking in Alaska. Brave kayakers can shoot the rapids all around the world. Kayaking is here to stay. Kayaks give Kayakers a chance to go places that can't be accessed any other way. They allow kayakers to pit themselves against nature, to calmly paddle and enjoy nature and to renew an acquaintance with the world without the intrusion of technology. Canoeing and Kayaking -- The Essentials As summer approaches, we often look for activities to do out on the water. Two of the most popular summertime activities are canoeing and kayaking, mainly because they are safe and easily done by anyone of any age, skill level, or ability. These water sports are very relaxing and provide excellent opportunities for fun in the sun. But if you've never set sail for the waters before, you may not know where to begin to plan your canoeing and kayaking adventure. Here's some helpful advice to help you sort out the details and get out on the water! There is essentially little or no difference between canoeing and kayaking. Both offer a calming ride on the lake or streams and both are physically undemanding. The best approach to experiencing the excitement of canoeing and kayaking is to scout out guided tours. Unless you plan to visit the lake several times, there is no need to purchase your own canoeing and kayaking equipment. This can rack up quite a large bill, as canoes generally run $800 or higher, and that's not including other equipment needed such as paddles and clothing. You can look for canoeing and kayaking tours locally or in other parts of the country, depending on your desire to travel. Below is a list of popular locations in the United States for canoeing and kayaking. 1. Medford, Oregon -- This is home to Crater Lake National Park and the Rogue River, which is known to be home to some of the best outdoor activities in the United States. The river is Class II-IV rapids, which require little or no experience to enjoy canoeing and kayaking. 2. Haines, Alaska -- This is an ideal location for ocean kayaking surrounding Glacier Bay National Park. Here, you have the opportunity to spot bears, manatee, and other arctic wildlife along Alaska's banks. No experience is required to participate in the guided tours. 3. Miami -- Dade County, Florida -- An excellent location to experience fun in the sun through canoeing and kayaking, while having the opportunity to snorkel or scuba dive. Coral Gables provides a chance to explore magical sea caves and view underwater aquatic life. Several tour companies are in the area with packages starting as low as $40 per person, $30 per child. 4. San Diego, California -- Explore the La Jolla Sea Caves for a glimpse of a true marine paradise. Catch views of sea lions, whales, and occasionally dolphins. No experience is necessary and typical guided tours are two hours long. Now that you have a few suggestions of where to go, you may be wondering what to bring for your canoeing and kayaking adventure. Be sure to pack quick-drying clothes, such as synthetic shorts, tops, and jackets. Even kayaking in the summertime can lead to unexpected emergencies, and you need to have water-resistant clothes available. Make sure to bring sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen, as the sun is much stronger when reflecting off the water. Pack a couple water bottles and small snacks in case you or a member of your family need a quick energy boost, and always bring along a first aid kit containing instant cold packs, band-aids, gauze, and other small items just in case an emergency arises. Preparing for Your Kayaking Trip -- The Basics While kayaking has quickly become a popular choice of water activity and recreation, it's by far one of the oldest forms of transportation. People have been traveling by kayak for centuries, mainly because it was once the only method of water transportation. But over time, it evolved from a necessity to a recreational sport, leading to the development of kayaking gear and accessories. If you are planning to participate in a kayaking adventure for the first time, you may be unsure of what you will need. Here are a few tips for finding the best kayaking equipment. Obviously, you will need a kayak. If you are going through a kayaking tour company, chances are you will have the opportunity to rent a kayak as part of your package price. But if you're going independently, or with friends and family, you'll need your own kayak. Kayaks come in many different sizes, and you need to determine how many people will be traveling with you. Even if you're planning to kayak alone, consider purchasing one with two or more seats. This way you will have room for others on future trips and you can still distribute the weight by using heavier items for leverage if you want to paddle alone. Speaking of paddles, you will need those too. Choosing a paddle takes time and there are factors to consider when looking for paddles. First of all, be sure the paddle fits the specific type of paddling you have in mind. For example, if you plan to paddle through white water, you will need a paddle with a stronger and thicker blade. You also need to make sure the paddle fits your body strength and height, as well as the height and width of your kayak. If you have a smaller frame, pay attention to the shaft's diameter. Often too large a diameter can cause wrist or shoulder injuries to a small person. You should visit a kayak outfitter in person for paddles, and ask for assistance on properly measuring your body type for a paddle. Although it's often overlooked, kayak clothing is vital to the safety of your kayaking trip. Unexpected events easily happen even in the most tranquil waters. You never know when your kayak could flip, or when you'll be encountered by a random splash of water. Therefore, it's important that you seek quick-drying clothes when obtaining your kayaking equipment. Be sure to find loose fitting shorts, tops, and jackets. Synthetic material is often recommended for kayaking. Avoid wearing cotton garments, and consider wearing a swimsuit underneath your clothes. Cotton stays wet and you are likely to be very uncomfortable during the remainder of your trip. If you plan to kayak in the winter month, you may want to purchase a synthetic kayaking suit to wear over your clothes. This will keep you dry as well as prevent hypothermia. Don't forget to include the basics, such as lifejackets, helmets, and first aid kits. Safety should always remain your top priority on your kayaking excursion and you never know when these items will come in handy. Beginner's Guide to Whitewater Kayaking Gear Whitewater kayaking is the sport of paddling on moving bodies of water, typically rivers. The experience can range from a fun float trips to adrenalin charged challenges. Whitewater kayaking requires the same basic gear used by all kayakers. Gear specifics differ due to conditions and other variables involved in whitewater kayaking. Kayaks built for whitewater kayaking, often called playboats, are usually made of durable and flexible plastic. Lengths vary from around 6 feet to as long as 12 feet, maybe longer. Newer designs tend to run around 6 feet to 7 feet in length. Personal kayak size and shape are determined by the user's height, weight, type of water the kayak will be used in and primary kayak use. Whitewater kayaks for fun float trips do not need the features that kayaks used on dangerous river rapids must possess. New kayaks can cost from around $600 to thousands of dollars. Paddles for whitewater kayaking are usually around 6 feet long. Longer paddles are best for fun whitewater trips on creeks or rivers while shorter paddles work better where quick movement is required. Playboaters can get maximum power from bigger blades while medium blades are fine for creeks and general rivers. Spoon shaped paddles provide power for playboating. Wing blades were designed to get maximum power and require a special paddling technique. Whitewater kayaking paddles are available in a variety of materials including fiber composites, fiberglass, carbon, plastic, wood and laminated wood. Each material has its own strengths and weaknesses. Boater size and paddling style will affect choice of paddle. Type III Personal floatation devices (PFDs) include models that are specifically for kayaking. The best PFD is one that can be adjusted to fit snugly whether the user is wearing a tee shirt or a wet suit. Many experienced whitewater kayakers suggest buying the best whitewater kayaking helmet that the budget allows. Function and protection are important considerations, even before style. For serious whitewater kayaking, there are helmets that look almost like those used in football. They feature face guards and offer more coverage and protection that standard kayaking helmets. Resistant Neoprene is the best whitewater kayaking spray skirt material. UV rays, abrasions and stretching will affect the wear and lifespan of the spray skirt. Spray skirts must be easy to remove quickly in case of emergency. Beginner's Guide to Basic Kayaking Equipment There isn't a lot of equipment required for kayaking. A kayak and paddle, life jacket, helmet and spray skirt are the recommend basics. Kayaks for surfing and doing tricks are called playboats. Kayaks for rocky rivers are called creek boats. Traditional river kayaks offer a quick ride and stability. Most kayaking beginners start with the traditional river kayak. One kayak does not fit all. The size and shape of the kayak is based on the user's height, weight, and the type of water the kayak will be used in. Kayak dealers usually stock demo or demonstration kayaks available for test boating. This allows kayakers to try before they buy. Used kayaks cost considerably less than new. Good used kayaks can often be found in the classifieds, online auctions and similar venues. Finding the right paddle involves getting the length, weight, material and blade shape into consideration, along with the user's height, torso size and paddling style. Tall people, those with long torsos and paddlers who like a slow ride will require longer paddles. Shorter people or those with short torsos and paddlers who like to paddle fast and get the job done will benefit from shorter paddles. Kayaking paddle materials include wood, fiberglass, carbon fiber and aluminum shafts with plastic blades. The aluminum shaft paddles are a good choice for beginners. Many kayakers are already into other water sports and own a life jacket (also known as personal flotation device). These can be purchased at many discount stores, sporting goods stores and boating equipment stores in addition to online stores and auctions. Life jackets, also known as personal flotation devices (PFD) are required by law. Choose a PFD rated for the type of kayaking involved. Type III PFD's tend to be the most comfortable for paddling. Kayaking helmets should be good quality and fit well. Like other sporting gear, helmets have evolved and now are as much about fashion as function. Users can shop for functional, protective head gear or for functional and fashionable helmets in a wide variety of designs, colors and styles. Spray skirts are used to seal the cockpit during kayaking and keep water out of the inside of the kayak and keep the kayaker dry. Different types of kayaking require different skirt styles. Whitewater spray skirts are usually made of neoprene. Touring and recreational spray skirts are often made of nylon. Sea kayaking skirt styles may include both neoprene and nylon. All kayaking spray skirts feature a grab loop. This loop allows the boater to break the seal quickly if necessary. Skirt designs include cords for boat attachment, pockets, and adjustable suspenders and waistbands. Since the spray skirt fits around the wearer's waist, waist circumference is the general standard of sizing. Kayak cockpit size may also apply. Optional kayaking gear includes a dry bag, a dry top and a spray jacket. The small dry bag is good for protecting and storing snacks and other small items. A dry top is a water proof jacket good for cold water paddling. Spray jackets are waterproof and available in long or short sleeve styles. Kayaking gives boaters an opportunity to explore waterways for fun and for relaxation. The size and light weight of kayaks make maneuvering them easy for individuals. Kayaking doesn't require a lot of equipment and doesn't have to be expensive. Most beginners can quickly master the basics but kayaking is a continual learning experience. Nude Kayaking; Experiencing the Water Outside of a Shower! Braving the waters "au naturel" is something we would normally think of doing when taking a shower or soaking in a bath. But have you ever gotten the feeling to do something crazy and unforgettable? Do you love the outdoors and the water? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you may just be the right person to experience nude kayaking. After all, it's an excursion that isn't likely to be forgotten in your lifetime! Even if you have no experience with kayaking but still want to try this bold approach to fun and good times, you have absolutely nothing holding you back -- except maybe your clothes. Kayaking is an activity that is considered safe for people of all ages and ability levels. It requires little physical exertion (provided the weather cooperates) and some would even consider it to be a relaxing experience. With that concern out of the way, if you're willing to paddle your way through the water wearing your birthday suit, then all you need to know now is where to go to experience this thrill. The Paddling Bares Canoe Club in New Jersey is an excellent resource for those looking to try out nude kayaking. The club refers to themselves as "kayakers and canoeists who are also naturists." The club strongly emphasizes safety first, therefore, no alcohol is permitted on any trip and sexual behavior is strictly prohibited. Some of their trips include hiking and overnight camping, but these additions usually mean spending time somewhere secluded and legal for nude activity -- therefore, you won't have the luxury of showers or toilets and may be amidst some intimidating wildlife. To participate in the club's nude outdoor adventures, you will first need to complete an application and send a check; they will then provide you with information regarding upcoming trips. If you're able to travel abroad for your nude kayaking trip, then Crete, Greece is an ideal location. Located along the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, Crete provides a safe haven and relaxing atmosphere for those wishing to kayak in the nude. You'll experience a journey through some of Greece's most fascinating history by paddling through the waters of Crete's narrow passageways. In addition to nude kayaking, Crete also offers nude visitors the chance to scuba dive, water ski, and enjoy many other outdoor water sports at their many nudist resorts. You can find some great package deals on nude kayaking trips to Greece, some starting as low as $2000 for a week long adventure! If you head south of the border, the Baja Peninsula in Mexico is another great spot to experience kayaking while feeling the "cool breezes." This is a popular destination for all kayaking lovers, but you can find resorts and trips aimed specifically at nude adventures. Not only does the Baja Peninsula offer some great kayaking, but you can also enjoy nude snorkeling, scuba diving (although this particular activity can't be done in the nude), hiking, fishing, and whale watching. The Ultimate Guide to Whitewater Kayaking This comprehensive and detailed guide to white water kayaking covers everything from beginner basics to advanced techniques. Choosing gear, paddling, safety, rescue, and more are covered in detail. The authors, Ken Whiting and Kevin Varrette are recognized and respected white water kayaking professionals. Whitewater Paddling: Strokes and Concepts Author Eric Jackson covers paddle position and movement, boat position and movement, and more in this detailed guide. Over 80 photos illustrate covered skills and techniques. Content is broken down into 16 lessons. Both flat water and rapid water kayaking are covered. The Best Whitewater in California California is home to more accessible white water than anywhere else in the world. Authors Lars Holdbek and Chuck Stanley cover white water areas from fun to flat-out scary. Detailed maps and photos are provided. Individually covered are 180 runs. Featured rivers include: American River, Bear River, Carson River, Cosumnes River, Eel River, Feather River, Kaweah River, Kern River, Kings River, Klamath River, Mad River, Merced River, Mokelumne River, Ruolumne River, Russian River, Sacramento River, Salmon River, San Joaquin River, Sespe River, Scott River, Smith River, Stansilaus River, Trinity River, Truckee River, Tute River, Walker River and Ruba River. Grand Canyon River Guide The Grand Canyon River white water kayaking guide covers 288 miles of water. Buzz Belknap and Loie Belknap Evans cover the Colorado River from Lees Ferry, Arizona to Lake Mead by route of both the Marble Canyon and Grand Canyon. Fully illustrated with photos and diagrams, the book covers details white water kayakers need to know as well as interesting information about natural history and geology. AMC Classic Northeastern Whitewater Guide Bruce Lessels, master whitewater kayaker, provides detailed information for both beginners and experts regarding New England and New York white water. Inside this guide book, readers will find a river chart, help with trip planning, safety, and paddling, maps detailing access areas, rapids, river rating, and gradient. Rivers in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island are included. White water kayaking opportunities abound in North America. Enthusiasts can utilize the information presented in guide books to plan the perfect white water kayaking trip. White Water Kayaking Guide Books North America offers many excellent white water kayaking opportunities. Guide books provide detailed kayaking information. Length of trip, difficulty or skill level, conditions to be expected and more can be found inside these reference books. There are many white water kayaking guide books available. Here are a few of the popular ones. Appalachian Whitewater: The Southern States The Appalachian Mountains offer white water kayakers a wide variety of riverways to explore. Rivers in Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia are included in this guide book. Data sheets give readers quick information including levels of difficulty, water levels, grade, volume, USGS quads, dangers and more. Detailed river maps are provided along with diagrams of select rapids. Appalachian Whitewater: The Northern States Sixty eight rivers are featured in this part of the Appalachain Mountain series. Detailed narratives tell white water kayakers what to expect when kayaking the region. Included are rivers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. As with other books in this series, this guide book provides quick data information, maps and notable rapid details. Whitewater Classics Whitewater Classics features white water kayaking destinations from Alaska to Mexico. Biographies of the top kayakers and a story about each of the fifty featured rivers make the book a fun read as well as a good reference guide. Tyler Williams authored this guide. Included rivers were chosen by the top kayakers. Extreme Kayaking -- Kayaking at Your Own Risk! Generally speaking, kayaking is something everyone can do. It does not require any previous knowledge or experience, and as long as you're in average shape, you can participate in this easy-going, tranquil experience out on the water. Another popular water activity is whitewater rafting. This on the other hand isn't so calm and relaxing, but more exciting and thrilling. You don't need any experience to try your luck at whitewater rafting, but you do need to be in good shape and be able to swim. Extreme kayaking is a sport that combines these two popular water sports, and is typically reserved for those with experience and confidence in raging waters. Extreme kayaking can be done in many ways, but most experienced kayakers prefer to slide down the face of a waterfall and land into the busy waters below. Therefore, the equipment used in extreme kayaking differs greatly from that in classic kayaking. Extreme kayaks are built to withstand the rugged waters and speed. The most popular materials used to make these boats are fiberglass and Kevlar, making for a durable surface if scratched or damaged in any way. The boats range in size for extreme kayaking, from big enough to hold one person to twelve feet or longer. The International Scale of River Difficulty places the difficulty of rivers into classifications. This is how to decide where the best conditions are for extreme kayaking. Typical kayaking is done on rivers with a Class I grade, being the smoothest and tranquil waters. Extreme kayaking is done on Class III-IV grades, which are recommended for advanced kayakers only. There are different types of extreme kayaking and not all of them involve plunging down a waterfall into a flowing stream of rugged water. If you're comfortable with your ability to handle rough water but not yet ready to take a 45 foot plunge, you can try out river running. This is a form of extreme kayaking that promises bumps, twists, and turns down rocky waters, but doesn't involve kayaking off any cliffs or down great distances. An extension of this is called "creeking", where extreme kayakers can experience a little more excitement by closely riding the ledges and creeks and dropping down shorter waterfalls. Freestyle extreme kayaking doesn't involve making your way from one point to another, but rather staying in one spot as you work against the current and using various maneuvers to stay above water. This is sure to be a physical challenge and should only be attempted by expert extreme kayakers. Asheville, North Carolina is a popular spot for extreme kayaking. Asheville offers three different classes of river difficulty, making it ideal for beginners and expert extreme kayakers. The most famous creek for whitewater creek is Big Creek, and is used daily by extreme kayakers. You can also find rapid waters ideal for extreme kayaking in areas of Oregon and Colorado. A search of the internet will provide you a list of ideal locations nearby and all across the country. The Environmental Impacts of Kayaking -- Is it Dangerous? Kayaking is an activity enjoyed by many people of all ages. It requires little or no experience and nearly anyone of any skill level can participate. It's most popular as a summertime sport, but is also a great activity during the winter. Kayaking also seems relatively friendly to the environment; more so than speed boating or water skiing. Because a kayak doesn't create large or frequent waves, require fuel, or disperse hazards into the air, it is indeed a fairly safe activity for humans and wildlife alike. Kayaking on freshwater lakes and streams creates little turbulence and therefore, does not disturb fish or other aquatic life. Actually, the gentle paddling and movement of the kayak helps to bring kelp and seaweed to the surface, making for convenient snacking to the fish. However, there is a downside to kicking up an all-you-can-buffet for your fishy friends. In addition to bringing food to the surface, kayaking also stirs up litter that's been lurking beneath the waters. Most fish will not eat the trash that rises to the top, but other aquatic animals will mistake it for food. This could cause the animals to choke on the indigestible litter, leading to death. As hazardous as this sounds, it isn't very likely for such an event to take place. Most litter in lakes and streams is found along the shoreline and settles in the sand and dirt, and isn't likely to drift away to the main body of water. Unlike boats operated by motor and fuel, kayaks pose little or no harm to the fish swimming beneath. Kayaks don't move at a rapid pace, and the fish swimming below have ample time to move out of the boat's way. And because kayaks do not have a motor, fish have no risk of getting caught underneath the boat. One potential hazard that results from kayaking is human waste. This depends solely on where you plan to kayak, and if there are resources available (such as campsites) along the shoreline. When there are no facilities in sight, you're paddling in the middle of a lake, and nature calls, then often you are given no choice but to expel your waste in the middle of the water. While human waste is considered biodegradable, it can be harmful when ingested by fish. The only preventative measure is to avoid using the water as a restroom, but again, this can't always be helped. Some public lakes and streams have taken steps to preserve the quality of the water by requiring permits for kayaking. This won't eliminate a human waste problem, but does help regulate entry into the lake and prevent it from becoming overcrowded. An important factor to remember when kayaking is that you are a guest in someone else's home. You may not be greeted by anyone or be able to kick up your feet and watch TV, but the water is home to many aquatic animals and wildlife. Just as you would not throw trash on the floor or destroy the home of another, you shouldn't do it outdoors either. Keep all trash with you in your kayak and properly dispose of it after you return to shore. Don't dump anything in the water, and try to avoid expelling human waste if at all possible. By doing your part, you will help keep kayaking a safe and enjoyable activity for yourself and the environment. Tandem Kayaking; Sharing the Adventure! When kayaking originally became a popular water activity, the kayaks were made to only accommodate one person. This obviously presented a problem in a few different areas. First, it didn't allow for much conversation. If someone wanted to talk about their surroundings or nearby sights, they either had to shout to the closest kayak or just not talk at all. Second, if conditions became less than favorable for a kayaking excursion, there was no one to share the physical challenge with. So over time, the concept of developing a kayak for two people became reality. This is what we know today as tandem kayaking. Tandem kayaking has become a major convenience among families. Prior to the development of tandem kayaks, kayaking wasn't an activity cut out for families with small children. It was difficult to keep entire families together and communication was even more complicated. Now, families can take advantage of the tandem kayaking system; the multiple seats allow children to stay together and adults have an easier time providing supervision. Smaller children should be placed in the lap of an adult while tandem kayaking; larger children can sit in their own seats, typically the in the middle between the two adults. Additionally, tandem kayaking helps ease the minds of novice kayakers. Even if you've never been out on the water, you can still enjoy the thrills of kayaking by exploring the waters with an experienced kayaker. However, it should be noted that convenience isn't the only reason to experience tandem kayaking. If you are a novice kayaker, then seize the opportunity to gain experience by taking control of your tandem kayak. This often leads to the dilemma of where to sit in a tandem kayak, and that all depends on a number of factors. You definitely want to distribute the weight evenly in a tandem kayak while trying to accommodate experience and preference. For example, you would most likely place the person with the most experience in the back seat. This is because the rear of the kayak handles the majority of the steering and paddling. However, when conditions are favorable, allow the novice kayaker to sit in the rear and try their hand at steering and guiding. After all, this is the only way to gain experience in tandem kayaking. You still want to keep in mind that the rear of a tandem kayak should have the most weight. Some tandem kayaks are not built to accommodate large people in the front. If for any reason you have to paddle the kayak alone, remember to sit in the middle seat and distribute the weight. You may need to place a cooler, luggage, or some other heavy object in the front and rear to help control the kayak. If gaining experience isn't a priority to you in tandem kayaking, then there are several reasons to take full advantage of sitting in the front. You can enjoy your surroundings by taking pictures or looking through binoculars, or perhaps you want to try out fishing from a kayak. Whatever your reason may be, tandem kayaking is an enjoyable way of exploring the water. Experience Whale Watching on Rosarito Beach Mexico is a country known for its tropical appeal and lush vegetation. Most people traveling to Mexico visit the popular cities of Cancun, Tijuana, and Cabo San Lucas. These places are distinguished for having miles of white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and genuine Mexican cuisine. But there's another beautiful area of Mexico that's a well-kept secret -- Rosarito Beach. Located a short distance from the shores of Baja, California, Rosarito Beach provides an excellent opportunity to experience nature at its finest. This stretch of private paradise is famous for sights of the grey whale, and is most notable for great kayaking adventures. If you take advantage of the kayaking opportunities available on Rosarito Beach, you're sure to get up close and personal with the magnificent whales that inhibit the area. Rosarito Beach is located just south of the pacific coast of Baja, California, which is also known to be famous of spotting glimpses of the grey whale. You're most likely to meet the whales during the winter months of December and January in Rosarito Beach. This is the time of year when whales make the journey from their home in the Arctic Ocean to take in the warmth of Rosarito Beach, and begin their mating and birthing season. Traveling by kayak along the waters of Rosarito Beach provides you the ultimate opportunity to take pictures, view the whales through binoculars, and simply take in the wonders of watching these amazing creatures you otherwise would never have the chance to see. While you're paddling through the waters of Rosarito Beach, be sure to try your hand at fishing. This would be very easy to accomplish if you plan to kayak through the waters. The waters of Rosarito Beach are known to have a wide variety of fish, and you're likely to have the most luck just off the Coronado Islands. (These tiny, uninhibited islands are located northwest of the Rosarito Beach shoreline.) Even people who have never caught a fish before succeed around Coronado Islands! Along with whales and fish, you are also likely to spot sea lions, manatee, and tropical birds along the shoreline of Rosarito Beach if you kayak during the warmer months. Not only will you have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to see some amazing wildlife, but you'll also be given the opportunity to experience great photography. Most kayaking and whale watching tours in Rosarito Beach are daytime excursions, but there are some tours that offer camping as part of an overnight addition to the tour. If you choose an overnight tour, you will set up camp along the sandy beaches of the tiny surrounding islands of Rosarito Beach. What better way to view a tropical sunset? Although most kayaking tours in Rosarito Beach are not physically challenging, you will need to be in average physical shape to participate. The waters in this area can be a bit wavy or rough at times due to the inhibiting whales, but can still be paddled through by the average person. Explore the Beauty of Hawaii through Kayaking The chance to vacation in Hawaii is a rare opportunity for some people. Nearly everyone daydreams about feeling the sand between their toes while sipping on a pina-colada. So, if given the chance to visit Hawaii, it's not likely one would pass it up. With miles of sandy-white beaches and emerald-green waters, it's a place enjoyed by people of all ages. But unlike the other 49 states of America, Hawaii isn't just one solid mass of land that can be explored through driving; it's a chain of islands that represent the entire state. Therefore, there's no better way to check out this amazing land of paradise than by kayak! There are wonderful opportunities for kayaking on nearly every island of Hawaii. No matter what part of the state you plan to visit, a kayaking adventure is available at every corner. If you are planning to be in Kauai, this is a prime location for some of the best Hawaiian kayaking adventures. You can explore the waters around Hanalei Bay and have a chance to see some breathtaking Hawaiian wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for the sight of bottle-nose dolphins and a beautiful assortment of aquatic birds. Kauai is also known for its many small rivers and streams that flow into the tropical rainforest, so take advantage of the opportunity to see some exotic animals and plants first-hand. The east coast of Oahu is also a great spot to experience kayaking. Oahu is known to be one of the most relaxing places for a smooth-sailing kayaking trip. This area offers some of the calmest and serene waters in Hawaii, giving you the chance to take in some sightseeing while enjoying your time in the sun. Because of the many, small islands that surround Oahu's coast, you can stop for a picnic lunch during your kayaking adventure. Maui is an island of Hawaii that offers several kayaking options and adventures. Maui is home to Honolulu Bay marine preserve, where you can experience some excellent snorkeling or scuba diving. The waters surrounding Maui are ideal for the beginning kayaker, as conditions are usually calm and easy to paddle. However, if you are an experienced kayaker and looking for a challenge, then explore the island of Molokai. Here, the waters are known to be a bit rougher and offer quite a physical challenge. Please be advised that this area should be reserved for only the experienced kayakers. If you've never been kayaking before, the good news is that you don't need any experience in order to enjoy a kayaking trip in Hawaii. Kayaking is a wonderful activity that's ideal for people of all ages and skill level. If you book a guided tour, you will be taken to only the places with calm and quiet waters that require little physical exertion. In fact, kayaking in Hawaii is an activity that can be enjoyed by nearly every member of your family and is an excellent way to get in your sightseeing! Kayaking the Big Island -- A True Hawaiian Adventure! Simply put, kayaking the Big Island refers to kayaking adventures around Hawaii. While Hawaii is known for its white sandy beaches, emerald-green waters, active volcanoes, and tropical plants, it's also the perfect location for kayaking. The Big Island provides opportunities for everyone to enjoy kayaking, regardless of your age or ability level. You can choose to paddle through either extreme or tranquil waters, both of which offer an amazing glimpse at some of Hawaii's wildlife and beautiful scenery. The common places for kayaking around the Big Island are Kauai, Oahu, and Maui. Kauai is sometimes referred to as "the emerald island," and for very good reason. Not only is it one of the most beautiful Hawaiian islands, Kauai has some of the most stunning and active rainforests known to Hawaii. The waterfall terrain along the Na Pali coast provides excellent photography opportunities for those kayaking the Big Island. These waterfalls gently flow into the ocean and set the ultimate conditions for kayaking. Keep your eyes peeled for sights of Hawaiian wildlife along the coast, such as sea lions and other manatee. You may even want to consider snorkeling in this area of the Big Island, as you will find beautiful tropical fish swimming beneath the surface. The island of Oahu is the most populated of the Big Island and serves as an ideal location for calm kayaking. Along the west coast of Oahu, you will find dolphin activity on a daily basis. Here, you will be given the chance to dock your kayak and swim with these amazing aquatic creatures. Also in this area is the infamous Pearl Harbor. Feel free to take pictures and video tape this historic battle site as you kayak around the Big Island. Oahu is also known on the Big Island as a great spot to scuba dive, so be sure to take advantage of all the opportunities Oahu has to offer. Although the island of Maui is only forty-eight miles long, it is one of the most famous places of the Big Island. It's often referred to "Valley Isle" because of the massive valley between its two volcanoes. The shoreline of Maui provides some great kayaking and is most popular for whale-watching. Kayaking in this area of the Big Island is sure to bring you up close and personal with the humpback whales that inhibit the Hawaiian Island. It is recommended to kayak in the early morning hours to see the whales, and it should be noted that the waters surrounding Maui are typically rough and not as easily navigable. Therefore, you should go on a guided tour to kayak this area of the Big Island to help ensure your safety. The Big Island is full of kayak opportunities as well as scuba diving, snorkeling, cliff jumping, and many other thrilling water activities. If you ever plan to visit Hawaii, kayaking is your best bet to seeing all of the beauty and wonders of the Big Island.
Archipelago Kayaking Destinations Sea kayaking Archipelago destinations take boaters from the ordinary into a world where nature's ordinary has been left untouched. Marine life, wildlife and birds thrive. The following are just a few popular sea kayaking destinations. Galapagos National Park The legendary Galapagos Islands are said to be enchanted. Kayaking the area is an enchanting experience, according to those who've been there. Iridescent turquoise waters, lava channels, blue lagoons, deserted coves and white sand beaches are the stuff of dreams. The islands are usually sunny, another kayaking plus. Both shores and water teem with life. Sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoise, blue footed booby, and the Galapagos hawk are regular residents. The ocean houses the Pacific green sea turtle, Galapagos penguins, rays, dolphins, whales and white sharks in addition to other aquatic life. Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park Broughton Archipelago is a maze of little islands off Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The area is accessed only by water. This very popular sea kayaking destination houses a large collection of birds and wildlife. While kayaking the Archipelago, paddlers are likely to see orcas (killer whales), Harbour seals, Harbour porpoises, sea lions, sea otters, river otters, mink, raccoon, black-tailed deer, black bears, Bald eagles, Harlequin ducks, cormorants and Great blue herons. The islands are undeveloped and the setting is primitive. Organized Archipelago kayaking tours are available through various providers. Sormlands Archipelago Located just south of Stockholm, Sweden, this sea kayaking Archipelago destination features untouched wilderness. Kayakers can tour the calm inner area, the lush central region or the outer regions. Mergui Archipelago Located in the southern part of Burma, the Mergui is a collection of over 800 islands, most of which are covered in rain forest. This kayaking Archipelago destination takes paddlers deep into the rain forests. Kayak Jungle Rivers visit the sea gypsy village on Nyaung Wee Island and learn about Moken culture. Stunning beaches and a variety of wildlife and birds give the islands a lost paradise feel. Kayaking visitors have reported seeing wild elephants, flying foxes, civet cats, gibbons, crab-eating monkeys, wild boar, monitor lizards, turtles, armadillos and fruit bats. Birds include sea eagles, hornbills and parrots. Dover Archipelago Nova Scotia's East Dover sea kayaking destination lies in a protected Atlantic harbor. Numerous uninhabited islands invite exploration. The preservation area lies between East Dover and Peggy's Cove. Granite boulders dot the landscape, spread by melting ice over 20,000 years ago. Many of the islands are accessible via sea kayak. Some islands are so rocky that it isn't possible to beach the kayak. Island plant life includes rare orchids, Pitcher plants, lichens, juniper, and wild rhodendron. Osprey, loon, Blue Herons, and Bald eagles reside on the islands. Starfish, mussels, and lobsters can occasionally be seen. Blackfish Archipelago This British Columbia sea kayaking destination is well known for the abundance of whale sightings. Whales aren't the only creatures causing a stir. Dall's porpoises, Harbour Porpoises, Harbour seals, Stellar sea lions, Pacific white-sided dolphins, Orca whales, Minke whales, and Humpback whales are seen often. Sea kayaking at night gives paddlers a chance to see the area lit up by bioluminescence. Kayaking Archipelago destinations take boaters away from everyday life and into undiscovered, uninhabited, truly natural areas. Alaska Kayaking Destinations Offer Something for Everyone Kayaking Alaska gives boaters an opportunity to enjoy relaxing wilderness scenery or to test their limits in the frozen wilderness. Alaska is home to the nation's largest national park. Both the park and the state have much to offer beginning and experienced kayakers. Tours and rental kayaks are available for kayak experiences throughout the state. Le Conte Glacier Bay Le Conte Glacier Bay is a 12 mile fjord carved out of the mountain range by glaciers. Le Conte Glacier is the southernmost tidewater glacier in North America. It is an active glacier, fracturing and calving constantly, filling the bay with thousands of icebergs. Kayak day trips through the bay give boaters a glimpse of lush forests, ancient, sheer rock walls, thundering waterfalls and icebergs in every imaginable shape and size. Kayaking Le Conte lets boaters see and experience the majestic and sometimes fierce side of Alaskan nature. Big Creek on Frederick Sound The Kupreanof Island coastline offers miles of beaches and coves waiting to be appreciated by sea kayakers kayaking Alaska. Marine mammals in the area include stellar sea lions, porpoises, harbor seals and pacific humpback whales. River otters and bald eagles also call the island home. Tebenkof Bay Tebenkof Bay encompasses 65,000 acres of coves, bays and small islands -- a dream destination for Alaska kayaking. The area is one of the most remote and wild parts of southeast Alaska. Tlingit once lived there. No humans reside there now. Black bears, wolves, and Sitka black-tailed deer inhabit the area. Stikine River The Stikine River is the largest, navigable undammed watershed in North America. The river flows more than 400 miles from head waters in British Columbia to the Alaskan Delta. Flat-water paddling the Stikine takes boaters through areas once used by natives and gold-seekers. Kayakers can visit a hot spring, view the towering Cottonwood trees of Ketili River and see salmon spawning. Prince William Sound Prince William Sound is said to offer some of the best kayaking in Alaska. 7,000 miles of ocean, river deltas, tidal flats and glaciers make up the Sound. Shoup Glacier, unique because it can lay claim to not one but two tidal basins, boasts the fastest growing Kittiwake rookery in the Sound with over 20,000 birds and 6,000 nests. Columbia Glacier, aka the world's speediest glacier, is currently the largest glacier in Prince William Sound and the second largest glacier in Alaska. The glacier is moving backwards as much as 4 feet per day during the summer months. Kayakers can take a boat to the glacier then set out via kayak to paddle among icebergs and through bays that motorized boats cannot access. Harbor seals, sea otters, sea lions, bears and whales are likely to be seen. Such areas are what sea kayaking Alaska are all about. Sitka Sound Experienced sea kayakers will find wilderness beaches, bioluminescent waters, and experience kayaking in ocean swells, rock gardens, sea cliffs and outer caves while paddling Sitka. Coastal tide pools and kelp forests abound. Eagles, otters, seals, porpoises and whales call the area home, as do many smaller animals. Less experienced kayakers will still find plenty of Alaskan beauty to tour. Tongass National Forest Tongass National Forest is America's northernmost rain forest and the largest national forest in America. Almost 17 million acres, or over 20,625 square miles, make up Tongass forest. Saltwater and fresh water kayaking opportunities abound in this part of Alaska. The Tongass is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. Black and brown bears, caribou, sheep and goats call the forest home. So do moose, bald eagles, foxes, beavers and other small animals. Swans and hummingbirds are two of the birds boaters are likely to glimpse. The destinations mentioned here are just a few of the many Alaska kayaking opportunities for beginning and experienced kayakers. Paddling among glaciers, kayaking in sea caves, and seeing Alaska's wildlife in their natural habitat are some of the reasons kayakers visit the state. Ocean Kayaking -- The Ultimate Challenge in Exploring the Waters When you think of kayaking, you probably think of a relaxing journey through calm and tranquil waters aboard a small canoe-like boat. This is what kayaking is all about for the most part, but for those looking for a challenge and excitement, there's ocean kayaking. Generally speaking, ocean kayaking is at times comparable to white water rafting. Not in regards to equipment, but speed and level of activity. Therefore, ocean kayaking is typically left to those who are very experienced in the water. Canada is an excellent location to experience the ultimate ocean kayaking. Known for its scenic beauty and natural appeal, Canada provides everything needed for your journey along the ocean. Starting at the Ucluelet Harbour along the northwest coast, you will have the chance to see some of Canada's most precious wildlife. Black bears are often spotted fishing along the shore line, and sea lions call out to you as if to say "hello" as you pass by. You'll also pass through some breathtaking waterfalls in this area (be prepared to paddle harder!) and see some historic houses and fishing boats along the shore. Barkley Sound provides an excellent opportunity for spotting unique aquatic animals, such as seahorses, sea stars, sand dollars, and natural sponges. Barkley Sound is full of mini-islands to explore, and often eagles, river otters, and sometimes whales can be viewed in this area. Elk, California is another ideal location to experience the excitement of ocean kayaking. Here, you can paddle your way through the waters of the Pacific Ocean and explore hidden sea caves and small beaches to get a good look at some amazing wildlife. Whales are known to peep out of the water as kayaks pass through and you'll have the chance to visit with some other unique marine life. Stop for a break on the secluded beaches along Elk's coastline, and experience fishing for shellfish right from your own kayak. If you're traveling to Hawaii, Kona is one of the best places to explore the ocean through kayaking. Here, you can get up close and personal with dolphins, explore the magical, hidden sea caves of Hawaii, and try out snorkeling to see the magnificent creatures that live beneath the water. Make your way through the cliffs of Kuamoo Bay, where you will have the chance to view the sea turtles and manta rays. Follow the shoreline to the sea caves, where you can spot coral gardens and underwater lava tubes. Tropical fish are known to make this location their home, so take advantage of this snorkeling opportunity. Not only is Kona the perfect spot for ocean kayaking, but it's known to have some of the best cliff jumping in Hawaii! Even if you are not the most experienced in ocean kayaking, you can look for places that offer group tours. You will still need to be in average physical shape, but you can rely on others if the paddling is too much for you. A simple search of the internet will provide you with a list of tour companies and it's recommended that you call in advance to inquire about the physical requirements for ocean kayaking. Where to Take a Guided Kayaking Tour in San Diego Take a look around the city of San Diego, and you're likely to see everyone getting around on bike or by trolley. While it's true that San Diego is full of sites and attractions, very few people realize that it's also an ideal location to experience some great kayaking. In fact, some of the best scenery of San Diego is only seen from the water, and kayaking is an excellent way to take in all of the sights and sounds of this "big little city". Start your kayaking adventure in San Diego by taking a tour of the La Jolla Sea Caves. While it sounds like it may be an intimidating experience, it's actually a very pleasant and fun outdoor adventure! Beginning at the La Jolla Shores, you can paddle your way through an outdoor paradise while you view areas of San Diego's coast. Before reaching the historical sea caves, you'll have a chance to get up close and personal with sea lions, stingrays, and other aquatic life that reside within these canals. In fact, it's even said that harbor seals sit perched among the rocks of the water and "wave" at their visitors who pass by! However, kayaking in San Diego is just as fun in the fall and winter as it is in the summer. Winter is known to be a season of hibernation and mating, and that's exactly what you'll find as you explore Baja's Pacific Coast! During the colder seasons, gray whales leave their homeland of the Arctic Ocean and make their way to the inviting warmth of Baja. In the months of December and January, the whales mate and give birth. Take advantage of a guided tour from La Jolla Shores during this time, and experience the thrill of viewing these amazing animals in person. If you plan to visit San Diego with small children, there are opportunities for them to experience the fun of kayaking as well. In areas of Monterey and Elkhorn Slough, there are very calm and tranquil waters that are perfect for children and families. Monterey Bay offers fascinating history and abundant marine life, while Elkhorn Slough is an excellent kayaking route for the nature and wildlife lover. (Often, you can spot several breeds of exotic birds.) The children will love the feeling of paddling through the water on a boat, and adults will enjoy the quiet ride while taking in some sightseeing. If you've ever dreamed of catching the biggest fish among your friends and family, then look into opportunities for kayak fishing around Monterey Bay. While this area is known for its calm and peaceful surroundings, it is also home to some of California's best fishing. There are several classes offered in the area and guided tours and trips directed towards kayak fishing. With so many amazing opportunities for kayaking in San Diego, you are sure to find the water adventure that's right for you and your family! Visiting Canada? Take a tour with Mothership Adventures! In Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, you'll find one of the best kayaking adventures available in the country. Known as Mothership Adventures, this guided kayak tour company goes above and beyond the normal kayak excursion, by providing its clients a comfortable journey out to sea aboard the "mothership", vessel Columbia III. You'll experience views of wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, and genuine welcome from the crew and staff. This is sure to be an unforgettable adventure for people of all ages! Mothership Adventures offers three different kayaking excursions to choose from. The first of these is the Desolation Sound Tour. For this tour, you will depart from the beautiful Campbell River aboard the mothership and set sail for the quiet and tranquil Desolation Sound, known for its abundant marine life with different mammals and sea birds. Once you arrive, you'll step off the mothership and into your tandem kayak, where you'll paddle through the tiny passageways. This allows you to explore Desolation Sound without missing a single breathtaking view. The second tour available through Mothership Adventures is The Broughton Archipelago and Johnstone Strait Kayak Tour. The Broughton Archipelago is a quiet setting for the wildlife, and is often unaccessible to private kayakers. The mothership anchors itself in a tiny corner, allowing kayakers aboard to explore areas that would otherwise never be seen. You'll set sail from Port McNeill and sail past the beautiful Coast Mountaints. This provides an excellent opportunity for some great photography! Broughton Archipelago is home to many aquatic and terrestial animals. You'll spot harbor seals, otter, and occassionally a family of bald eagles nesting in the trees along the shoreline. You'll also see white-sided dolphins frolicking in the gentle waves, and you may even spot a black bear as he fishes for his dinner! The last tour is the Great Bear Rainforest Kayaking Tour, which is said to be the best sea kayaking available in Canada. This week long excursion allows kayakers to take in the beauty and immaculate wilderness of British Columbia's wild central coast. This area provides kayakers with a closer glimpse of the abundant wildlife that inihibit the iselts between the Coast Mountaints. Sea and river otters are frequent attractions, as well as black bears and sea lions. Stop for a picnic lunch along the white sandy beaches, and board the mothership for your return home. All of the Columbia III kayak adventures are usually a week long and are all-inclusive. Gourmet meals, snacks, private rooms, and all kayaking equipment are provided. Prices vary depending on the tour you select, but the typical price range is $1690 -- $3528 per person. You do not need any prior experience in kayaking to participate in the tours, and you will receive a complete packing list prior to your arrival so you know exactly what to bring. However, space is extremely limited for each tour, so be sure to reserve your tour as soon as possible. Kayaking in South Carolina: Break Away from the Ordinary! South Carolina is a state full of adventure, fun and relaxation for residents and tourists alike. There's something for everyone of all ages to enjoy no matter what part you live in or are visiting. With all of the beauty surrounding this all-American escape, it's only natural that one would take full advantage of the great outdoors. That's why South Carolina is known for some great kayaking, whether you're a rookie to the waters or an aquatic guru! Nearly every major city in South Carolina has all the necessities to make your kayaking experience the ultimate adventure. And because kayaking is an easy and calm activity, it's the perfect outdoor excursion for people of all ages and ability levels. You can find professional guided tours through Calm Water Kayak Tours of South Carolina. Although you may have experienced the busy waters of South Carolina's beaches, the guides of Calm Water have made it their top priority to show you the quiet and sparkling waters of South Carolina's lakes and streams. Calm Waters provides tours around Lake Jocassee, Saluda River, Lake Russell, Lake Greenwood, Lake Hartwell, and Lake Keowee. While Beaufort, South Carolina is known as a busy city and is home to several United States Marines, it is also home to Beaufort Kayak Tours. You can choose from three different exploration routes, including Historic Beaufort, Salt Marsh Exploration, and Hunting Island. If you choose the Salt Marsh Exploration, keep your eyes peeled for the sight of a bottle-nose dolphin, as they are known to inhabit this area of South Carolina. You can also learn how to throw your own cast net to catch some of the saltwater crabs. The Historic Beaufort tour provides a detailed, narrated excursion of the interesting history that surrounds Beaufort -- and you'll never even have to walk the streets to take it all in! Hunting Island explores the tranquil sights of the lagoon surrounding the nearby beach, and is known for the entertainment of jumping mullets. Check out Cool Breeze Kayaking in Hilton Head for a relaxing view of nature along with your trip to the beach. Here you can experience the two-hour Dolphin Nature Tour which provides a first-hand look at these amazing marine creatures. You can also catch a glimpse of otter and osprey! Please be sure to make advance reservations for this kayaking tour, as space is extremely limited. Most kayaking tours in South Carolina are available for around $40 per adult, $30 per child. Packages vary and can be accustomed to suit your needs and budget. In fact, some South Carolina kayaking tours even offer overnight excursions for those who want to incorporate the great outdoors as part of their vacation. Be sure to ask what is included with your kayaking package, as some packages will offer a picnic lunch, t-shirt, or other souvenir. Although life jackets are typically provided, be sure to bring one in case a member of your party is a child or can't swim. With so many options available for a great kayaking adventure in South Carolina, you can't go wrong by trying this out-of-the-ordinary outdoor experience! Kayaking in Florida; A Different Approach to "Fun in the Sun" Florida is often a popular destination for tourists and not just in the summer, but all year long. Florida offers miles of sandy beaches, annual warm weather, great shopping adventures and wonderful dining. Most people head straight for the beach when visiting Florida, taking in the sun at places like Daytona Beach, Boynton Beach, and private beaches along Clearwater and Orlando. While these are great relaxation spots, sometimes they can get overcrowded and it's hard to appreciate the natural beauty of Florida. That's why Florida is also home to several kayaking adventures, where you can experience a unique aspect to fun in the sun. In central Florida, check out A Day Away Outfitters and Kayak Tours. Centered on Merritt Island, A Day Away offers tours aimed specifically at viewing dolphins, manatee, and alligator. You'll also have a chance to catch a glimpse of wild turkeys and pigs lurking in the woods surrounding the islands. Each tour is guided by a professional kayaking instructor and is available seven days a week. If you're visiting or live around south Florida, Atlantic Coast Kayak Company provides informative kayaking classes and guided tours. Take a tour around the infamous Florida Keys, where you'll be able to take a pit stop and swim with the dolphins if conditions are favorable. For a truly unique kayaking experience, consider taking a tour to Whiskey Creek. Located between the beach and the waterway within John Lloyd State Park, Whiskey Creek is popular for spotting beautiful aquatic birds, a variety of saltwater fish, and even stingrays! Not only will you catch views of wildlife only seen on the discovery channel, but you'll also have the chance to see the large and historic ships of Port Everglades. If you reside in Florida or plan to visit several times a year, consider becoming a member of the Florida Sea Kayaking Association (FSKA). You can receive significantly discounted kayaking trips all around Florida, and privileges to some of Florida's most serene and prestigious kayaking locations. Joining this or a similar kayaking association could save you lots of money if kayaking is one of your frequent hobbies. Finally, if you plan to be in the Orlando area and have some time for a longer aquatic outdoor excursion, then sign up with Florida Sun Safari National Park Adventure. This eight day journey will lead you through many destinations beginning in Orlando. You'll enjoy a hike through the Everglades National Park, where you'll have the opportunity to view unique aquatic birds and some of Florida's most hidden wildlife. In Key West, you'll be given the opportunity to not only kayak through some of the tranquil waters, but also scuba dive! Experience a picnic lunch and a chance to touch manatees at Canaveral National Seashore on the final day. This unforgettable opportunity costs around $825 per person and covers food and transportation. Next time you're in Florida, you'll find so many great opportunities for kayaking and other outdoor adventures. Laying out on the beach may soon become your old pastime! Kayaking Florida Tours & Destinations Whether you're looking for a challenge and a chance to test your kayaking skills or just looking to see Florida from another point of view, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Participating in a reputable kayak tour is a good way to see what Florida has to offer. Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge The Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida is a popular destination for many organized kayak tours. A Day Away Outfitters offer several tours based in the refuge. Manatee Encounter: kayaking with this beloved Florida resident and endangered species can be a fun and enlightening experience. The tour lasts two hours and manatee sightings are guaranteed from April to October. Difficulty rating is easy. Birding Tour: This 90 minute kayaking tour gives paddlers the chance to see some of Florida's migratory and native birds. Spoonbills, herons, egrets and more call the refuge home. Difficulty rating is easy. Black Night/Cold Light Bioluminescent Night Tour: This isn't a refuge tour but it is highly recommended. In the summer, the waters of the Indian River and Mosquito Lagoon light up thanks to bioluminescence. Every movement produces light. Manatees glow, sting rays look like something out of something out of science fiction movies and fast moving little fish look like glow-in-the-dark rockets. The tour lasts 2 1/2 hours. Bioluminescence is guaranteed June through September. Difficulty rating is easy. Kayakers can truly see Florida in a whole new light. Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail This popular sea kayaking destination in Florida is one of the longest and wildest publicly owned wetlands in the United States. The 105 mile trail features a big variety of marine and bird life. White pelicans, egrets, bald eagles and ospreys inhabit the area. In the water, kayakers are likely to see crabs, fish, sea turtles, manatee, cannonball jelly fish, small sharks and rays. Six designated campsites are spread out over the trail. Camping permits are required and guide books are available. The trail is open from September 1 to June 30th. Blue Cypress Lake Club kayak details several available Florida kayak routes and tours. Blue Cypress Lake is one of them. Freshwater kayaking at Florida's Blue Cypress Lake requires moderate kayaking skills. Round trip from Middleton's Fish Camp to Moonshine Bay is 7 miles. The lake contains largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and blue gill in addition to other fish species. Cypress trees, often filled with osprey, surround the launch area. Available side trips include exploring the cypress swamp, complete with subtropical ferns, mosquitoes and alligators. Weeki Wachee River Also detailed by Club kayak is Weeki Wachee, a Florida spring discharging over 64 million gallons of water daily. Kayaking this Florida waterway, paddlers are likely to see manatee, alligators, raccoons, otters and a variety of birds. Often-sighted birds include ducks, ibis, pelicans, herons, osprey, wood storks and cormorants. Eight miles along, the Weeki Wachee meets the Gulf of Mexico. Difficulty rating is beginner to advanced and distance ranges from 4 to 16 miles. Kayaking options in Florida range from freshwater to saltwater and from calm water to rushing water. Kayaking tours are an excellent way to try out new waterways. State parks and kayaking trails are another option. Kayaking Australia Australia offers a variety of kayaking options, from mild to wild. Here are some popular Australia kayaking destinations. Perth Perth, in Western Australia, offers serious whitewater kayaking. Winter in Australia is July to September. One winter destination is Murray River. The Murray features grade 2-4 rapids and a steep gradient. Rapids include Tricky Dick, Columbines, Fast Eddies, Gobbly Girl and Terminations Rapid. Broome Sheltered bays and abundant marine life greet kayakers along this clean coastline. Birds, fish, dolphins and manta rays are some of the marine life present. Turtle Bay Lookout is a leisurely kayak trip exploring reefs, rock formations and watching birds and marine life. Sea kayaking south of Broome to the Eco Beach and Cape Villarette area is a leisurely paddle. Ocean kayaks are recommended. Sydney Kayakers can see one of Australia's largest tourist attractions, the Sydney Harbour, from sea level. Sydney Harbour is home to the Opera House, the Admiralty House (General Governor's Residence), Kerribilli House (Prime Minister's Residence), some of Sydney's most expensive water front real estate and more. Kayaking tours of the area are available. Some tour guides have changed their policies and no longer accept inexperienced kayakers. They state that the Harbour has much more motorized boat traffic and that it's best if only experienced sea kayakers paddle through the more crowded areas. Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary The Adelaide Dolphin Sanctuary is part of the Port River Estuary. Kayaking is an excellent way to meet up with the Port River dolphins and to tour the Ships Graveyard Maritime Heritage trail. Great Barrier Reef Enjoy sea kayaking the world's largest reef system. Australia's Great Barrier Reef is 1400 miles long and home to 1800 known species of fish and 450 species of coral. 3000 individual reefs and 900 islands make up Great Barrier Reef. The biggest problem in kayaking the area is in deciding where to paddle first. Green Island is a 6,000 year old coral cay and National Park on the Great Barrier Reef. Sandy beaches, clear water and a tropical rain forest make it a popular kayaking destination with some tours. Tully River in the World Heritage Rainforest Reef and rain forest tours are available from various tour operators. The Tully River, a Class IV, in the World Heritage Rain Forest is Australia's most famous whitewater kayaking destination. The Tully is located 87 miles south of Cairns. The river flows through the World Heritage Rain Forest. It's a steep, technical grade 4 river. A five hour kayaking trip covers 45 rapids, including the Alarm Clock, the Wet & Moisty, Staircase and Theatre. Prince's Bridge to Westgate Bridge The Yarra River used to be the lifeblood of Melbourne. Kayakers can see the old docks, boats and bridges from water level. Paddle alongside tankers and cargo boats for a new perspective on size. The area now contains a casino, restaurants, shops and cycling track. Kayakers can pull up at Southbank or the Docklands and grab some refreshment. From the magnificent Sydney Harbor to the wild Tully River, Australia offers something for both experienced and beginning kayakers. International Sea Kayaking Guide Books Kayakers who want to add to their sea kayaking adventures and explorations will find many destinations to choose from in sea kayaking guide books. Here are a few of the those available. Guide to Sea Kayaking Central & Northern California Authors Roger Schumann and Jan Shriner included over 40 sea kayaking trips with over 100 alternative routes. Created for beginners as well as expert sea kayakers, the book includes mile by mile descriptions of routes, prominent landmarks, maps, and interesting sights. Sea Kayaking Maryland's Chesapeake Bay: Day Trips on the Tidal Tributaries and Coastlines of the Western and Eastern Shore Written by Michael Savario and Andrea Nolan, this is billed as the first and only kayaking guide to the Chesapeake Bay region. The book covers over 30 trips. The Chesapeake watershed covers over 64,000 square miles and drains part of six states in addition to Washington, D.C. The tidal shoreline is 4,600 miles long. There are over 400 rivers and creeks. This guide covers trips in the Bay, in tributaries and along both East and West shores. Information includes put-ins, put-outs, winds, currents, equipment, safety, and paddling. Sidebars note salt marsh ecology, wildlife and social and maritime history. Low-impact paddling techniques are discussed along with hypo/hyperthermia, and more. Sea Kayaking Along the Mid-Atlantic Coast: Coastal Paddling Adventures From New York to Chesapeake Bay Veteran coast paddler Tamsin Venn chose 30 kayaking trips along the mid-Atlantic shoreline to include in this guide book. Detailed route descriptions are provided, along with local history, wildlife, ecology, maps and NOAA chart references, access, parking, launching and landing, trip mileage, harbor information, tidal ranges, currents, weather, equipment and more. Scottish Canoe Classics Eddy Palmer chose his favorite 25 inland touring routes and included them here. Numerous photos and specially commissioned maps provide detail. Routes are suitable for open canoe and touring kayaks. There's plenty of variety. The journeys take place on inland lochs, sheltered sea lochs and rivers of up to Grade 2. Sea Kayaking (Outside Adventure Travels) Veteran kayaker Jonathan Hanson details 25 coastlines spanning seven seas from Northwest Territories to Baja, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Everglades, from the Greek Isles to Tierra del Fuego, from the Red Sea to Fiji. Readers will find out how to see the powerful Orcas (killer whales) off the coast of British Columbia, dolphins racing in the Sea of Cortez off Baja, beluga whales cruising the Arctic and gray seals and puffins on the cliffs of Scotland's Hebrides. Wild Coast (The) Volume 1: A Kayaking, Hiking and Recreational Guide for North and West Vancouver Island John Kimantas covers the geography, ecology, history and attractions of North and West Vancouver Island with dozens of color photos and maps. Eleven chapters are included. Each describes a distinct island area with amenities, attractions, ecology, history, place names, landing sites, campsites and general trivia. This guidebook allows the reader to plan and get the most from exploring this spectacular coast. From the United States to the Great Barrier Reef to Vancouver Island, these guide books offer sea kayaking trips for beginners and experts alike. Hawaii Kayaking Destinations Kayaking Hawaii can be as peaceful as a solitary paddle trip along a tranquil river or as wild as a rough ocean adventure. Popular kayaking destinations can be found on Kauai, Maui and Molokai. Some of the most beautiful areas in Hawaii are extremely difficult to access via land but kayaking gives paddlers immediate access to appreciate and enjoy nature's beauty. Kauai is the only Hawaiian island with a river suitable river for kayaking. Wailua River on the eastern side of the island is a favored destination. The right side of the river is reserved for kayaking. Wailua River Valley was once reserved for royalty. It is still considered sacred and special by many. The river is typically gentle with little current. Lush tropical foliage, beautiful exotic blooming flowers, ancient ruins, sacred waterfalls, old Hawaiian villages, pristine canyons and tropical rain forests are just a portion of the scenic beauty kayakers can experience. Several tour companies operate in the region. Single, double, and triple kayaks are available for rent. The Secret Falls and Fern Grotto are popular Hawaii kayaking destinations. There are times when access to one or more areas (such as the grotto) is restricted but there's so much more to see that kayakers aren't left with time on their hands. Maui kayaking tours include beginner tours, Makena tours and Honolua Bay tours. Kayak surfing tours are available and at least one tour company welcomes physically challenged kayakers. Kayaking Makena Landing gives paddlers the opportunity to see turtles, eels, octopus, reef sharks, tropical fish and occasionally whales or dolphins. The secluded and beautiful Pali Sea Cliff area features rugged shoreline, sharp sea cliffs and stunning coral reefs. Hawaiian green sea turtles are a highlight of kayaking Makena Bay. Honolua Bay is a marine reserve. The coral reef teems with fish. Kayaking here does require paddling into moderately strong trade winds. Kayaking Hawaii's Molokini Crater allows kayakers to access areas powerboats can get to. Some of the island's most spectacular sea life is said to be found here. Molokai is best reserved for experienced kayakers. Ocean swells and rough waves make paddling too difficult and dangerous for beginners. The island's undeveloped north shore may be paddled from east to west but kayakers rarely paddle the return route. Ten mile-per-hour winds make the trip a rough one. Kayaking Hawaii's Kona coast gives paddlers the opportunity to explore Kealakekua Bay, Keahou, Ho'okena, Honaunau and Kailua. Kealakekua Bay is the most protected deep water bay and is designated a Marine Life Conservation District. The Bay was the home of many Hawaiian Chiefs and is where Captain Cook landed. A Captain Cook monument stands there today. Across the bay, kayakers will find pristine reefs where over 250 species of fish have been identified. Glass kayaks can be rented in Kona, making kayaking Hawaii a truly amazing and different experience. Keahuou Bay, birthplace of Kamehameha the great, boasts calm waters. Kayakers paddling along the south cliffs will pass sea caves. One of the sea caves can often be entered by kayak, making for a unique Hawaiian kayaking experience. Kayaking Hawaii can be a tranquil experience or an adrenalin rush. From tropical waterfalls to rushing rapids, from sea caves to historical ruins, paddlers can choose the perfect kayak trip. Finding the Best Kayaking in Seward, Alaska Alaska is a beautiful state that longs to be explored. With beautiful mountain scenery, breathtaking landscapes, and crystal clear lakes and streams, it's no wonder that Alaska has become a top vacation spot in the United States. Alaska also provides the perfect opportunity to experience kayaking, particularly in the area of Seward. You are not likely to find a better place for kayaking anywhere in the world! Here you will find everything you only dreamed of seeing as you paddle through the calm and tranquil waters of Seward on your kayaking journey. Lowell Point, located inside the magnificent Resurrection Bay, is a prime location in Seward for great kayaking. Here you will find abundant wildlife and aquatic animals along the shoreline of Caines Head State Recreation Area. You're likely to spot bald eagles soaring overhead, sea lions perched atop the jagged rocks that peek up from under the water, and grizzly bears as they feast on the leaping salmon inhibiting the creeks and streams of Lowell Point. Another common location for kayaking in Seward is Fox Island. Fox Island is said to be one of the best sea kayaking locations in the world, and for very good reason. Located about 14 miles from Seward, Fox Island is an area of natural beauty and wonder. This is an area you thought you would only see on the discovery channel! You'll find long, sandy beaches that stretch for miles, an inhibited rainforest, and picture-perfect cliffs and coves along the shoreline. Fox Island is famous for catching glimpses of a whale, as the peek out from beneath the water to say hello to fellow kayakers. Falcons and puffins soar in the clear skies, setting the perfect scene for photography. Kenai Fjords National Park provides the ultimate kayaking experience for those looking to view natural Alaskan glaciers or get in some whale watching. Whales are known to live just beneath the glaciers in the tranquil water, and often jump between the waves as if to put on a show for the kayakers. The surrounding glaciers provide the perfect pedestal for sea otters, sea lions, beavers, and other wildlife residing in the area. They never seem to be bothered by the passing kayaks, so be sure to snap a picture of these magnificent creatures while you have the chance. Kenai Fjords is the perfect location for a kayaking trip if you are only visiting Seward for a short time, as it can easily be explored by kayak in one day. A simple search of the internet will provide you with a list of Seward kayak tour companies and their rates. The average cost of a one-day kayaking excursion through Seward is around $125. Most tours will include everything you need for your kayaking adventure, as well as lunch or dinner included in the price. Be sure to find a tour that will accommodate your level of physical ability. While most everyone of any skill level can participate in the kayaking tours, some of the waters of Seward tend to be rough and harder to paddle through. Keep this mind when choosing your tour and location.
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