We have been thinking about getting into kayaking for years now. There are canals, natural springs, wetlands, and large inlets all over the place here that are perfect for kayaking. (A lot of people go out onto the ocean with kayaks and paddle boards, too, but I am not brave enough for that.) The sport is so popular here that Elise took kayaking lessons for kids at the community pool several months ago (totally adorable).
A friend brought the idea of kayaking back into our minds recently by mentioning that we should do a clear-bottom kayak bioluminescence tour in a city just south of here when the weather warms up.
We very much plan to do one of those tours (this summer, hopefully). But after that, I spent forever online looking for a tandem kayak that could hold all three of us. We ended up finding one at our local West Marine and walked out of the store with it, a couple paddles, and new life jackets. (We only had the emergency life jackets that you wear when you are out on a sailboat.) And whistles.
I thought whistles were for someone to locate you if you got lost – and they are – but the sales guy says paddlers generally use them to express scorn at misbehaving boat pilots. I’m so southern that I don’t even honk my car horn at bad drivers, however, so I imagine my whistle is going to live forever inside the pocket of my life jacket. Incidentally, one of the funniest things about moving to Florida is being around so many people from up north on a regular basis. They are awfully fond of their car horns. If you are ever stuck in traffic with a bunch of Yankees, it’s like one enormous symphony of discontent.
So now we are searching for a location that is tame enough for beginners. I originally thought we would try a nearby inlet that has a lot of fun sandbars, but more experienced paddlers say that it can be dangerous when the tides come in. Apparently, the tide coming in with the sandbars creates a sort of washing machine effect. But I will find a safe spot for the maiden launch.
If you have any tips, please share them!