The life of outdoorsmen and women is an attempt to understand and participate in the rhythms, reasons and workings of the natural world. Billions of people worldwide are insulated from nature by walls, electronics and grocery stores. In fact, layer after layer of insulation have led to what people are now calling nature deficit disorder. Outdoor enthusiasts connect with nature on more primitive levels through hiking, camping, trekking, fishing, hunting and various other outdoor pursuits. It is often useful to completely reframe your outdoor experience by participating in outdoor activities that are ground breakingly (or in this case water breakingly) outside of your normal year to year routine. If you haven’t given sea kayaking a try, it may well revolutionize your view of nature.
Sea kayaks are small seaworthy boats generally designed for one or two paddlers. Unlike their wild, white water cousins, sea kayaks are relatively stable and designed to stay upright. Unlike canoes, sea kayaks are a sealed, buoyant vessel. That means the water can’t get in from the top of the boat. Further, paddlers are sealed into the boat with a spray skirt so that even an occasional wave or splash doesn’t result in wet gear or paddler. Since the boat is sealed, the sea kayak opens up safe, enjoyable travel in open water and even across long distances.
The experience is like no other. From tropical regions to the popular inland waters of the Pacific Northwest’s San Juan Islands, sea kayaking gets you up close and personal with the tide, sea and wildlife. The physical activity is great exercise and a great way to relax. You can spend hours in rhythmic paddling or poke around quiet waters at your leisure, exploring nooks and crannies far away in the realm of seals and whales.
Mastering all the tricks of the sea may take years, however sea kayaks are relatively easy to learn. Most kayak tours start with a short ½ hour introduction and then head off for a few hours, days or even a week of touring. It’s that easy to learn.
The boats are more advanced, but the experience isn’t much different than the skin covered boats of the far north centuries ago. Neither are the encounters with seals, whales, fish and ecosystems unavailable to other forms of travel. The initial investment is fairly high, but luckily kayak rentals and tours are also available as a great way to get your first experience. Small companies thrive in almost all great areas to kayak from Costa Rica to San Juan Island. Everybody paddles! Check out http://www.crystalseas.com, http://www.seakayakadventures.com and others on the web and think about a week of travel, fun and being at one with the sea.