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Go Fetch Challenge Kayaking Expedition

3 guys set out on ocean kayaks to travel from Montreal to the Yucatan Peninsula. Here is a video clip:

 

Here are 17 pictures of what it is like be be paddling on the ocean:

  • Modern ocean kayaks are typically made of materials like plastic, fiberglass, or composite materials, which offer durability, stability, and better performance in open water.
  • Ocean kayaking is a popular activity for exploring coastal areas, observing marine wildlife, and enjoying the natural beauty of the ocean. It can also be used for adventure tourism, such as sea kayaking trips to remote or exotic destinations.
  • Safety is a critical consideration when ocean kayaking, as the ocean can be unpredictable and pose various risks. Some common safety precautions include wearing a personal flotation device (PFD), carrying safety equipment like a whistle or a paddle float, and checking weather and marine conditions before heading out.

 

It is an adventure.

 

 

You can use a fishing pole to try and catch one.

Ocean kayaking involves paddling in open water, such as the ocean, a bay, or a large lake. It often involves dealing with wind, waves, and currents, which can make it a more challenging and physically demanding experience. However, it also offers the opportunity to explore coastal areas, see marine life, and enjoy scenic views from the water.

River kayaking involves paddling in rivers, which can range from calm, gentle streams to fast-moving rapids. It often involves navigating around obstacles such as rocks, branches, and rapids, which can make it a more technical and skillful experience. However, it also offers the opportunity to explore scenic river valleys and see wildlife such as birds and fish.

Both ocean and river kayaking require different types of equipment and skills. Ocean kayaks are generally longer and more stable than river kayaks, with a wider base and a rudder or skeg to help with steering. River kayaks, on the other hand, are shorter and more maneuverable, with a rocker design that allows them to navigate rapids and obstacles.

 

 

 

Ocean kayaks are much larger than those for lakes or streams.

Watch out for sharks.

 

Do not get too far away from shore or else you may get lost at sea.

 

 

The surf is difficult to get through.

  • Kayakers should always maintain a safe distance from sharks, at least 100 feet away from most shark species and at least 500 feet away from great white sharks.
  • If a shark approaches your kayak, try to remain calm and avoid sudden movements. Make noise or use a paddle to create vibrations to signal the shark that you are not prey.
  • It’s important to respect sharks and their environment. Avoid feeding or harassing them, as this can alter their natural behavior and create dangerous situations for both humans and sharks.

 

Use your paddle to move forward, turn, and reverse.

 

 

I ventured out into the open ocean on my solo kayaking journey. It was an experience that both exhilarated and humbled me. I had been planning this adventure for weeks, and after careful preparation, the day finally arrived. I chose a bright red, 12-foot touring kayak for its stability and sleek design, perfect for cutting through the waves with minimal resistance.

The kayak was a Wilderness Systems Pungo 120, known for its comfortable seating and ample storage space. It had a weight capacity of 325 pounds, which was more than sufficient for me and my gear. The hull design promised a balance of speed and maneuverability, which was crucial for the unpredictable nature of the ocean.

I arrived at the beach early in the morning, the salty tang of the sea air filling my lungs as I unloaded my kayak from the roof rack. I had packed light but efficiently, with a waterproof dry bag containing my essentials: a safety whistle, a first-aid kit, a VHF radio for emergencies, and some high-energy snacks. I also had my GoPro camera mounted on the front of the kayak to capture the journey.

After a quick stretch and a glance at the sky, noting the fair weather and gentle breeze, I pushed off from the shore. The cool water lapped against the sides of my kayak as I paddled out beyond the breakers. The rhythm of my strokes became a meditative process, and I found myself syncing with the ocean’s pulse.

As I glided over the rolling swells, I felt a profound sense of solitude. It was just me, my kayak, and the vast expanse of water stretching to the horizon. Every so often, a curious sea creature would make an appearance — a playful dolphin arcing gracefully out of the water or a seal bobbing its head to get a better look at the strange visitor.

The sun climbed higher, casting a glistening path across the water’s surface. I navigated using landmarks and kept a steady pace, mindful of the distance I was covering. The kayak’s stability was a blessing, as I encountered a few larger waves that tested my balance and resolve.

After a couple of hours, I found a secluded cove, its waters sheltered and calm. I took the opportunity to rest and refuel, beaching the kayak on the soft sand.

 

Ocean kayaking tips infographic

Ocean Kayaks to consider

  1. Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14: This is a popular kayak for fishing, with a pedal-drive system that allows for hands-free operation. It also has plenty of storage space and a comfortable, adjustable seat.
  2. Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120: This kayak is designed for both recreational and fishing use, with a comfortable seat and plenty of storage space. It also has a stable, versatile design that is suitable for a wide range of water conditions.
  3. Perception Tribe 11.5: This kayak is designed for recreational use, with a stable and comfortable design that is ideal for beginners. It also has a lightweight and durable construction that makes it easy to transport.
  4. Old Town Castine 140: This kayak is designed for touring and sea kayaking, with a sleek and efficient design that allows for smooth and fast paddling. It also has plenty of storage space and adjustable seating to provide a comfortable ride.
  5. Ocean Kayak Malibu Two XL: This is a popular tandem kayak, with a stable and versatile design that can be used for recreational paddling or fishing. It also has adjustable seating and plenty of storage space for gear.

 

Q: Do I need previous kayaking experience to go ocean kayaking?

A: While prior kayaking experience can be helpful, it’s not always necessary for ocean kayaking. However, it’s important to be comfortable on the water and have a basic understanding of kayaking techniques, including proper paddling strokes and safety skills. Taking a beginner’s kayaking course or going with an experienced guide can greatly enhance your ocean kayaking adventure.

Q: What equipment do I need for ocean kayaking?

A: The essential equipment for ocean kayaking includes a kayak, paddle, personal flotation device (PFD), whistle, and appropriate clothing for the conditions (wetsuit, drysuit, or quick-drying clothing). Other recommended items include a spray skirt, helmet (for more challenging conditions), navigation tools, safety gear (such as a bilge pump and paddle float), and a waterproof bag for personal belongings.

Q: Is ocean kayaking dangerous?

A: Like any outdoor activity, there are inherent risks in ocean kayaking. It’s important to be aware of the ocean’s conditions, including tides, currents, and weather, and to always prioritize safety. With proper preparation, knowledge of the area, and adherence to safety guidelines, the risks can be minimized. It’s also advisable to kayak with a group or experienced individuals, especially in more challenging conditions.

Q: What should I consider when choosing an ocean kayaking destination?

A: When selecting an ocean kayaking destination, consider factors such as your skill level, experience with open water paddling, and the specific features of the area. Look for locations with calm waters, protected coves, and easily accessible launch points, especially if you’re a beginner. Research local regulations, potential hazards, and wildlife encounters to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Q: Can I go ocean kayaking alone?

A: While it’s generally recommended to go ocean kayaking with a partner or a group, experienced kayakers may choose to paddle alone. However, it’s important to assess your skills, the conditions, and the potential risks involved. Solo ocean kayaking requires additional precautions and self-reliance. Always inform someone about your plans, check-in regularly, and have a plan for emergencies.