Guide’s Blog

Coastal Kayak’s 2018 Used Kayak and Paddleboard Sale!!

Coastal Kayak's 2018 Used Kayak, Paddleboard, and Sailboat Sale Rules of the Sale! All Sales are Final! Prices are firm! If you'd like to come look at the equipment, please come at least one hour prior to closing time (call for closing time as it changes after Labor Day). Once we're locked up for the day, we don't pull out equipment. Click on the name of the kayak/board you're interested in and it will take you to the product page on our website where you'll find a descriptions, photos, and where you can also purchase it if you'd like! We know you have a million questions! We love chatting with you but before calling please read through our Frequently Asked Questions!   Kayaks: (Prices do not include paddles or PFDs. Used paddles are available for

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A Channel to Avoid

     In this age of cable, Netflix, and Hulu, with 100s of channels to choose from there is one channel you want to avoid - the boat channel! This time of year there are lots of boaters on the water. We are lucky at Coastal Kayak because Little Assawoman Bay is much shallower and smaller than both Assawoman Bay (behind Ocean City) and Rehoboth Bay. This means a lot less boat traffic. The shallow water also means one other thing, and that is that most motor boaters in our bay will stay in the boat channel. The channel is a narrow lane through the bay that typically has deeper water. The important thing for us as paddlers is that we want to avoid the channels when possible. But if we have to cross them, we

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New T-shirt Design!

You know that feeling you get when you’re paddling in the calm water along the marsh grasses? You’re being so quiet, trying not to disturb the other creatures involved in their daily routines. You become so focused on observing this other world, that soon, you feel like you’re part of it. Us too! We tried to capture that feeling in our new design – another original by Madison Bacon. We call it the “Osprey design” because the “Paddling Along the Marsh Grasses Becoming One with the Wildlife design” is a little too long. Come down and check it out, or buy online!

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Introducing Coastal Kayak’s Five Newest ACA Certified Kayak Instructors!

The Level 1-2 ACA Kayak Instructor Certification Workshop is not like taking a CPR course - the certification cards are not pre-printed, attendance does not guarantee passing. Candidates have to work hard to pass. These five instructor candidates did four full days of paddling drills, wet exits, self and assisted rescues, towing, bracing, edging, tidal current work, teaching scenarios, presentations, and tests. Now Madison, Justin, Lydia, Jeff, and Tony are ready to guide you and your family through the marshes and cypress trees, show you the wild horses of Assateague, and to teach you the basics of kayaking. Many companies and park systems spend, at most, a couple of hours in one afternoon training their guides. So why do we require so much more? Because your precious vacation time is as important to us as

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Waaaaater Anyone?

Like everyone else these days we are trying to break our addiction to plastic. We now use 100% recycled paper bags for our merchandise instead of plastic bags. We only sell sodas in cans. We provide filtered water to refill your water bottles. But our biggest dilemma in the battle against plastic has always been single-use bottled water. On hot summer days people need to drink water. Staying hydrated is extremely important. We have to have bottled water available. Finally, we found a great alternative! Bottled water in resealable, aluminum cans!! The company is called Green Sheep Water. Why is aluminum so much better than plastic? Aluminum is completely and infinitely recyclable. Aluminum is recycled worldwide – in many places it is actually incentivized. And it has a much higher rate of being recycled than

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A Straw for a Sailing Lesson?

We've all seen the photos—in the middle of pristine, blue oceans a Delaware-sized island of floating garbage, sea turtles munching on plastic bags, dead marine mammals with stomachs full of plastic. It breaks your heart. We all use plastics—it's almost impossible not to. So we are all guilty of the crime. But we CAN do better! Like everything that's worthwhile, it is not easy to give up plastics. You have to haul your reusable grocery and produce bags to the supermarket and then deal with the stink-eye from the bagger. Or, even though you're already late you have to dig around your cabinet for your reusable water bottle, never finding the correct lid. Then you run out during the day so you have to refill it from the faucet with chlorine-flavored water. And the worst—your

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Wanted: Volunteers!

We want to reward you for doing good! If you volunteer during the month of April doing something good for the environment (picking up trash, planting trees, planting beach grass, letter to the editor, raising awareness, etc.) come in after 1:00 pm on any day through July 22, 2018, show us proof of you volunteering (can be a photo, article, etc.), and we'll give you 50% off any on-site kayak or paddleboard rental. (Not good with any other offer. Offer expires 7/22/2018. Only good on rentals starting after 1:00 pm. Only good on kayaks and paddleboards rented on-site.) Looking for volunteering opportunities in our area? Here are a few places to start: Fenwick Earth Day Cleanup - 4/21/18 9:00 AM The Town of Fenwick Island Environmental Committee is sponsoring the 3rd Annual Earth Day Clean-up

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Weather…Or Not

Knowing the weather is key to enjoying your time out on the water. Whether you are sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding, or just going to the beach, having an accurate forecast is always important. I would say that an “accurate forecast” in our area is an oxymoron. But you still want to get the most accurate report possible. First of all, if you are going to be on the water, you want to make sure you check out the marine forecast for nearshore or inshore waters. Because of the openness on the water the wind speed can be quite different than wind speeds that are only a mile inland. Many times we have people tell us that the forecast said this or that only to find out that they were listening to a Baltimore or Philadelphia

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September Sailing Clinic

Ever want to learn to sail? Imagine skimming across the water hearing only the hum of the water passing beneath you. No loud motors, no gasoline fumes. You are truly the captain of the vessel! Learn how rewarding sailing can be in this three-session, hands-on workshop. Your instructor has over 20 years of experience teaching sailing and showing people the fun of being on the water with only mother nature. The goal of this workshop is FUN! The first session will be in the classroom learning boat basics and sailing theory. And the other two sessions will be on-water, learning to read the wind, plan your course, and practicing your tacking techniques. The course will be taught on a comfortable, shallow-draft 17 foot daysailor. Perfect for the waters of our inland bays! Specifics: Reservations required.

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Building a Boat by Capn’ Bob

This Guide’s Blog entry has nothing to do with guiding eco-tours or guiding newbies through the basics of sailing, kayaking and paddle boarding at Coastal Kayak. It does, though, have to do with guiding boats. I missed several days of my regular duties at CK in early August and, despite the fact that it is a really busy time of year, Jen and Mitch didn’t mind. As a volunteer with the Lewes Historical Society’s Wooden Boat Program, I was part of the crew who spent a week with nearly two dozen 7th- and 8th-graders from Boys and Girls Clubs of Georgetown, Dagsboro and Seaford guiding them through the process of building Bevin’s Skiffs (12-foot rowboats) from scratch. In collaboration with a Wilmington-based educational non-profit the Wooden Boat Program introduced them to proper measuring, pre-drilling, nailing,

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All Originals at Coastal Kayak!

Our staff is amazingly talented! Kayakers, paddleboarders, surfers, sailors, teachers, scientists, videographers, boat-builders, fish-whisperers, and...incredible artists. This year we had two art students and a graphic design professional on staff and luckily, they were willing to put their creative powers to work for us! Belle recently graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor's in Fine Art. This fall she is returning to campus to work in the Old College Gallery where she'll be curating and organizing new art shows for the gallery. Ultimately, she'd love to work for a museum in DC. Last year Belle designed the concept for our "Adventure Awaits" tee. The tank tops are super-popular and this year we also put the design on a ladies performance long-sleeve tee. Madison is starting her last year as a Fine Arts major

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Coastal Kayak’s 2017 Used Kayak and Paddleboard Sale!

Coastal Kayak's 2017 Used Kayak, Paddleboard, and Sailboat Sale Rules of the Sale! All Sales are Final! Prices are firm! We know you have a million questions! We love chatting with you but before calling please read through our Frequently Asked Questions! Kayaks: (Prices do not include paddles or PFDs. Used paddles are available for $25 and PFDs range from $5-$10.) Sit-On-Top Singles:   Recreational Singles:       Recreational Tandems:   Paddleboards: (Prices include fin and leash. Prices do not include paddles or PFDs. Used paddles are available for $80 and PFDs range from $5-$10.)   Bic Supermagnum 9'4" $200 Jetty 9' $150

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Frequently Asked Questions for the Coastal Kayak Used Equipment Sale

Frequently Asked Questions Q. Why do you sell the kayaks after only two seasons? A. We try to keep a new inventory of top of the line kayaks. We have learned that if we sell the used ones after two seasons they are still in great shape and that allows us to replace them with the newest boats. Q. How can I purchase one of the used kayaks/paddleboards? A. You can purchase the used equipment in person or online. If you have any questions about the equipment, please feel free to give us a call. But we'd prefer not to take your payment over the phone. If you are purchasing your kayak/paddleboard in person, please come between the hours of 9-4. Keep in mind that we are a rental/tour business. We don't let most of

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Neverland… by Meghan Hanebutt

I went back to work at Coastal Kayak for the second time in 2015. That year, I had decided that I wasn’t ever going to grow up. When you work at Coastal Kayak, you don’t have to. The first time I worked there, I was 15 years old. The company was young, the owners were young, and I, at my ripe age of 15, had it made. I could sit by the bay and stare out over the water for hours at a time. I was one of two employees, so on busy days I did it all- I got customers to fill out paperwork, and helped them get started out on kayaks, sailboats, and windsurfers. On slow days, I read my book and on rainy days, I went home. During my shifts, I drug

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Tough Way to Catch a Meal!

One of the birds we have been seeing more this summer than in the past is the Black Skimmer. The skimmer is in the tern family and has some very unique traits. First of all it is the only bird in North America to have a larger lower mandible than upper mandible. The skimmer uses this trait to catch fish by skimming the surface of the water while dragging it's lower mandible in the water. If it senses a fish it will snap shut it's upper bill catching the prey. The skimmer's lower mandible grows much faster than the upper to make up for the constant friction placed on it while skimming. The lower mandible is also hinged so that if hits something solid it can bend back without causing any harm. Skimmers, like many

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You’re never too old to try something new…. by Mary Eash

As far as summer jobs go, I have the best. My name is Mary and Coastal Kayak is one of my happy places. It is an adventure on the water that I want to share with others. Right now my 10th summer at Coastal Kayak is in full swing and I have come to recognize that my greatest pleasure is to encourage older and younger alike first timers to experience the thrill of accomplishing something new. There is something special about kayaking and paddle boarding for the first time. The peacefulness of the open water and viewing land from that prospective opens up the door to imagination. Wildlife and their sounds with cool breezes and a new found control over your destination equates to pure pleasure. I’m so elated when first time kayakers and paddler

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It’s Your Turn

If you'd like to rent a sailboat at Coastal Kayak you’ll need to have some sailing experience and be able to answer some basic sailing questions. One of those questions is: ”What’s the safest way to turn the sailboat?" You can turn a sailboat either towards where the wind is coming from or away from the wind. Turning the boat away from the wind, or downwind, is called jibing and can be risky for both you and the boat. When turning downwind you bring the stern through the wind. This will cause the sail to swing across the boat at high speed and failing to duck at the right time can result in getting hit by the boom. They call it a "boom" for a good reason! Most of our boats do not have a

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Sunscreen: A Hazard to Horseshoe Crabs

You might want to think twice about lathering up with just any old SPF sunscreen when you head to the beach this year. According to an article written  in The News Journal by Molly Murray back in March, common sunscreens that contain a chemical called oxybenzone may be responsible for lowered numbers of horseshoe crabs in the Delmarva region. Murray interviewed Danielle Dixson, an assistant professor at the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and the Environment, who has been studying the effects of oxybenzone on horseshoe crab eggs and larvae, and the results were obvious. According to Murray's article, the larvae that were exposed to a seawater-sunscreen solution "became sluggish and barely moved while the crabs in regular sea water were much more active." Dixson reported that during trials, the sunscreen had a

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How to Launch a Sit-On-Top Kayak from the Beach in Shore Break by Mitch Mitchell

Fishing, paddling with the dolphins, enjoying the serenity, getting a workout - there are many reasons that you might want to paddle in the ocean. Regardless of the reason though, the one thing that everyone must do in order to paddle in the ocean is launch from the beach - which means making it through the surf zone. In this short instructional tip I'm going to explain how to launch and land through the surf if you are paddling a sit-on-top kayak. First of all you need to recognize what the surf is doing in the area where you want to launch. If the surf is breaking on the beach (we call that shore break) our strategy will be different than if the waves are breaking out a ways. Due to beach replenishment it seems

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Barely Used Paddleboard For Sale!

NSP 11'6" epoxy & fiberglass board is great for all size paddlers and has a durable but light construction. Very little use and in great condition. Retails for $1,100. Also comes with a brand new (never used) Bic adjustable paddle. This is a light weight paddle with a fiberglass shaft and poly-carbonate blade. A leash is also included with this package. Retail value is over $1,300 but is only $650.00. Local pick-up only! If you want to wait until spring to pick it up, we can store it over the winter for an additional $75. Paddleboards look great under the Christmas tree! Email us at info@CoastalKayak.com for more info.

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2016 in the Slipstream

Was it just a couple of months ago now that the days were long and warm and we were all wearing shorts and sandals?? As the days get shorter and darker, here are a few photos to help you through the worst of it. We'll see you on the other side!    

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Coastal Kayak’s Used Kayaks & Paddleboards Available for Sale!

Rules of the Sale! 1) All Sales are Final! 2) Prices are firm! Please review our Frequently Asked Questions listed at bottom of page! Used Paddles (when purchased with a boat) $25 Tandem Kayaks Perception Pescador 130 Color                       Price Purple/white SOLD  $450   Stand Up Paddleboards Used Paddles (when purchased with a board) $60 Bic SuperMagnum (Kid's Boards &/or long boards for surfing) - $250   Frequently Asked Questions  Q. Why do you sell the kayaks after only two seasons? A. We try to keep a new inventory of top of the line kayaks. We have learned that if we sell the used ones after two seasons they are still in good shape and that allows us to  replace them with the newest boats   Q. What if

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Stay the Course! Using A Range to Determine Position by Mitch Mitchell

In the past two articles we talked about wind - both the effects of fetch, as well as what effect wind has on our kayak. This time we are going to talk about how to tell what the wind or current is doing to our kayak (or paddle board). A lot of times, especially on stand up paddle boards, our renters go out and even thought they are pointed into the wind and paddling forwards, they are actually losing ground and going backwards. Another common scenario is that they are heading out to Point of Cedars Island and even though they think they are going straight towards it they are actually being pushed well to the side making their paddle much longer than expected. So how can you tell, once on the water, exactly what

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A New Champion For the Annual CK Staff Regatta!

The four captains strategically chose their teams in secret. Team #1: Capt. Josh, Belle, Lexi AKA The Party Boat Team #2: Capt. Meghan, Hannah, August AKA The Kid's Boat Team #3: Capt. Mary, Michelle, John AKA The Hair Boat Team #4: Capt. Mitch, Sylvia, Bob AKA The AARP Boat Conditions: 8-10 knots out of the southeast, mid 80s, clear blue sky. The Course : Circle osprey island, around Point of Cedars, and back to the beach - all tacks, of course. The start was hectic with The Party Boat taking the early lead thanks to Capt. Josh's running start. The Kid's Boat looked to be in trouble as Capt. Meghan's rudders weren't down when the gun went off. Soon, though, the seasoned defending champion, Capt. Mitch, took the lead with the AARP Boat. The AARP

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Exploring Assateague with Bob Collins

Assateague Island National Seashore offers many great watersport opportunities, but the paddling on the bayside, heading south from the Old Ferry Landing, on the Maryland end, is truly unique. On a pleasant August morning, it offered a great opportunity to leave the hustle and bustle of the ocean resorts behind. I started heading WSW, toward the southern tip Great Egging Island. Breeze was light as I stretched my arms and got into a routine, I then turned south, paddling toward the “spoils area” (as it is referred to on the USGS Topo). From there, I turned slightly SSE, to the marshy island known as Outward Trump. From there, a little further south and I was just west of Tingles Narrows. There are two aspects of the paddle that always amaze me about paddling in this

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Wind Part II by Mitch Mitchell

In the first part of our wind article we talked about the effect fetch has on the wind and more importantly the water's surface. In this article we are going to talk about how the wind effects our kayak. I think it is easiest to look at what effect the wind has based on the direction (with regard to the wind) that our kayak is traveling. If we are paddling with the wind coming from our beam (90 degrees) most of the time the wind is going to cause our boat to turn. The question is which way? To understand we have to look at some simple boat dynamics. When a boat, any boat, be it a kayak or ship, is moving through the water the bow is knifing through the water and actually pushing

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Rise Above Plastic!

Rise Above Plastics We're following in the footsteps of the Surfrider Foundation in its efforts to Rise Above Plastics! Our 26 oz. stainless steel reusable water bottles just arrived along with a gravity filter to provide you with filtered water to cut down on plastic waste. Purchase a water bottle from us or bring your own reusable bottle to refill and help us and the Surfrider Foundation save our oceans and the planet! The problem: Plastics don't biodegrade, they photodegrade meaning that they never go away. The pieces just get smaller and smaller. When these small pieces end up in the ocean, marine life often mistake them for food, many times with fatal results. More RAP facts: (taken from surfrider.org) The amount of plastic produced from 2000 - 2010 exceeds the amount produced during the

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Know Your Fetch! by Coastal Kayak’s Mitch Mitchell

Of all of nature’s elements wind is probably the one that most often effects us as paddlers. Living in a coastal environment means lots of interaction between land, air, and water. The dramatic differences between the temperatures of the ocean, bay, and land leads to one constant, wind! On sunny days in the summer the land heats up much more quickly than the water. As that hot air rises, the cooler air over the ocean is sucked into the void left by the rising hot air. This is called a sea breeze, and in our area the predominant direction is from the south. This sea breeze can easily reach speeds of 25 - 30 mph over open areas of water on the bays. One of the most important elements with wind that effects us as

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What Kayak Should I Buy?

What kayak should I buy? I get asked that question literally thousands of times over the course of the summer. Unfortunately there is no “one” perfect kayak. If there was, everyone would have one and this article would be about choosing the perfect color. What most people should be asking themselves is – what will I primarily be using my kayak for and where will I be using it? All kayak designs are a combination of tradeoffs. For example, a kayak that is stable and easy to maneuver (short and wide) is going to be shaped quite differently than one that is really fast (long and narrow). So maybe you want a kayak that is kinda stable and kinda fast. You have to determine your own set of compromises. Over the years I’ve heard of

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Spring Has (Finally) Sprung! by Cap’n Bob

It’s early in the kayaking season at Coastal Kayak, but with the weather finally getting comfortable, it’s time for tours. Guides, like me, are getting their sea legs back. Wildlife is primping and prepping for this year’s round of visitors. On a warm, sunny tour Little Assawoman Back Bay Tour today (4/21), four women from New England and I saw more than our share of wildlife doing its Spring thing. Bald eagles were stretching their wings; osprey were fishing; great blue herons, little green herons and great white egrets were standing like sentinels in the salt marsh; terns were being their normally raucous selves … and Canada geese were sitting on their nests awaiting the arrival of five or six goslings. Maybe the next time I go out, the fluffy babies will be there. If

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How to Launch a Sea Kayak through the Surf Zone Video

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bqFjEK3mnE Coastal Kayak's lead instructor, Mitch Mitchell, has made a number of kayak and stand up paddleboard instructional videos over the years but this one on launching a kayak through the surf remains the most popular! Before attempting this, you will want to have a very solid base of kayaking skills under your belt. You should have killer bracing and edging skills. You should be very comfortable with wet exits and self-rescues. A roll is, of course, even better. And you should have spent a good amount of time standing on the beach, studying waves and sets and beach styles. In other words, this is not for beginners! You can check out more of his videos, some instructional and some purely for entertainment, on his YouTube channel!

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How to Dress for Paddling this Spring

It’s that time of year again, finally! The days are getting longer, the sun is getting stronger, the water is winking at you, beckoning you to come on out. But wait! What exactly are you wearing?? Believe it or not, immersion in water as warm as 50-60 degrees can cause what is called “Cold Water Shock”. If you capsize in waters at these temperatures or below, your body’s first reaction is to gasp for air, followed by increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, and disorientation. In only a few minutes, your body can become incapacitated. Hypothermia is more well known and happens when the body can’t reheat itself or maintain its core temperature. Cold water shock can easily lead to hypothermia and both can be fatal. These preventable tragedies happen frequently in the

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7 Reasons to Take a Kayak or Paddleboard Lesson

The great thing about kayaking and paddleboarding is how beginner-friendly these activities are. Manufacturers have made equipment that is so stable and comfortable that nearly anyone can grab a paddle and a lifejacket and hit the water with no previous experience. In fact, for people completely new to the sport, we recommend doing an hour rental first just to make sure they are comfortable and enjoy it prior to taking a lesson. And who doesn’t fall in love with paddling immediately?! But once a person decides that paddling is a sport that they want to pursue, we strongly recommend taking a lesson. Lessons are beneficial for a number of reasons: 1) A short cut to proper technique: Instruction will teach you the correct way to paddle and more importantly, will prevent you from picking up

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Paddling with the Crab Wrangler

Leading a tour through the salt marsh at Burton’s Island this time of year is a little more challenging. It’s well beyond the prime breeding season for horseshoe crabs and, like the paddlers who go to Assateague Island in hopes of kayaking close to the ponies, paddlers to Burton’s Island hope to see limulus polyphemus up close. In late May, June and early July, it isn’t difficult to accommodate them. In early September, it’s an almost inch-by-inch quest of the island. But, if the “horseshoe crab wrangler” is among the paddling group, it’s a no-brainer. Almost as soon as we landed for some beachcombing, young Ethan from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, zeroed in on every shell he saw. “Is that one?” he asked, pointing to a female. “Yes,” I said, “but that one’s dead and they’re

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Jim’s Late August Cypress Tour

Feels like fall is in the air, which makes it a great time to go paddling. On our tour to the Cypress swamp this week, we had excellent conditions on the pond. The air was cool, the water like glass, and the crowds have thinned down. Nothing like paddling the trail with sunbeams shinning through the trees and the cypress reflecting on the water. The folks on the tour were super quiet so all we heard were the paddles in the water, the boat cutting ripples into the surface, and the wings and squawk of the great blue heron as he took off through the trees. As one paddler said, "it's feels like something from a movie", and I agree. The fall is just starting and as the leaves start to change and the cypress start to

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Burton’s Island Wildlife Tour with Sarah

Yesterday was a great tour.  Getting out early provided us with crystal clear water.  As we paddled, everyone could see plenty of blue crabs, horseshoe crabs, fish and terrapins.  With a very interested group of paddlers, we feed horseshoe crabs and ate some sea lettuce! - Sarah B

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Perfect Sunset/Moonrise!

Could not have asked for better conditions for the Moonrise Tour on July 31st! Light winds to start died out to glassy, calm waters as the sun began to set. The egrets and herons on Point of Cedars Island were silhouetted by the gorgeous sunset. We relaxed listening to the birds getting settled in for the night as the beautiful orange Blue Moon rose above the horizon and then enjoyed a peaceful paddle back to Coastal Kayak's beach. I'd like to order another one exactly the same for next month! - Neil Baker

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Assateague Kayak Tour with Cap’n Bob

Assateague may be a barrier island, but it’s not a barrier to kayaking fun! Katie and I lead a full tour of fun-loving paddlers on a day that could not have been better. Sun, comfortable temperatures in the 70s, and every Assateague kayaker’s dream: bands of wild ponies grazing on the marsh. There was a strong north wind, but most of the time it was behind us. The few times when we had to turn into it, Katie did a great job of guiding us through channels that gave great protection from the brunt of it. We saw our first band of ponies within minutes of launching and headed right for it. The second band appeared about half way through the tour. Overseeing them was an American bald eagle, perched in a tree. Unfortunately, the

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Trip Report – Topock Gorge, Arizona

In early February I had the opportunity to paddle through Topock Gorge on the Colorado River just north of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The Colorado in this area is crystal clear Caribbean blue, deep, and cold. It still seems wild at this point, although all of the pipelines and gauges and pumps at the launch site near I-40 told me a different story. Soon though, all of the highway noises vanished and the heavy silence of the desert was all I could hear. The thing about paddling in the desert that I don't think I'll ever get over is the shock of that much liquid flowing through the heart of so much arid land. The color of the cliffs and rocks is amazing and changes as abruptly as the weather in Delaware. Some of the

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The Perfect PFD

The Perfect PFD So you got some money for Christmas and you want to put it towards your paddling habit. How best to spend it? Of course your best option is to use it on professional paddling instruction from Coastal Kayak's ACA certified kayak and SUP instructors. The second best option is to invest in a comfortable PFD (personal flotation device, AKA lifejacket) that you will actually wear. Sad Fact: Drowning is the single biggest cause of death in recreational boating accidents. Over 80% of drowning victims were NOT wearing life jackets when found. Lame Excuses for NOT Wearing a Lifejacket: "This water is so shallow. I could walk across this bay." (But if you are lying unconscious in the water, it only needs to be 6 inches deep to be over your nose!) "I

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CK’s First Intern!

This is my first summer with CK, and it’s been one of the best.  I’ve been privileged enough to learn the business under Mitch and Jen this summer while doing my Internship for West Virginia University (aka Coastal Kayak’s first intern). I’ve gotten to work alongside some of the best and learn all sides of the job.  I was able to put together a training manual of all the birds, critters, plants and history of all the tours, which is something they have wanted for awhile. Coastal Kayak is definitely a place where you should bring your families when you visit the beach, and even go on one of their tours.  You won’t regret it!   This past Saturday, after the storms rolled through Neil and I had a great family of paddlers, and we

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Catching up with our Guide Heather

Hello my Coastal Kayak friends! It's so great to be back this summer for my fifth year! I'm so happy the weather is finally warm. Winter was long but I did get to enjoy a bit of traveling with Salisbury University, while I took a photography class abroad, exploring London and Paris. While I enjoyed every minute of it some of my favorite memories would include traveling to Wiltshire, an English countryside village home to Lacock Abbey (a country house that looks more like a medieval castle), and also, re-creating the Abbey Road album cover, as I channeled Paul McCartney. While in Paris, I indulged in shopping at Galleries Lafayette, many museums and french cuisine; I love escargot.         June is always a great time for eco tours! The bald eagles are

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Bob’s Weekend Tours

  I’ve got some early season kayak tour pictures from last weekend. Glorious weather both Saturday and Sunday, and small groups we were able to get to see some nice sights. Saturday at Cypress Tour the water was high (good thing) and we were able to get back to Raccoon Pond and watch a doe browsing on wetland plants (arrow arum, I believe). We also saw quite a few large red bellied cooters, and the prothonotary warblers were just-a-singin’-away. Sunday we chased down the new eagle’s nest on our Little Assawoman Back Bay Tour. We saw two adults and one immature, though the nest itself is hard to see. We also saw plenty of osprey soaring and chirping, and a cow-nosed ray, a rare sight in the Little Bay, which is a long way from

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Checking in from Assateague by Bob Collins

Just checking in from Assateague. I did 2 tours down there last weekend. The weather could not have been more pleasant and the water was clear-as-a-bell, despite heavy rains the day before. We saw a big cow-nose ray, seeding eel-grass, some sponges, and little blue crabs scurrying about the shallows near Egging Island. On Sunday, the ponies were right at water’s edge, good for photo-ops!

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SUPing on Saturday by Bob Collins

Growing Degree Days 36.4; ocean temperature, 43 degrees; forsythias, just started blooming; those are plain COLD facts. Worse, Carly got a SUP for Christmas and has not had it in the water, until today!   Despite being pretty stiff, Carly and I headed out onto the Assawoman Canal by Jefferson Bridge Road. This is a good spot early in the year, sheltered and relatively warm. Certainly it’s a good spot to get the cobb-webs off.   We headed south, with the current and took a cut into Jefferson Creek. From there, it winds a little, broadens a lot, and if you’re careful about some shallows (the water is clear now, so on a SUP you can really see bottom well), you come into the heart of what I call Jefferson Bay. We had the wind

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What I Did This Winter by Cap’n Bob

Back in the old days, teachers’ first assignment for their students was to have them write “What I Did Last Summer.”  Summers for me since 2003 have been filled with guiding tours, teaching sailing and kayaking, and being a general beach bum at Coastal Kayak. Now, Jen and Mitch want me to share “What I Did This Winter.”  Being older (and wiser) than fellow guide Tim Bennett, I didn’t launch my kayak in an area that required dodging ice floes and icebergs.  I know what happened to RMS Titanic. Instead, my wife and I loaded kayaks, bicycles, fishing rods, the Harley and other assorted toys into our fifth-wheel toy hauler and headed to snow-free Florida for a couple of months. The highlights:  kayaking with dolphin and alligators, bicycling the 20-mile roundtrip Legacy Trail between Sarasota

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What we do in the winter continued…

I know that it is almost Spring (according to the calendar anyway!) so maybe we'll call these posts "What we do in the off-season". It is an understatement to say that this winter has been a rough one! So our employees that have 'real jobs' and stay at the beach in the winter have had to be creative in their entertainment these last few months. Tim Bennett has worked for Coastal Kayak since 2005. His "real job" is as a Wildlife Conservation Officer for Delaware Fish and Wildlife. So he is outdoors all year long. His favorite part of his job with Fish and Wildlife is being able to watch the wildlife, especially owls, as they nest, have babies, and grow through out the seasons. The cold weather has not kept him indoors, even in

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Dreaming of the Sun??

This winter has been truly awful. And to top it off, that darned ground hog saw his shadow so it looks like we can kiss an early Spring good-bye. A late-winter escape to a warm weather paddling spot has never sounded better! Here are a few of our favorites: The 10,000 Islands and Everglades south of Marco Island The area south of Marco Island on the Gulf Coast of Florida is a maze of mangrove islands that line the coast like a jade necklace. They are uninhabited and some of them have beautiful, white sand beaches that you can have all to yourself - perfect for camping, or a picnic, or shell-hunting, or bird-watching, or napping. Most of the time, the Gulf is pretty flat in this area, although it can get windy. Once in

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What we do in the winter, continued…

Jim Bourke started working for Coastal Kayak in 2007 when he sold his hardware store in Baltimore and moved to the beach. He is a Level 2 ACA Kayak Instructor, a Level 2 ACA Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor, and a fish whisperer. Jim and Debbie had fantastic plans for this winter. They have a travel trailer and were going to spend most of the winter traveling in the sunny warmth of Florida. A couple of their favorite spots are Melbourne Beach, Bahia Honda, and Flamingo in Everglades National Park. But Debbie had a nasty, nasty knee lock-up and they had to make a bee line back to Delaware just in time for the coldest weather in a couple of decades - the Polar Vortex. She got in to the doctor quickly so we hope that

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What do we do in the winter? continued…

Neil's had the magic touch with the fish this fall! Mostly from his kayak but he caught this beautiful redfish off of the beach. Neil has guided for us since 2010. He is a retired microbiology professor from Ohio State University and did a lot of white water paddling before moving back to the beach. This winter he plans to build a kayak, go to Florida for a few days to do some SUP and long board surfing, and get to Jackson Hole for some skiing. And, of course, continue to harass the fish when it's not too freezing!

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What do we do in the winter?

Customers always want to know what our guides do over the winter. So over the next couple of weeks we'll fill you in on our plans and activities - a few exciting adventures planned and a lot of normal everyday stuff, too! Sarah has worked for us as a guide since 2006. She is also a beloved 6th grade science teacher aka Miz B. A few weeks ago she lost her best buddy, Moe. But on Friday, she brought home her new addition - the laid-back, lovely Luna, a rescued pitbull from the Delaware SPCA. Over the winter, Sarah will be teaching, working a couple of shifts at the Cottage Cafe when needed, and getting to know Luna. By spring, she hopes to be able to get Luna on a paddleboard! Sarah is also thinking

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Lots of Water!

Many summers, by the first week in August, the water level is so low at our Cypress Tour that it is nearly impossible to do our tours there. This year that is definitely not the case! We've had plenty of rain which makes it easy to do lots of exploring. The other day our guide, Sarah, reported seeing hundreds of butterflies there. She thought that most of them were male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail but reported seeing some blue ones as well which could have been the female or possibly the Eastern-tailed blue butterfly. Our Burton's Island Wildlife Tour is tidal so the heavy rains don't effect the water level. Although they are getting harder to find, we are still seeing horseshoe crabs on most of our tours. The osprey chicks are getting bigger and will

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From Dolphins to Downpours!

The week started off with an exciting dolphin sighting on our Burton's Island Wildlife Tour! In our 19 years of doing tours in that area we have never seen dolphins there before but Todd spotted them just before landing on the sandbar and decided to follow them for a few hundred yards. On Stefan's Burton's Island Tour a flock of brown pelicans were performing tactical maneuvers over the group of paddlers and he reported that hermit crabs had invaded the sand bar. On Mitch's Woodland Tour the paddlers saw eagles, got a close-up look at a painted turtle, and were treated to a colorful show of flowering plants in the creek. Due to the amount of rain we've had this year, the water level is higher than normal and the aquatic plants and flowers are

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Heather’s Burton’s Island Report

The horseshoe crabs are here! It's the most horseshoe crabs I've ever seen. They were everywhere on the island. The water was incredibly clear so we saw lots of terrapin, also. The osprey were busy adding to their nests and fishing. We also saw oyster catchers, blue herons, snowy egrets, and lots of horseshoe crab eggs!                  

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Nanticoke Exploration

Last week, the day before we went to a 7 day/week schedule, I went for a little paddle on my own. I'd been wanting to paddle the upper portions of the Nanticoke River. It was a windy day here at the beach so it seemed like a perfect day to go inland. I launched at Blades Marina and headed upriver for about 6 miles, just a little past the Old Furnance Road bridge. I got a late start (of course) so I had to turn around way before I wanted to. It was a beautiful paddle though - lots of sweet smelling flowers in bloom. It was populated most of the way up the river with some beautiful waterfront homes. I was amazed at how trash-free the entire trip was - no floating bottles, no

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Happy Earth Day!

What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on? - Henry David Thoreau We had a very successful (if not chilly) wetland clean-up yesterday in honor of Earth Day! We centered our efforts around the Savage's Ditch kayak launch site but also got onto the water into the salt marshes for some trash collection. David Lam of WMDT came out to do a story on the clean-up for the 6:00 news. We even got him out on the water! We found a lot of the normal stuff - bottles, plastic bags, broken glass, lots and lots of shell casings, etc. We also found a door (I told you not to slam it so hard!), a banquet table, and a bunch of orange construction mesh. Thanks and

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April Assateague Tour

We had a gorgeous day for our Assateague Tour last week. Light winds, comfortable temperatures, blue skies, great paddlers - couldn't have been better! We saw a lone horseshoe crab, cormorants, snowy egrets, brants, buffleheads, and hooded mergansers. The ponies weren't on the bayside, but they rallied for our drive out of the park.    

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A taste of summer finally!

With all of the nice weather the backwaters have warmed up and we have been running off-site rentals as well as  a tour yesterday. A fantastic day to be on the water - we saw at least 100 Diamond Back Terrapins many adults with juveniles. The Osprey are all working on their nests. We saw Blue Herons, hundreds of gulls, egrets, a pair of Oyster Catchers, Terns, Mergansers, Brant and numerous other species. One of the nice things about this time of year is the water where we run our tours is crystal clear affording great viewing of the activity below the water which yesterday included our first Horseshoe Crabs of the season. Here is a short clip of the birds and activity that we encountered in the salt marsh! On a rental on Monday we saw

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Welcome to our new website!

After 13 years of the same website we decided we needed to do some remodeling and updating. We wanted our website to be fun and colorful, functional and user-friendly . So, come on in! Walk around a bit. Sit down and relax. Have a (virtual) margarita. Let us know what's good, bad, needs tweaking, and what you love! We'll see you on the water soon! Jenifer

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