Life on Little Assawoman

Not Your Normal Summer Tourists

This past summer we greeted a lot of friendly faces - families from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, New York; young professionals from D.C, Philadelphia, Manhattan; retirees from Lewes, Selbyville, Millville. But some of our most surprising visitors this year didn’t drive into our parking lot. They flew and swam into our bay. Pelicans: We saw more Brown Pelicans in Little Assawoman Bay than ever before. On the ocean side, pelicans are not a rare sighting. But sometimes years will pass between sightings on our bay. However, this summer, at one point, we counted over thirty pelicans at one time circling or floating on the water near Point of Cedars Island. Pelicans are more fascinating to watch than the Weather Channel during hurricane season - the way they fold their awkward beaks sleekly into their bodies while

Read More

Congrats to Ms. B! Delaware STEM Teacher of the Year!

When Sarah Betlejewski isn’t guiding CK customers through the Delaware and Maryland salt marshes and cypress swamps, she is teaching science to 7th graders at Millsboro Middle School. Recently Sarah (known to her students as Ms. B) won the Delaware Middle School STEM Teacher of the Year Award. She received her award at the Delaware STEM Symposium on Oct. 8th. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. According to Sarah, “STEM focuses on problem-based learning where you take a current, community-based problem and try to create solutions with technology or engineering.” Not resting with just one award, Sarah’s students are also state finalists for the Samsung Solve For Tomorrow award. Open to public middle and high schools nationwide, the goal for the contest is to integrate the student’s learning with community leader’s feedback to

Read More

Toughing it Out

Somehow they know it’s time. Towards the end of summer, the small changes in daylight signal rituals of preparation. They flock together, watching and waiting. One morning the marsh is full of birds hunting and preening, and the next morning, usually after a strong north wind, they’re gone, those same tidal ponds eerily empty. Yet, thankfully, not all birds desert our beaches and inland bays. Throughout the winter, besides the short-lived migrations of northern birds passing through, we have hardy, year-round residents. Instead of following food sources south, they’ve figured out ways to hunt, forage, and survive in the worst of weather. One of our largest avian year-round residents is the wild turkey. They roam in flocks and when you see them run across the road or a field, it is impossible not to smile and

Read More

Falling Marsh

"I think the salt marsh turned brown last night," Mitch said as we were driving to Assateague yesterday. This year, with the summer-like fall we've been experiencing, the inevitable seasonal changes in the area flora took us by surprise. But no matter what the thermometer is saying, the days are getting shorter. And that means that the salt marsh has to prepare for winter. The most prevalent grass in our marshes is smooth cordgrass (Spartina Alterniflora). While it flowers July through September, in mid to late August it goes to seed. When that happens it grows fast. "In 2-3 days it doubles in height," says Mitch. "It grows from about one and a half feet to three feet virtually overnight." This can be problematic for Coastal Kayak guides. "We look at the amount of grass

Read More

The Race is On

The score of our “PTW” competition fills the lower right corner of our scheduling board. To customers, it looks like a confusing jumble of names and numbers. But staff members know what it means. It means serious business. PTW stands for Pedal/Paddle to Work. The rules are simple. The person who uses human power to get to work the most wins. You get one point for each round trip (a half point means the person got a ride home). At this point, the distance doesn’t matter. What the winner wins, other than the title, is still up for discussion.  The contenders: Danielle - 6 Danielle is the defending champion. She’s slacking off at Coastal Kayak this year because of her less important job as a mail carrier. Still, she’s not giving up on the competition. 

Read More

Where to Launch at the Beach

When we first started Coastal Kayak in the mid-90s, recreational kayaking was in its infancy. Kayak manufacturers were just realizing that the more comfortable and stable the kayak was, the more people would be willing to try it. Back then, 95% of our customers had never been in a kayak before. These days, not only have most people tried kayaking, many people love it so much that they've bought their own kayaks. Things have definitely changed for the better! Of course, once you buy your own kayak and/or paddleboard, you understandably want to get it in the water. One question we get more and more often these days is, "Can I launch from your site?" The answer is - sometimes yes, and sometimes no. Because we run out of parking, during the busy season we

Read More

How to Interpret Your Weather App at the Beach

You’ve finally arrived at the beach. Now it’s time to plan out your week. You open your weather app and… major disappointment! Every single day shows a cloud and a lightening bolt. Do not despair! Our forecast for the weather forecast here at the beach shows a 99% chance of inaccurate forecasting. Many temperatures and masses live side by side in this area. The ocean is cool. The land is hot. The bay is in between. We have sea breezes and land breezes. The wind speed and direction differs on the different area bays. Weather forecasters have a tough job here! At Coastal Kayak, when we see a forecast with anything less than 80% chance of rain, we don’t pay it much attention. 90-100% chance - we’ll take note. But even then it is definitely

Read More

A Home with a View

Hello! Thanks for calling ReNest. This is Robin. How can I help you? Ozzy: Yes, we’re newly weds searching for the perfect place to build our home. We need something fast. Do you have anything available? Robin: Of course! Describe your perfect spot. Ozzy: Well, we need to live near the water, shallow water preferably. We’d like an expansive view. And we don’t like neighbors.  Robin: I’ve got a platform in mind that will be perfect for you!   Paddling on the bays this time of the year, you’re sure to see Osprey couples guarding their nests. And if you get too close, you’re sure to hear their sharp, distinctive warnings. At this point in the season most of their eggs have hatched. So we’re now seeing the fuzzy heads of Osprey chicks peering from the nest.

Read More

We Love Teachers!

At Coastal Kayak we know our world's future will soon be in the hands of today's kids. And with the issues we are facing today, those kids need a strong education - no matter where they live or how much money they have. Good teachers are the key. We all have stories of pivotal teachers who changed our lives, and, unfortunately, most of us have memories of teachers who we all knew were simply serving their time until they could retire. We want pivotal teachers!! Good teachers are asked to do so much with so little. And they rarely get the recognition that so many other service professions do. Yet they are tasked with protecting and preparing the most valuable asset our world has - our children. So let's show them some love! At Coastal Kayak

Read More

Don’t Let This Monster Ruin Your Vacation

If you're reading this blog you're probably an adventurous person. You love the beach. You love the water. You love being outside. But even those of us who consider ourselves 'adventurous' can succomb to the monster that preys on so many adults - Routine. Yes, Routine is the worst type of monster because, at times, it is necessary. With Routine we can get more accomplished, go on auto-pilot, sometimes it allows us to relax. Routine can be a comfort. But it becomes evil when it steals time. When it turns our days, weeks, months, even years into a blur. Since we have a routine and don't have to constantly make decisions, we don't think about what we are doing. Do you remember what you had for dinner two nights ago? Do you remember what you

Read More