Uncategorized

4 Reasons to Plan Your Summer Beach Vacation Now!

While late winter may not be the best time to plan your summer wardrobe (remember all those mid-morning hot cocos and those cocktail hours that started early and ended late?), it is the perfect time to plan your summer vacation. Planning your summer vacation now gives you something to look forward to. Although the end of winter is near, and soon we’ll see tiny leaves greening branches and Osprey flying low, carrying twigs and pine needles to rebuild nests. But you know it’s not over. Inevitably, we’ll have many damp, grey, windy, cool days ahead of us. When those nasty days hit, if you plan your vacation now, instead of giving in to the dreariness of the weather, you’ll be able to picture yourself at the beach, in your kayak or paddle board, floating on

Read More

Paddling POTUSs

Anyone who paddles knows the restorative value of being on the water. It turns out several presidents are among this group of wise human beings! Most Recent: The most recently recorded paddling pres is President Obama. In Hawaii, he was photographed on a paddle board and with Michelle paddling a tandem kayak (we hope their marriage can survive a tandem!). In another photo he is kayaking by himself in Massachusetts. (PFDs are missing in all photos. But I guess if you’re a president, the Secret Service is your Personal Floatation Device!). https://twitter.com/DailyMail/status/1341880075445268482?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1341880075445268482%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.travelandleisure.com%2Ftravel-tips%2Fcelebrity-travel%2Fobama-hawaii-christmas-vacation-kailua Most Romantic: The most romantic paddling president has to be President Reagan. For his and Nancy’s 25th wedding anniversary, he bought her a canoe called Tru Luv. Awww… Most Traumatic: The most traumatic presidential paddling story belongs to President Theodore Roosevelt. After losing

Read More

Sympathy for Phil

Well, Phil let us down today. But, really, who can blame him? If you’d been asleep for five months and someone rudely yanked the covers off, wouldn’t you look for any reason to dive back under, too? About this time of year, early February, male Groundhogs start coming out of hibernation. When a Groundhog goes into hibernation, it shuts down nearly all its systems. It breathes once every five to six minutes, its heartbeat slows from 100 beats per minute to 15, and its body temperature drops from 95 degrees to around 45 degrees. All of this causes its metabolism rate to plummet so that, even though it hasn’t eaten for about 150 days, it will have lost no more than a quarter of its body weight. While Punxutawney Phil (in Pennsylvania) is our closest

Read More

This Summer Brought to You By…

Memorial Day Weekend 2020: We’d been allowed to open. Yippee!! But now what? How to open safely? We brainstormed, made plans, changed plans, built new doors and dividers, moved counters, painted directional signs, bought plexiglass, a portable sink, hand sanitizer, wash tubs, bleach, more bleach, soap, more soap, bleach sprayers. We changed the flow of customers, implemented new safety measures for guests and employees, and trained staff in our new cleaning protocol. But would it make a difference? Would we be allowed to stay open? Would the beach towns allow visitors? And, most importantly, would anyone come? People trickled in over Memorial Day weekend. The following week, the trickle dried up. Light traffic volume on Route 1 rivaled the mid-week, off-season days before the current new construction explosion. Raucous Laughing Gull calls easily outnumbered phone

Read More

Mitch’s Coast Day Zoom Presentation

Watch Mitch's information-packed Coast Day 2020 presentation about the pros and cons of different types of kayaks and the equipment you need to stay safe on the water!

Read More

The Hard Way: How we know what we know. Part 1—Dry bags

Circa 1995: We unloaded Mitch’s Sea Lion and my Scimitar from Mitch’s teal Ford Ranger, carried them close enough to the water that it was lapping at their bows, and set them down on the gently sloping, rock-strewn beach with sand the color of brown sugar. Next we unloaded all of our gear into mountainous piles on the pavement beside the pickup. Then we took our brand new roll of garbage bags (we’d sprung for the heavy-duty ones) and began bagging up our gear. In our excitement for our first kayak camping trip, two nights of island hopping off the Maine coast, we’d brought a ton of gear. We filled up bags, shoved them into bows and sterns, pulled them out, burped air bubbles, and jammed them back. More than an hour later, our hatches

Read More

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

Neil Baker

The Coastal Kayak family lost a treasured member yesterday. Neil Baker passed away in his home after his nearly two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. I find it so hard to write these words because it was not Neil’s time yet. Neil and his wife, Patty, moved to Ocean City once Neil retired from Ohio State University as a Professor of Microbiology. He started guiding for Coastal Kayak in 2010 doing 5-9 tours per week, always willing to work doubles and pick up shifts when asked. His deep-seated instinct to teach and his eagerness to introduce participants to the natural world made his tours favorites with customers. He bought small, boxed-shaped microscopes to take with him on tours so that kids could get a close-up view of even the tiniest critters in the salt marsh. His

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