launching your kayak in light surf

One of the challenges for new kayakers is launching your kayak in light surf, especially if you haven’t had any instruction and haven’t developed a sense of balance or gotten your sea legs. A light shore break can feel mighty challenging if you’ve never paddled out before, especially one with a slight dumping wave. The […]


An example of fences and handrails on a chart of the Apostles

Although it’s best to always have a compass with you, if you have a detailed chart or map, you don’t always need to use it when you’re navigating. If you use handrails, fences (also call catches) and checkpoints during the day, you needn’t check your compass often. Handrails and fences are techniques and features that do […]


learning the paddle float rescue

In the comments of my The Paddle Float Rescue: Why is Everyone Down on It? Jeremy Vore of The Art of Paddling wrote about using the heel hook during the paddle float rescue. I’ve tried the paddle float rescue with heel hook before using Sea Kayaker’s Magazine’s version, which has an awkward start that involves stretching your […]


kayak ferrying under the seven mile bridge

The Seven Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys connects the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys. Under the bridge, the water is shallow, and it seems like the 1,000 square miles of the Florida Bay flows through the opening on the tide generating up to 4 knot currents. In a kayak, the current is swift […]


kayaking in florida keys

See that island in the distance? The one surrounded by mangroves. Unlike other mangrove islands, the center of this one was all sand instead of clay. It also had a sandy beach that faced north with a view to the distant Seven-Mile Bridge in the Florida Keys and a view towards the setting sun. With […]


Kayaking in cold water and ice.

When it’s cold out and the water temperature starts dropping, dressing for immersion might mean the difference between surviving a swim and succumbing to cold shock, cold incapacitation and eventually hypothermia. At a base level, paddlers should dress to survive a swim of any length and still function in the canoe or kayak afterward. This […]


Guerrilla camping campsite

I awoke with a start, not due to loud rumbling, but due to the ground shaking under my sleeping bag.  It was 3:30am and a heavily laden freight train was headed north on tracks located just across the river, less than 30 yards from my tent.  We were guerrilla camping along the Tioughnioga River in […]