Do I need paddle lessons?
Paddle lessons are highly recommended. Even some basic paddle strokes can help compensate for boats that are longer and harder to steer. It is not rocket science, however, your safety is always important. Learn before you go. Ask questions, read a book, talk to other paddlers, or visit your local outfitter and save yourself possible aggravation down the road.
Sit-on-top vs. Sit-in-style kayaks
Sit-on-top and sit-in style kayaks can provide a variety of applications unique to the boat. For example, some boats provide excellent surfing abilities while others are better touring boats. Whether your in a sit-on-top or a decked kayak, each can provide mobility on the water and the option to perform in various situations. Sit-on-top kayaks tend to be more forgiving in the summer months, where a welcome breeze can cool you off. They also drain water quickly out of the scupper holes, giving them a self-bailing mechanism. A decked boat, on the other hand, can provide better protection in the cooler months. Many avid kayakers have more than one style kayak in the garage to cover different water conditions. A good analogy would be like having a mountain bike and a touring bike for two different rides.
How much weight will kayaks hold?
Most weight capacities are clearly stated within the manufacturers specifications, which can be found in your owners manual or brochure from your local dealer. Naturally, you do not want to pack ten pounds of mud in five pound sack. Use discretion when planning your next kayak trip. Most recreational kayaks are designed to carry you and some light gear. Play it safe and carry only the essentials.
What kind of kayaks do you rent?
Our kayaks are recreational sit-on-top as well as sit-in style singles and double or tandem. We reserve the right to decide which kayaks are most appropriate for the tours. We try to utilize double kayaks first. This helps to make the group size smaller and more intimate for the guide as well as our clients. With advance notice, you can reserve a preferable kayak with any regular kayak rental or customized tour.
What should I bring on a trip?
The elements can sometimes be harsh. The essentials include; water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray(depending on the time of year), footwear. Some non-essentials may include; change of clothes, hat, towel, binoculars, waterproof camera and field guide. All of which are available at the store at reasonable prices.
Are kayaks similar to canoes?
Kayaks and canoes are similar yet different. Canoes tend to offer tremendous weight and storage capacity for carrying lots of gear. Kayaks offer better performance. Although there are white water canoes, kayaks perform in a variety of water conditions. Your center of gravity is also lower in a kayak, creating the feeling of being literally in the water; similar to the way a duck floats along.
What will I expect to see and learn on a guided tour?
Expect to see many beautiful birds, flora, funa and learn the intricacies of our unique wetlands ecosystem. Also, you will learn and experience our local culture and heritage. Here is were our expert guides will enlighten your senses and bring nature into perspective with respect to the importance of our stewardship to this wonderful earth. This is an excellent time to show your children and friends how much you care to share your own philosophy about the environment. Sunsets overlooking the marina and surroundings are the most spectacular you may see in a life time. Cameras are always welcome provided you can keep them dry.
Do you offer paddle lessons?
As with all activities on the water, safety is our first concern. Prior to all trips, lessons on paddling and safety are given, unless your experience warrants otherwise as you may instruct. Beginners will most certainly be given lessons as will anyone willing to listen to some helpful hints.
Will I need to learn the Eskimo Roll?
Eskimo Rolls are performed for the purpose of righting a boat in the event you should capsize due to wave action or instability. If you do not feel comfortable with the stability of a particular boat, chances are the boat is not right for you, at least, not for the time being. As you improve your kayaking skills and feel more comfortable with your boat, more advanced techniques can be performed, preferably with the advice of a professional or experienced kayaker. Many recreational kayaks have cockpits large enough that should you start to roll, chances are you will just need to wet exit the kayak.
How long are your tours?
Our tours are designed to attract the interest of beginner and advanced paddlers. The basic tour is approximately an hour and a half to two hours and is recognized as the Atlantis/Hens Claw. These tours are conducted within the back sheltered creek areas and are very relaxing, taking time for periodic stops along the way for explanations of the intricacies of the salt marsh ecosystems. The abundance of birds, plants and other wildlife create the best outdoor classroom environment imaginable. We also offer longer, more challenging, customized trips, to include; Tuckerton Creek (3-4Hr), Pinelands Estuary (3-5Hr), Sunset (2.5-3Hr, and Camp-N-Tour (Overnight. These particular tours, because of the length and conditions, will require additional preparations and provisions. Paddlers will be subject to varying winds and tides, with exposure to open bay. People must know their limitations and we reserve the right to refuse anyone who is not physically fit to make the journey. If you are in doubt of your ability to complete any kayak trip, chances are you should not attempt to go. Start out small, perhaps with a simple kayak demo. Self-guided trips are also encouraged. Always bring a friend, preferably someone with experience and a proper understanding of the area you want to kayak. Remember, experience is not needed on shorter guided trips, as these are designed for the beginner. Kayaking is especially fun and enjoyable to those who take the time to learn before you go.
How stable are kayaks?
Stability depends on a few factors, namely hull design and width. There are many different hull designs that feature more cambered or round surfaces as well as more flat designs, which include grooves or keels at the bottom. The "general rule of thumb", the wider the kayak the more stable, a narrower(tippy) kayak tends to be faster.
Who conducts your nature tours?
Kayak tours at Capt. Mikes Marina & Kayaks are guided by experienced kayak enthusiast, naturalists and environmentalists. They have extensive back ground in field ecology and biology and have worked or are currently working for organizations and schools such as the American Littoral Society, Clean Ocean Action, Rutgers University Field Station, Stockton College.
Where are your tours conducted?
Our tours are conducted at the estuary within the Great Bay Wildlife Management Area between Little Egg Harbor and Great Bay's as well as the New Jersey Pine Barrens and other magnificent waterways throughout our local watershed. Undisturbed wetlands and unparalleled beauty, offer a bounty of exotic birds and other wildlife. We are also very rich with maritime and cultural, historic places which are often discussed on our tours. New "Kayak Tours" include,lunch and dinner cruises along the majestic Tuckerton Creek as well as tours departing from the Tuckerton Seaport.