My husband and I—creatures of habit—recently ventured out of our routine. We love being outdoors, but lately we’ve allowed life to get in the way of that pleasure. It was time to combine the blue sky with a new experience.
I have been following Kayak_Alabama on Twitter for a few months, and seeing their posts always makes me wish I was out there experiencing it instead of just reading about it. So—yes, I’m sure you’ve figured it out—I made the contact and arranged for a guided kayak tour. (I’m not into fishing, but you can arrange a kayak fishing tour as well.)
Not knowing much about our waterways, I let Chris, the main man behind Alabama Kayak Adventures, choose the spot. He pulled into Graham Creek Nature Preserve just ahead of us, with a truck bed filled with four kayaks. As he untied the colorful load, another guide, Laurel, arrived with her kayak, and photographer Michelle also joined us. Chris and Laurel are both USCG-licensed captains as well as certified Coastal Nature Guides, so I knew we were in good hands.
We dragged our kayaks to the launch ramp and got a quick lesson on how to paddle (so simple!), and next thing we knew we were skimming along a beautiful, winding creek. Neither of us had been in a kayak before, and we were surprised by the stability and ease of maneuvering. With no current to negotiate, we could easily stop to study plants or wildlife, or just paddle slowly and effortlessly.
Eventually the serene creek opened up into Wolf Bay, where we glided past houses, piers and boat docks, and observed schools of fish as they darted around our kayaks. As we started our return, a pair of dolphins teased us with their intermittent presence.
Throughout the morning, the word “peaceful” kept popping into my head. Other than a small plane overhead and the brief passing of a fisherman’s boat, the only sounds were that of Mother Nature. The thick vegetation and some tall trees insulated the creek from the outside world, allowing the illusion of being miles from civilization. And the houses on the bay were set far enough back so as not to intrude on the waterway.
While we did enjoy conversation during the 3-hour journey, there was also plenty of opportunity to soak up the stillness and focus on the natural setting. Our guides seemed to intuitively understand how special that silence is, perfectly balancing friendly chit-chat, information sharing, and leaving us to our own thoughts.
My first encounter with a kayak now makes me want one of my own, but I know that won’t happen with the crazy schedule I keep. At least now I know how enjoyable it is, and I have memories to call on when I want an escape but don’t have time for such. And best of all, I know who to contact when I can’t resist the call of the kayak any longer.
Stay informed of local activities, vacation rental specials and more by subscribing to this Discover Alabama Beaches blog and Meyer Muse, and by following Meyer Real Estate on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace.