Friday, December 19, 2008

First Ocean Paddle

Today was one of those landmark days in my kayaking journey as I left the relative safety of the protected waterways and paddled out into the Atlantic Ocean. I will say, first off, I would have never attempted this without Scott and Mary Ross at my side, but it was still a day that opened exciting new paddling horizons.

I will always love paddling the quieter waterways of this awesome area, with their unique wildlife and natural beauty. However, I found that when you leave the safety of land and paddle straight out into the Atlantic on purpose it is a surreal experience like no other.

The waves were not huge today but they were challenging to me. I was able to practice paddling through breaking surf, bracing, and even a little surfing. I accomplished my first true combat roll after a wave knocked me over. I did have to swim once, when I missed my roll, but my winter paddling gear protected me while Scott helped with a rescue.

We finished the day with an ocean paddle back up the beach to our launch site. It’s hard for me to describe the feeling of being one-half mile offshore or so, in a sea kayak, but suffice to say it was humbling and awe inspiring at the same time. I truly felt at one with my boat as on no other paddle I have done.

While this is not an activity I would recommend for beginners, once your paddling skills develop -- to where you are comfortable bracing and have some knowledge of advanced rescue and paddling techniques -- it is some of the most fun you can have in a kayak. On top of that you will gain personal confidence in your abilities and an appreciation for the oceans natural beauty and raw power.

I’ll sign-off with thoughts of my next ocean paddle and I hope you can join me.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Holiday Howdy

Howdy, Happy Paddlers! So much news, so little time to write about it! First of all, an overdue thank you to our students, customers and supporters as we approach our first year in business. We appreciate your enthusiasm as we share our love for kayaking with paddlers in, around and visiting Charleston, South Carolina.

We have been proud of our association with the Lowcountry Paddlers. President Todd Beach, Vice President Jim Miller, Secretary Leslie Maple, and Treasurer Michael Condon give freely of their valuable time and energy to share their love of the sport. Thanks to Todd and his gang for all they do for the paddlers of Charleston. Check out the Lowcountry Paddlers at

Sea Kayak Carolina is also pleased to be the sponsors of the Charleston Sea Kayakers Meetup Group. Check out this informal association of Charleston kayakers at the Charleston Sea Kayakers Meetup Group website.

We are very excited to be the Gold Sponsors of the 2009 East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival April 17, 18, 19, 2009. Sea Kayak Carolina will help bring you the latest news related to this world class kayak event in Charleston at the James Island County Park - right up the road from our shop!

On behalf of Deb, Sue and the rest of the gang at Sea Kayak Carolina,

Happy Hanuka, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Paddler to Be

Welcome the newest kayaker! Our friends Kimberly and Matthew had their second child yesterday. Meet Benjamin Edward Faust. He arrived at 8 pounds, 11 ounces! Mom, Benjamin, Matt and Benjamin's big brother Jonah all are well.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shop Notes from Scott

Lots of stuff happening at Sea Kayak Carolina during our "slow" time of the year! We had a great day after the Turkey paddle. I'm looking forward to seeing the trip report on-line in our "Kayak in Charleston On-Line Guide" -- stay tuned. One nice bit of news is that Amy Sloane (pictured in her new P&H Capella) will be working around the shop and helping on trips. Amy is an enthusiastic new paddler with an engaging, effervescent personality. Hopefully you will have a chance to say hello to her soon. That's all for now -- I'll try to get some of my contributions to the Sea Kayak Carolina blog caught up soon. -Scott