Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why Choose A Kayak Outfitter When Going On Vacation

When planning your vacation to San Juan Island there are a lot of things to consider.  If you are coming from out of state you have to look a plane tickets and what sort of transportation you will be taking to the island once you land in Seattle.  If you are driving to the island you have to look at what times are best to get out of the city to get in line for the ferry.  Ferry lines can often get backed up and throw your travel plans off.  So if you want to do a kayak trip on San Juan Island and not use and Outfitter, imagine all the other details you will have to cover.  Things such as kayak route plan, weather, tides and currents.  If you plan on doing a kayak camping trip you have to account for places to camp, camping equipment, meal planning and much more.

So this brings me to the subject of this article. What are the benefits of choosing to go with a Kayak Outfitter such as Discovery Sea Kayaks.

Taking the load off is what you are doing when you book with a quality Kayak Outfitter.  You are passing the challenge of getting all of the kayak details taken care of.  This can be a huge release to your mind while you are traveling to be on San Juan Island.  To have peace of mind that once you arrive on San Juan Island, your kayak adventure is all ready to go.

Some of the Key Benefits.

First you have the availability of office staff that will help you with your travel options to San Juan Island from Seattle.  The office staff coordinates flawlessly with guides to do the best they can do at making sure time of departure and return from you kayak adventure gives you the time necessary to pack for and unpack after the tour.  In the event of an emergency the guides have communication with the office at anytime to attend to needs.  Office staff will also make sure that you arrive well prepared for your trip.  That you have all the information needed to pack the proper clothing and what you can expect from you adventure.

Equipment is a huge factor when deciding to go with a Kayak Outfitter.  Quality Outfitters will make sure you have the best equipment while on your adventure.  From the best kayaks and kayak equipment to the best camping equipment.  Outfitters can set you up with a kayak camping tour that will provide all your camp needs from tents, sleeping bag and pad, mess kits, dry bags, and much more.  Quality food will be prepared.  All of the items you would have to somehow pack and bring with you will be waiting for you when you arrive.

As a guide, I feel the most important part of going with a Kayak Outfitter is your guide.  A good guide works hard to ensure you have the best possible kayak adventure.  Guides are special people that have a certain set of skill sets that allow them to work in such an environment.  Many guest look at guides as having the best job ever and most guides will agree.  But it does take a certain type of person to be a strong leader with excellent judgment and be patient with new paddlers in adverse conditions.  Remember a guide is doing this all season.  When you show up for your kayak tour, your guide may have been working for weeks or more already.  So when you see the level of energy your guide has when you arrive, you begin to appreciate how hard they work and maintain such high and exciting energy. Having a guide along you get the benefit of amazing local knowledge from water safety, wildlife and you also gain a great camp buddy.  Guides will prepare meals and coordinate your day.  Things such as route planning, weather assessment, tides and currents are taken care of.  Routes can be complex at times given the tides on certain days.  So having the knowledge to know when you need to get across a channel or around a point before the currents get to strong is very important.

Guides at Discovery Sea Kayaks are well trained and prepared.  All guides go through a period of in house training for kayak skills. Guides are trained to not only to be great kayakers but to use great judgment.  We use various scenarios to test the level judgment skills in our training process.  Guides are taught how to interpret variables of the environment to aid in developing safe routes or times you may not want to be on the water. Many of our guides have science back ground college degrees.  Even so they all have to go through another period of training on natural history and local human history.  When all of this is complete we send guides to various kayak instructors so that they can further their skills and gain diversity of kayaking concepts. Once guides return from the training they shadow senior guides to get an idea of the flow of tours.  Senior guides will provide feedback and once positive feedback is received.  The new guide is set to lead kayak tours.  It is a process and in this process you can see why your guide is such a valuable asset to have with you.

From office staff to highly skilled guides, going with a Kayak Outfitter can really enrich your vacation.   Travel with the peace of mind knowing your kayak tour is being planned and setup.  That you can arrive and be assured that your experience kayaking in the San Juan Islands will not only be safe but adventurous and educational.  The San Juan Islands are truly a magical place; this is why I choose to live here.  The distant views of mountains to the incredible wildlife viewing opportunities, you really cannot ask for more.  It is one of the most gratifying parts of my life sharing San Juan Island kayak adventures with people looking to connect not just with their traveling partners, but with nature as well.

If you are interested in kayaking in the San Juan Islands of Washington State and would like to be accompanied by a highly skilled kayak guide from one of the Highest Quality Kayak Outfitters on San Juan Island, visit Discovery Sea Kayaks Website.

I would be more than happy to take all of you kayaking and share in the kayak adventures here on San Juan Island.

 



Packing up and heading out!

San Juan Island sunsets are more than worth the visit.

Nice campsite with beautiful views.

Your guide will make sure to keep you away from rips such as this.

Pristine paddling waters in calm conditions! San Juan Island is one of the best sea kayak tour destinations.

1 comment:

Monika said...

If you don't already link to this from the DSK site you should....great info for prospective clients.