(Stopping to enjoy wildlife along the way is a principal focus of our events, and we have outstanding photographers who paddle with us! Our collection of photo albums is truly awesome! This handsome hunk was "captured" by Bill K., on the Santa Fe River.)
(Photographer and "Assistant Organizer" Bill K. and "Event Organizer" Goti in one of our many "secret" places, Photo by Cris)
WHERE WE PADDLE: The Gulf's "Nature Coast” from Steinhatchee to Tampa, and Central Florida waterways as far north as Gainesville and the Santa Fe, as far south as Tampa and as far east as the Orlando area. We've explored all these areas and have found our own special, "secret" places.
(Our "Event Organizer" Eric R. was leading us on one of our "secret" streams. As you can see, he's a man we can count on to get us through! Yes, he did! And with room to spare!!!!!! Photo by Cris)
ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS FOR YOURSELF TO FIND OUT IF YOU QUALIFY AND WOULD ENJOY OUR EVENTS. If you answer "Yes," then "Join us!"
* SAFETY REQUIREMENT: Can you swim to get back into your kayak or to shore after a flip?
* SAFETY REQUIREMENT: Do you ALWAYS wear a vest-type Coast Guard-approved PFD tightened to fit snug? (No inflatables!)
* SAFETY REQUIREMENT: Does your kayak have flotation fore and aft, and do both ends stay afloat after a flip? Are all hatch covers attached securely to your kayak, both inside and out? Do you check this at least yearly?
* SAFETY REQUIREMENT: Can you do the T-Recovery to assist others to get back into their kayak after capsizing, and do you practice this?
* SAFETY REQUIREMENT: If you flip and find yourself separated from the group, can you do self-recovery (get back into your kayak unassisted)? Do you practice this and do you carry the gear you need?
* SAFETY REQUIREMENT: Do you always carry a spare paddle so you can continue with the group when/if yours breaks or is out of reach?
(Break on the Santa Fe - Time to relax, eat, stretch and swim! Photo by Norm T.)
EVENTS: We have more than 100 different events to chose from, and the list is growing as we continue to explore new places. Our trips include well-known popular places, as well as others not found in paddling books. There are five types of paddles: inland rivers, Gulf open waters, sheltered Gulf areas, lake open waters and explorations.
HOW EVENTS ARE CHOSEN, OUR FOCUS BEING SAFETY, COMFORT & ENJOYMENT:
* For Gulf paddles, we go only when tides and winds are favorable and it’s not too hot.
* During cold weather, we start later and paddle open waters and places with manatees.
* In springtime, we paddle areas where birds are nesting.
* In autumn, we do the runs with the best fall colors.
* In hot, humid weather, we start early and do shady places and runs with springs where we can get out and cool down!
(Mom and baby on the Silver River, Photo by Rick T.)
PARTICIPANTS: Experienced, safety-conscious kayakers who live throughout Florida. Some join us only when we're paddling close to their home, others drive longer distances to experience new waterways and meet other like-minded paddlers. With the arrival of cool weather, we especially enjoy the migration of our wonderful snowbirds!
(Head spring at Gum Slough, Photo by snowbird Barb H.)
NO MEMBERSHIP DUES!
WE ARE NOT A "CLUB:" We're only about kayaking, getting together to enjoy this sport with like-minded paddlers. After our trips, those who wish to socialize more sometimes arrange among themselves to enjoy local restaurants.
NO OBLIGATIONS TO PADDLE: Members paddle only when and where they wish.
WHO SHOWS UP: A mix of different members sign up for each of our paddles.
(During this trip up Gum Slough, Dan C. was helping Brinda C. get over this dead fall without damaging her yak. In the background, you can see Rick W. clearing away branches, which allowed the rest of us to get through an easier, softer way! We're so fortunate to have such strong members we can count on when the going gets rough! Photo by Rick T.)
TO SEE WHAT MEMBERS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT US: Go to "Group reviews" on our "Home" page, far left near the top.
(Heading up the Homosassa River to see MANATEES!!!!!!!!! Photos by Cris & Rick T.)
NOTE TO BEGINNERS: We enjoy introducing new paddlers to the numerous wonders of our region! It doesn't take long to get ready when you start by learning with qualified instructors the skills needed to paddle with us. When you can answer "Yes" to the "QUESTIONS FOR YOURSELF," you'll be ready to join us! If you don't know where to start, there are three "Nature Coast" outfitters who offer lessons, kayaks and gear under "Sponsors" in our toolbar along the top.