Showing posts from January, 2014

Beautiful canoe/kayak launches: Weedon Island, St. Petersburg, Florida

Weedon Island Preserve is a must see on foot and by kayak if you're visiting the Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg area of southern Florida. The preserve is part peninsula and a lot of islands.

The public canoe/kayak launch at Weedon Island is stunning. You'll find it next to the preserve’s long fishing pier at the end of Weedon Drive Northeast.

The South Trail
There is a basic map posted at the canoe/kayak launch of the numbered self-guided paddle trail. The paddle trail is a four-mile loop that winds through the mangrove forests, along islands and lagoons bordering Tampa Bay.

There is a public restroom next to the fishing pier.

You want to plan about three hours to complete the marked paddle trail and check the daily tide charts beforehand so as not get stuck in low tide.

I'm not a fan at all of paddling through narrow mangrove tunnels and avoid them. I like my kayak and my paddle to run free. There are lots of open areas to paddle here. Paddlers report that the marked trail will…

Knowledgeable, nice, well-stocked! Sweetwater Kayaks, St. Petersburg, Florida

This is the place for kayaks in southern Florida. Sweetwater Kayaks! It's their religion. We spent so much time in the "shop" during our visit last week, I was happy they didn't kick us out. I guess they understood, we too have the "love of good kayak's disease".

I don't know what to call the building Sweetwater Kayaks lives in besides awesome. It is too nice, unique, and perhaps historical to be called a store or a warehouse. It's Sweetwater Kayaks on 10000 Gandy Blvd. in St. Petersburg, Florida.

There is such a great choice of high-end kayaks, you get a bit of a rush walking into the store. It has a nice feel.

NDK (Nigel Dennis Kayaks). A good choice of the ever-popular Pilgrim.
Hey wait. An NDK Romany demo kayak? I wish I had time to borrow it for a few days and take it home. I tried a Romany S a few years back on a Tampa Bay Florida trip paddling from Cockroach Bay with Don Thompson from Big D's Kayaking and I'm still hooked. A grea…

Paddler winter cross-training: What burns more calories?

Today I was wielding a sledge hammer to break up thick ice in the driveway and walkway of our home in Canada. A few days ago, I was visiting the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Cold and warm fluctuates. Florida isn't always warm. Canada is not always cold.

I began thinking about different aspects of cross-training to keep yourself in shape for what you really like to do. Some of the things we do in our daily life could be considered back-breaking chores, necessity, pure pleasure, planning ahead for future activities, or cross-training.

We don't paddle every day. But we do need to stay in shape mentally and physically every day to the best of our abilities. Weather permitting is not an option. We have to deal with weather and conditions winter, spring, summer, and fall! Paradise on either end of the warm or cold spectrum can quickly change.

As I slugged ice and slush in Canada today I thought about having a good perspective about winter and what could count for excellent cross-trai…

Happy New Paddle Year from the BaffinPaddler

May the new kayaking year see you always paddling with your properly fitting PFD and a smile on your face. . .

under many a rainbow . . .
although, that may mean rain first. Remember to bring the cockpit cover for the drive home!
And, may the new kayaking year bring many spots on the horizon that are your kayaking buddies.
Now back to reality in Canada.
It's time to head for water that isn't frozen and a sun that shines with heat.

It isn't all bad though with the right gear and lots of it! You need a camera that doesn't freeze at -20C/-4F. Although fingers are another matter.
Happy trails in the new year.

I wish you the best, today, tomorrow, and forever.
The BaffinPaddler