Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day Paddle In Trash Out Event

It's a beautiful afternoon for our sunset Earth Day Paddle In Trash Out Event at West Neck Creek in Virginia Beach. We are all set up and so excited for the turnout of volunteers arriving shortly. With all of the boats we loaned out for free, a family of five with two canoes, and a couple with their own kayaks, we should be able to pull a lot of litter from the creek today.

Our first group, a father daughter team, are all geared up and eager to launch.
And they are off! This is their first time kayaking and they are extremely excited to help out while experiencing a kayaking trip on West Neck Creek.
Our second group is all ready to go! This father son team is also on their first kayak trip and excited to lend a helping hand with our clean up.
This couple just moved to the area and were happy to help out. We were sad to hear that one of their boats was damaged in storage, but happy to loan them one of ours so they could both make it out with us.
This family of five from Maine came equipped with two canoes and a lot of enthusiasm!
Right from the start they were taking advantage of the low water from the recent North East winds and were collecting litter from the banks.
Our last volunteer is on her way. We are excited to see how much litter this group can collect!
My son Logan thought it was the perfect time to try out dad's kayak for the first time :)
 The thunderstorms were approaching from the West but good thing we were in the clear until the event was over. The storm clouds created some picturesque views in the sky and everyone was off working hard on the creek.
We ran into one of our happy volunteers on her way back to drop off a load of litter at the launch site so she could head out and get some more.
 How do some of these things get here? An entire tire and rim was pulled from the mud and loaded up on the kayak.
Everyone one has returned and we are all amazed how much debris we have pulled from the creek in a hour and a half. From cellphones, to tires, to a front door and bags of bottles and broken glass, this Earth Day event was a huge success! We are extremely pleased with the turnout and the amazing effort everyone put forth in helping to leave our waterways a little cleaner than we found them! Taking on the world (and litter) with a paddle! Adventure Kayak Tours!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Twelve Months of Kayaking April Edition

Continuing our tradition, we selected West Neck Creek in Virginia Beach, Virginia for our April edition of The Twelve Months of Kayaking. Spring has definitely arrived here at West Neck Creek. Conditions were perfect for a day long paddle and nothing but glass as I launched out from West Neck Marina.

Heading North, I  passed under the West Neck Road bridge, immediately spotting a cormorant sunning himself on an old Cypress tree root.
Casting along a shallow cove, I landed my first large-mouth bass of the day early in this paddle. The water is beginning to warm slowly and the fish are on a feeding frenzy before they get on their beds.
All the Osprey nests on the creek are extremely active this time of year. The females are beginning to sit on their nests and the males are busy hunting on the creek and rebuilding the nests.
West Neck Creek is one of the best locations in Virginia Beach to get an up close view of Osprey, especially in the Spring.
Now traveling on the West side of the creek I landed another large-mouth in the shallows. Today the conditions were perfect to catch these hungry predators.
From around the point, two very curious Canadian geese swam right up to my kayak to see what all the commotion was about.
These two guys appeared to enjoy my company. They followed right along side of me for quite a while as I traveled South down the creek.
Heading North I witnessed an amazing site as I was approaching the bridge again. Dozens of swallows were gathering around the top of a tree creating a hypnotic pattern.
The weather was amazing and there was barely a ripple on the water the entire morning. I found another favorite spot of mine untouched and I began to work the shore line on the way back to the marina.
My third large-mouth of the day and I could not be happier with all the success I was having, even with the water temperatures hovering around 58 degrees.
Two more visitors showed up to investigate, members of one of the local families of otters. They didn't seem pleased I was invading their fishing grounds. Lucky for them I always practice catch and release!
Well it's time to head back to the marina. I've worked up an appetite today and one of my favorite things about arriving back at this launch area is the slow cooked BBQ provided by Blackwater Trading Post Catering. I'm excited to see the evidence of Spring finally showing its face in Virginia. Another day, another month, exploring the waterways of Coastal Virginia. See you all on the water!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Twelve Months of Kayaking March Edition

Our March edition was spent at Stumpy Lake in Virginia Beach on this sunny afternoon.. With temperatures in the mid 60s and a mild wind it was the perfect day for a paddle.
Time to turn on the GPS, off the phone, and get out on the water for a relaxing afternoon. I absolutely love the launch system here and I have heard information that these systems will be installed around Chesapeake too this upcoming season. It is a floating dock with rollers that slides you into and out of the water.
Pretty nice huh!

It was perfect conditions! There were many kayakers out on the lake today but with its size it feels like you have the lake all to yourself.
We were not the only ones out enjoying the sun. The cormorants were out soaking up some rays as well.
Time to throw out the line and get in a little fishing while we are out here.
Time to get in a little geocaching fix. Exploring an offshoot of the lake we are searching for a aqua cache called The Back Nine.
Found It! Just enough water to move in and sign the log.
Modern digital photography is amazing! Time to explore some special effects.
Time to exit this scenic small creek and finish exploring the back of the lake.
There's nothing like relaxing in complete silence, soaking up some much needed sun. The only thing breaking the silence was the sound of an owl in the trees nearby.
Time to stretch my legs on a small island in the back of the lake. While we are here, also search for another geocache.

On the way back we stopped by to see if the resident bald eagle was on his nest and there he goes! He wasn't in the mood for visitors today but we were lucky enough to capture this picture.
It was a welcome relief from the cold winter we have experienced in Virginia having my feet in the water again.
We are getting close to the launch and its been an amazing day. Spring is beginning to arrive and we are eager to kick off the 2014 season. Another day well spent, exploring our world with a paddle.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Paddle In Trash Out Event (Smith Creek)

We arrived at Baum Road boat launch in Chesapeake, Virginia eager to get started cleaning on of our favorite waterways this beautiful February Sunday afternoon.
We got to work right away on the shoreline and surrounding area near the launch. There was much to do immediately and we haven't even got on the water yet.

We filled bags and bags of trash. Spark plug wires, cans, Styrofoam cups, broken glass, pens, screws, bolts, and when your real lucky MONEY! :)
After a relaxing lunch, we loaded up and we are ready to hit the water for the paddle portion of this event.

Right away ,once again, we were hard at work collecting debris from the surrounding waterway. You never really know what your going to find on, or in, the water.

We are loading these boats up! Everything from hard hats to old socks! We always hope that we don't find all these things but find them we did! Which makes this effort so worthwhile!
We even had an audience as the turtles came out to see what was going on.
It's time to head back now. Our work here is done, I'm proud of this little girl and a paddle high five is certainly in order. The paddle back was a reminder of all the hard work we accomplished. A much cleaner Smith Creek than the one we paddled down just an hour ago.
We are back at the launch site. We were certainly blessed with a beautiful February afternoon for our cleanup.
Another day here at Adventure Kayak Tours exploring our world, and taking on pollution, with a paddle and a smile. Hope to see you all at the next cleanup!