Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t want to get trapped in this thing!
You won't.....you'll be wearing a PFD(Personal Flotation Device). In the event of a 'wet exit' you'll be out and next to your kayak before you know what happened.
What kind of kayaks do you use for guided tours?
On our guided tours we use sea (touring) kayaks - the kind with a sit-in cockpit (as opposed to sit-on-tops). We’ve found that these are the most comfortable and easily maneuverable for the beginner. There are one and two person kayaks in our fleet.
Will I get wet?
Only if you want to. The kayaks in our fleet are very stable and after a short time on the water you’ll feel right at home but in the event of an unexpected exit, wet you will be. to help you deal with this situation, during the dry land segment of your instruction we’ll show you a procedure on how to leave you boat gracefully. After taking out over 20,000 guests on guided tours, we’ve had only 70 fall in the water! Most of them were fooling around and wanted to get wet anyway.
Can I just rent a kayak and explore on my own?
From our location in Talbot Islands State Parks - Long Island Outfitters - we have canoes, sit on top and recreational style kayaks for rent. With the rental you will get paddles, PFD’s and a map of the area.
How are guided tours different from rentals?
Guided tours start with a short instruction, then paddle about 1 hour. We stop for a break on a sandbar and provide a snack then finish up with another hour of paddling. Guided tours are planned to go with the tide.
Rentals take off from our location in the middle of Simpson Creek. We supply you with a map and point out interesting places to stop and dangers to look out for. There are miles of salt marsh and small rivers to explore. When done you return to the place you started at Long Island Outfitters (which means half the trip will be against the tide).
What kinds of wildlife will I see?
Northeast Florida is part of the East Coast flyway for migrating birds of many species. We frequently see pelicans, egrets, herons, wood storks, terns, and various shore birds as well as other migrating birds. In the water we may see dolphins, manatees, otters, rays, and other fish.
- Brown Pelican
- Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
- Great Egret
- Horseshoe Crab
- Wild Horse
- Laughing Gull
- Oyster Catcher
- Painted Bunting
- Cownose Ray
- Red Knot
- Ruddy Turnstone
- Black Skimmer
- Roseate Spoonbill
- Great Egret
- Tricolored Heron
- Wilson's Plover (and chick)
Wilson's Plover (and chick)
- Wood Stork
- Roseate Spoonbill
Can I bring my kids?
We have taken children with us on trips. Younger ones (5-12) usually do well in double kayaks. For those that want to try paddling on their own (12 and up) we have kid sized kayaks. It depends on the child and their endurance. Another problem with children is attention span. What’s absolutely fascinating to us can bore a three year old to tears. Sudden shifts in weight or position can make a kayak unstable. If your little one decides he wants to leave.....NOW!!...you will both go swimming.
What if it rains?
Our utmost concern is the safety of our paddlers. Lightning and dangerous winds will cancel a guided tour or force us off the water if a trip is underway. A little rain won’t cancel a trip, but a little lightning will. If a guided tour must be canceled because of bad weather you will not be charged. With rentals, we can tell you the forecast but, once you leave, there are no refunds for bad weather.
What if I’m real tall or very short or my most comfortable clothes are XXL?
We have kayaks to fit (and have fit) anyone from 30 lb. kids to 300lb. 6 foot 7inch paddlers. Please call if you have any special concerns.
Do I need to know how to swim?
No, your PFD will keep you afloat if you accidentally go into the water.
Is it customary to tip the guides at the end of the trip?
If this means you want to dunk us in celebration of a successful voyage, NO! Gratuities, on the other hand, while not necessary are always appreciated.