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nickcrowhurst 03-08-2008 08:16 AM

Sea Kayak Day Paddles on Florida's Hidden Coast
Any kayaking enthusiasts may be interested to know that my wife, Sandra, and I have just published the first book to describe day paddles on Florida's North West Gulf Coast, between Cedar Key and the Aucilla River to the north. We have been exploring this 85 mile stretch of coast for the past eight winters, and have never met another sea kayaker. The 50 page book is our celebration of 50 years of kayaking, and, as such it is our gift to the paddling community. It is a free download via Sea Kayak Day Paddles on Florida's Hidden Coast

JimGolden 03-08-2008 08:38 AM


Cool website and book. I was going to say that I've done some kayaking in Jamaica in August and found it rather miserable due to the heat...but I see you've done most of your's in winter (which in FL was probably 50-60 degrees) and so that would have been enjoyable. Good show!

doorgunner 03-08-2008 08:41 AM

Thanks Nick;
I paddle out here on the left coast and have been able to find a few books about this area. Always nice to see that someone is willing to share their time and experience with others. Finding "put in" spots is always fun. Matter of fact I'll be stitching together my second CLC Chesapeake kit this week.
There seems to be a fair amount of yakers that travel in alu min e mum.
Thanks again. Tim

markdoane 03-08-2008 09:10 AM

Fascinating read.

Who would think that a steel tent peg could be such a problem?

Good reading for non-kayakers. I might just try it.

BDandTTs 03-08-2008 09:13 AM

What a wonderful gift to Airstreamers and paddlers alike. We look forward to using it next winter.
Thanks a million,

HowieE 03-08-2008 09:32 AM

This is what I have been looking for. We have kayaked the St George State Park area for several years but I could not find information as to where we could put in for other areas.

My kayak is noted in my signature.

Hope to see you on the water.

nickcrowhurst 03-10-2008 09:08 AM

I'm grateful for all your kind replies. The Hidden Coast is a national treasure for sea kayak day paddles. We hope to meet some of you there next winter.

moosetags 03-10-2008 10:29 AM

Thanx for the info. We are also avid yakers, and that area is only two hours away.

tin sista 03-10-2008 12:19 PM

Great resource thanks!
Very kind of you and Sandra to share your information! :)

nickcrowhurst 03-11-2008 08:11 AM

When any of you good people use the book and paddle any trips on the Hidden Coast, we would be most interested to hear of your experiences. Details of when trips are feasible, in relation to high water times, are especially valuable on this shallow coast. Any information will be collated for future editions of the book.

Red Rover 03-11-2008 11:16 AM

Hello Nick, and thanks for your good work! can you tell me what types of kayaks you have found most usefull, for this type of coast hugging, flats, river mouthing, ect. sounds like your many years of EXP, could be very helpful to us all! Thank You Again. Love And Light .Robert. Red Rover^^^ PS. Look me up if your on the Texas gulf coast!:)

nickcrowhurst 03-12-2008 08:38 AM

Robert, there is no ocean swell, there are no tide races and no fast currents in our experience during the past eight winters. However, a short steep chop will occur in winds over about 15 mph, especially in shallow water, which is almost all the time. A kayak that is too short or too flat-bottomed will slam, hobby-horse and slow right down in those conditions. I would want a single kayak to be at least 16 fet long, with a beam of no more than 23 inches. I would want a tandem to be at least 18 feet 6 inches with a beam of no more than 29 inches. I would not use a kayak with a flat bottom, such as I see on many sit-on-tops. I have 16 boats. My regular singles are a composite NDK Explorer LV and a composite Valley Nordkapp HM. These are very beautiful glass boats, 18 feet long and 21 inches beam. They roll easily and just love rough water. I would not want to risk a composite kayak on the Hidden Coast because of the the very sharp oyster beds which adorn the creeks and beaches, so here we use a rotomolded tandem, a Wilderness Systems North Star. Use of a rudder is a personal preference. I prefer not to have a rudder on a single, as there is less to go wrong, I like to exercise my paddling skills, and a rudder can prevent one from recognizing paddling faults. For example, not being able to paddle in a straight line! The single we use on the Hidden Coast is a P&H Capella 166, roto-molded, with a lifting skeg and no rudder. This is a "proper" sea kayak that will maintain a good speed in choppy conditions. A sea kayak must be able to cope with winds and seas from any direction without suffering from excessive lee or weather-cocking. It is also half the price of our composite kayaks.
I hope this helps. We will certainly look you up if we are down your way, and thank you for that offer.

Red Rover 03-13-2008 01:24 PM

Very good Nick! And thank you for going into such detail. My current stable contains a German Prijon catalina 15.3 x 21.75 w/ rudder. Wilderness Tarpon 16ft w/ rudder, and the 8ft Ripper. Perception Super Sport 10ft old school river boat. Do you know the brand of the sit on top kayaks shown on the Suwanneeguides site?, I would like to do some research on them. So you sail also, I have a Pearson Triton, hull#636, she's a real witch to windward. An other Triton {Adam} has roundy rounded a number of times! Check out where the Guadulupe River drops into San Antonio bay, thats where I will be, hope to see YouAll sometime! Well it's tea time now, Thanks Again, Red Rover^^^

nickcrowhurst 03-14-2008 10:50 AM

RR, I've emailed your question to Suwannee guides, and will let you know the answer. Nick.

Sky 03-14-2008 03:10 PM

Thanks a million Nick and Sandra. :) Very well done! I will definitely be checking out some of your loops next winter. Will a folding kayak get cut to shreds in that area?

nickcrowhurst 03-15-2008 08:25 AM

Sky, a folder would be liable to serious damage on some of the routes which begin in shallow creeks. i.e, most of them! The trips from Suwannee or Cedar Key would be easier on the hull, as there is more sand. Have fun! Nick.

nickcrowhurst 03-15-2008 08:26 AM

Robert, I received this reply from Suwannee Guides:
Thank you for your interest in visiting us in Suwannee.
Below is a list of our rental boats.

The top three boats on the list are the style shown on the website.

Perception 14.5' Sit in single w/ rudder
Perception 17.5' Sit in single w/ rudder
Necky 15.0' Sit in single w/ rudder
Dagger 14.0' Sit in single w/ drop down keel
Wilderness 13.5 Sit in tandum (two seats, but one can be removed)
Wilderness 11.0' Sit on top wide single
Wilderness 13.5' Sit on top Tandum (two seats biuld in with a child's seat whcih can be added )
2 canoes

If you are interested in purchasing a boat, we would be glad to order it and have it waiting here for you here in Suwannee.

Please let me know if you have any other question

Kay McCallister
Suwannee Guides & Outfitters

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