Picture taken from Gilbert Bar at the House of Refuge:
Being in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday had me yearning for some time on the water. So I did a little search for kayak rentals in Stuart, FL., and landed on a really, really good company.
Paradise Kayak Tours, LLC had a most excellent tour planned for the day on their schedule, and it involved paddling around the inter-coastal waters of the Stuart Causeway. I booked the tour online the day before. I selected a single sit on top kayak.
I met up with Mike from Paradise Kayak Tours at 9:00 at the SE end of the Ernest Lyons Bridge
I was his only client for the day, and the set plan was to circumnavigate the Stuart Causeway and hitting up a few of the islands along the way. The route was going to be between 10 and 13 miles and take about 5 hours. And lunch was provided. Pretty schweet deal for 78 clams.
We hit the water sticking to the eastern shore of the spit (Gilbert Bar) that separates the causeway from the Atlantic ocean. Our first pullout spot was the the historical House of Refuge. Pretty amazing this house had been here since 1876. The spit here is only a couple hundred feet wide at this section, so I trotted across the road to check out the ocean for a while.
Our next stop was on an island across from the Sailfish Point Marina. Then it was back in the boat, and we paddle out of the inlet (near the mouth of the Atlantic Ocean). I kinda wanted to head out to the ocean and considering my experience in the surf was, but it prolly wasn't the best idea in the little kayak I was paddling. Besides, I didn't want to be a liability for Mike.
We turned around, an headed back into the bay. We ended up arching around a couple of islands near the western shore of the causeway. We then settled on a white sandy beach for some lunch. Mike had an awesome sammiches, chips and sodas for us. Nom, nom, nom, nom...
The weather had been perfect all day, as the temps were in the upper 70's and the winds were pretty much nonexistent. The winds were expected to pick up in the afternoon, so after lunch , we looped another island and called it a day at that point. And as expected the winds started to pick up as we returned. We were off the water by 2:00.
I normally like doing these tours on my own, but Paradise Kayak Tours pretty much rawked. I would highly recommend this company.
Good stuff. The bad stuff is that I shot some really good video of the day, and actually cut and edited the footage, but I dropped my computer and lost pretty much everything including all the footage off my Gopro camera. That was the camera with all the good shots. Very frustrating and disappointing, cuz that video was awesome.
I did have a little bit of footage on my other camera, so I did put together a little bit of a video:
For this video I ended up using a new (to me) screen grab video recorder for the Google Earth Tour recorded video shot. Fraps pretty much rawks. I had been using Cam Studio and has worked very well, but after reinstalling Cam Studio after I got my computer up and running it just wasn't working right. Fraps is so nice for pulling the Google Earth Tour, because I no longer need to run the tour in ultra slow mode and then speed up the video file in my video editor. My old workflow with Cam Studio I needed to create a tour that would take about 20 minutes to play otherwise the clip would be really, really choppy.
Here's an interactive Google Earth tour of our Stuart Causeway: