Stuart Florida is Paradise!

I don't understand why there are so few paddlers in Florida.  If I judge it by the number of kayaks I see on cars or the number of kayaks I see on the water Floridians do not kayak as much as North Carolinians.  Maybe it is because Florida is now filled with people from out of state instead of the farmers, ranchers, and outlaws who started the state.  In any chase my trip was wonderful and I have the pictures to prove it.

I paddled by a lot of houses like this near the St. Lucie inlet.  Very few of these folks had kayaks in the back yard.  I don't know a lot of folks around here but I do know one very good paddler who takes her white water boat through the inlet to surf the reef break.  When the tides are right she has help on the way to the reef and on the way back.  Unfortunately, I was a little too busy to take pictures while in the inlet or near the reef break.

Fortunately I did take a picture from shore that lets you see the color and clarity of the water outside the inlet.

This is the same beach at the same time, looking the other way.

After I got back in from the inlet I headed North. After I went about 11 miles I stopped for lunch near the Jensen Causeway. After Lunch I put up my Flat Earth sail and started to head back.  There wasn't much wind so I kept taking the sail down and putting it up again.

Here is the boat taking a break at the Stuart Causeway.  It's a good thing that the Flat Earth Sail goes up and comes down so easily.  I wish all my sails were this easy to use, but each different design has it's own compromises.

As I got closer to the inlet the incoming tide brought in some really gorgeous and clear water.

I used my Lumpy paddle with no blister or hand soreness even though it was my first 24 mile paddle of the year. Thanks Bill!

Thanks Rachel for letting me come visit your beautiful home.  And Thanks for being my sister! 

Kayaks for Fat Paddlers

I started out kayaking at almost 300 pounds so I think all of us who wear Fat Paddlers should share our advice for beginning Fat Paddlers.  So here is my advice for choosing a boat!

I really like the Wilderness Systems brand for heavy folks.  And if you want the two most comfortable boats in the world try the Tarpon 160 sit on top.  If I had to have only one boat then it would be my beloved Tarpon 160.  I've done everything in it from white water to marathons.  For a boat that is almost as comfortable and really fast for its size try a Pungo 140, you'll be able to keep up with groups of sea kayakers and have a big comfortable open cockpit. If   you want to go in rougher water and wear a shirt then the Tsunami 145 is quick, maneuverable, comfortable, and has plenty of room for camping gear.  In fact a friend used his Tsunami 145 for a 40 mile overnight trip because he knew it would be better to be comfortable for the long miles and it was easy to sprint the boat up to 5 mph when loaded if needed.  And finally If you are truly large and or tall and you want a fast comfortable boat for you and all your gear try out the Tsunami 175.  It is the biggest of the super comfortable sea kayaks from Wilderness Systems.

I'd love to hear of other brands and models that are good for big paddlers; so please post a comment if you have one to share.