Things You Should Know
The Bay of Exploits has a lot to offer anyone who appreciates the great outdoors, but the thorns on the rose include the cold North Atlantic water, and occasional bad weather. Kayaking, as well, is not necessarily a dry activity. It has been said, however, that there is no such thing as bad weather, but only inappropriate clothing. By being prepared for the normal conditions, with some thought to what can go wrong, you will be able to more happily enjoy your adventure.
When doing any athletic activity, cotton clothing is to be avoided. It will not insulate when wet, and takes a long time to dry. Wool is an ok natural material, but it is usually best to stick to synthetics such as polyester, fleece, spandex, neoprene, polypropylene, and so on. Since you will be outdoors for a few hours, a hat or cap, sunglasses, and sunscreen are recommended. A wetsuit, or even a drysuit, is a good idea most of the time. You have to dress for the water temperature as much as the air temperature.
A strong paddler, in a fast sea kayak, with light winds and currents, can maintain a speed of up to 4 or 5 knots (7 to 9 kph/4.6 to 5.8 mph). 2.5 knots (4.6 kph/2.9 mph) is the relaxed rate of speed normally travelled during our tours, but we are governed by the slowest paddler. For safety reasons, we maintain a tight group, and strongly urge the faster people to ease off, and not get too far ahead of the others.
(Conversions: 1 kt = 1.85 km/h = 1.15mph, 1 km/h = 0.54 kt = 0.62 mph, 1 mph = 0.87 kt = 1.61 km/h)
Kayaks do not draw much water, so we generally keep close to shore. That allows us to playfully skirt around the rocks, and see the life on the sea bottom. We also want to stay out of the way of any boats or ships that might be sharing the waterway with us. A kayak is so low on the water it can be hard to see, so we always behave as if we are invisible.
There is no pride on the water. If you need a rest, or are not feeling well, tell us right away. Don't be afraid to ask for a tow, or accept one when offered. Two or more sea kayaks rafted together makes a very stable platform for taking a break, or just enjoying the scenery as you drift along. We don't know everything about everything (yet! Educated happy face), but we are glad to answer any questions you have, so don't be shy.