Sea Kayaking Provides a Peaceful Passage Through Nature
Posted April 27, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
OUTER BANKS — If you want to slow down and get close to nature, sea kayaking offers the chance for both. Described as calm and peaceful, odds are you will not flip over, but you might flip for the activity.
"I just absolutely love being outdoors. It's essential for me, really, to kind of just manage the stress of daily living," says Denise Gammonley.
A few in this group have done this before, but not Sean Dolle, who grabbed a paddle for the first time.
"I'm enjoying it. I'm starting to get the hang of it. It's the balancing thing I'm working on still, but it's good. It's going to be a great weekend," he says.
Our first journey weaves through a small canal to Lake Mattamuskeet in Hyde County.
Elsie Hutchen normally kayaks closer to home.
"We go to Jordan Lake, which is near Raleigh, and there are parts of the lake that don't have a lot of people and we see eagles and beavers and osprey," she says.
You have to keep your eyes open. There is no telling what you might see as this waterway breathes life into the land around it.
After lunch, the pace picks up as the group catches the ferry bound for Ocracoke on the Outer Banks.
As we settle in for the night, the heavens open up. The village lighthouse stands tall against the trembling skies. The storm behind us, we launch another day, in search of serenity.
Many of the people on this trip say how much they enjoy the quiet of being on the water. In fact, our instructor says being in sea kayaks is so quiet, you often forget that "chattering" noise you hear in your mind everywhere else.
"I think it's why a lot of people go kayaking, a lot of people go canoeing," says instructor Joe Jacob. "They're trying to reconnect with those rhythms they had as a kid, because as a kid they were outside a lot more than they are as adults."
"This just kind of balances my spirit, getting out here and enjoying Mother Nature, and knowing there's a supreme being that's greater than any of us," says instructor Judy McConkey.
As we paddle through the sea marsh, you can feel the tension of the real world fade.
There is a special place out there on the water, and it takes time to find. If you are lucky, you can make a few friends along the way.
Almost anyone can handle a sea kayak, and more than half of paddlers are women.
There are several outfitters in the Triangle that can get you started. A typical weekend trip, including all the equipment, will cost you from $200 to 300.