Early explorers relied on nature for navigation, deducing cardinal directions from the growth of tree moss, the position of the sun, and the GPS readouts of wild smartphone bushes. Reconnect with nature's wireless signals with today's Groupon: for $40, you get one Seals and Sea Otter Watch by Kayak: Elkhorn Slough guided tour from Blue Water Ventures in Moss Landing (up to an $80 value). Choose from the following available dates:
- February 11
- February 12
- February 25
- February 26
- March 10
- March 24
- March 25
- April 7
- April 8
Blue Water Ventures owner and naturalist Kim Powell and her trained staff of explorers lead educational excursions into the protected waters of the Elkhorn Slough National Marine Estuary. During the trip—which lasts from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.—patrons glide across the water on safe and stable double kayaks. Paddlers can snap photos of sea otters and harbor seals while a naturalist narrates the action. Halfway into the cruise, the group will disembark to eat a packed lunch (not included with this Groupon) on shore and, during whale-migration season, will also hike out to scan the horizon for telltale fins, blow spouts, and waterlogged Free Willy DVDs.
Since weather conditions can vary, the guides at Blue Water Ventures recommend layering ensembles with windbreakers, woolly jackets, or live sheep. Water-resistant shoes and pants made from quick-drying materials can help to keep paddlers dry despite the sea’s salty spray. To deflect harmful rays, guests also should bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a dozen reflective mirrors to show the sun how it feels. Contact Blue Water Ventures to reserve a spot.
Blue Water Ventures
Blue Water Ventures owner and naturalist Kim Powell and her trained staff of naturalists lead adventurous groups on tours of trails and waterways from the East Bay of California to San Jose's Elkhorn Slough, exploring caves, forests, and wildlife-rich areas on the way. On protected Elkhorn Slough, groups of up to 20 make their way on stable kayaks as their attentive tour guides give rich history of the area and point out wildlife including seals and sea otters. In Florida's Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, groups snorkel and canoe to observe wild west indian manatees and their notorious poker habits.
The company also does specialty tours for school groups that include tide-pooling adventures and trekking through a redwood forest to see some of the country's oldest trees. Tours for women-only groups include private cruises where ladies can spy whales and a variety of seaborne wildlife, including fish, dolphins, and long-lost swim fins.