Functioning as a non-profit with a mission to promote the preservation of nearby coastal marshes and endangered marine environments, Artist Boat aims to raise awareness through art and science. The team, made up of biologists and artists?all of whom are ACA certified kayak instructors?lead groups on paddles through Galveston Bay, choosing destinations with natural significance. Outings are suited to either beginner or intermediate paddlers, and all gear is provided, so kayakers only need bring along sun-block, outdoor-appropriate clothing, and portable air conditioning units.
The family that plays together stays together?an old adage that couldn?t be more true for owners Mike and Julie, now married more than 30 years. They took the courageous steps to change their unhealthy lifestyles by losing more than 20 pounds, a paradigm shift that inspired the couple to part ways with the corporate world and establish Beach Town Tours, their outdoor adventure company. Now the pair, known to their customers as Mimi and Pops, encourage people to stay active with six kayaking tours and three bicycling tours. Knowledgeable guides take kayakers around Galveston Island, paddling along wetlands, islands, and waterfront homes while pointing out unique wildlife such as redfish and those flounder that sing and dispense sage advice to young merfolk.
Guests also can jump on a bike and follow tour guides in small groups to the Bolivar Ferry or through sections of Hurricane Ike?damaged trees that were revived by local artists armed with carving knives.
An affiliate school of the American Sailing Association, All Points of Sail Sailing School teaches students of all levels how to sail with confidence under the tutelage of experienced guides and instructors. Instructors sprinkle landlubbers with the knowledge necessary to tear through the water on any size vessel, ranging from large-keel boats to windsurfing boards and kayaks. The school's diverse coterie of courses covers crucial nautical subjects, including sailing certification, coastal navigation, chartering, and night sailing. The expert captains also lead charters through the Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Bay as well as summer camps in which kids man kayaks and Sunfish sailboats to gain hands-on practice, which is believed to be the second-best teacher after self-hypnosis.
A crescent moon casts its soft glow over the waterfront, shining just enough light to illuminate a deer as it scurries back into the forest. Nearby, a group of kayakers float silently, watching as the event unfolds. Packed with wildlife and winding waterways, the Armand Bayou serves as the perfect playground for Pinky's Water Sports' stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. On guided trips, these vessels float through the bayou as its waters twinkle beneath the colors of dawn, dusk, or the moon's strobe lights. Pinky's also facilitates motorized excursions with rentals of Jet Skis and fishing boats.
Some of Marshall Hosea's earliest memories involve water lapping gently about the ankles of his oversized boots as he waded into a river or creek for some classic fly-fishing with his father and grandfather. What started as a childhood pastime became a lifelong passion, and Marshall began experimenting with all kinds of boats to enhance his fishing experience. He loved feeling close to nature and the water as he cast lines and baited hooks, and he found the kayak offered him the best experience. As a bonus, the paddle-driven craft left no trace upon the natural beauty he so loved.
Now, he teaches others the joy of kayaking and fishing as the owner and head guide of Texas Kayak Guide. He takes passengers down rivers and creeks, or skimming across bayous and bays, showing them raccoons hunting shellfish, osprey darting into the water to snatch fish, and porpoises swimming alongside the quiet craft. While on the water, he also teaches the finer points of fishing, including everything from how to spot a fish to changing one's tactics to match the seasonal behavior of one's prey.
When Kelly of Kelly's Kayaks gave up her desk job, she turned to what she really loved: kayaking. Now she spends her days on the creeks, rivers, and lakes around League City. As a guide certified in CPR and first aid, she leads groups paddling through the waves during beach excursions or searching for wildlife such as egrets and cranes on the calm waters of Heritage Park. Kelly's Kayaks also rents watercraft by the hour to help explorers with an independent streak find their own way on the water.