Since 1956, Valley Mill Kayak School has trained countless kayakers, including the first kayaking recipients of Olympic medals, on the deep waters of the Potomac River. A former Olympian and four-time freestyle-kayaking world champion, Eric Jackson personally designs the school's lesson plans around modern whitewater-paddling techniques. Eric trains each of the school's American Canoe Association–certified instructors, who, in turn, dispense their knowledge to beginners and proficient paddlers alike.
Through a wealth of small classes, private lessons, and occasional clinics taught by Eric himself, pupils discover such skills as paddling and basic strokes, or attempting to work your kayak into rhythmic-gymnastics routines.
On half- and full-day fishing charters aboard the 50-foot Hook Marsh, anglers reel in flounder, sea trout, rockfish, and other underwater denizens of Chesapeake Bay, depending on the season. Crew members are on hand to help with nets and gear, leaving passengers free to focus on casting lines and posing for photos with fresh catches. At the boat's controls, a trusty captain monitors radar, fish finders, chart plotters, and other equipment to help locate the best spots for snagging fish. The company also offers sightseeing cruises past lighthouses and waterfront restaurants.
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Chesapeake Bay is 200 miles long, but that’s not the only reason it’s the United States’ largest estuary. The Bay also serpentines off into hundreds of rivers and creeks, accessible with South River Boat Rentals’ vessels. Seafarers explore the estuary’s fringes in the powerboats and sailboats, cruising past historic sites, such as Jamestown and Tangier Island. Alternatively, fishing parties set sail for piscatorial hot spots, casting from the boats’ decks. To teach newbies the ropes before they hit the water, the company’s team hosts sessions on boating basics, from steering to stopping at fish crossings.