For more than half a century, Harvey Cedars Marina has hoisted sails and sent adventurers skimming across the waves of the Barnegat and Manahawkin Bays. Today, the business’s aquatic experts have traded in the folded-newspaper sailboats of yore for modernized Hobie Wave catamarans and LaserPerformance Sunfish. It also maintains a fleet of standup paddleboards and Hobie kayaks that cruise to islands, where paddlers gaze on osprey and cormorants or cast their lines for fluke and bluefish. In addition to renting vessels and teaching how to maneuver them, the staff runs a shop to equip mariners with their own Hobie cats and kayaks or outfit them with water skis, wakeboards, and inflatable tubes to mail to annoying cousins who live in the desert.
When LBI Surfing's certified instructors hold classes on the Jersey Shore, not only do they provide the necessary boards and wetsuits, but they get all ages and skill levels up and riding in their first session. To do this, the instructors impart surfing fundamentals in a setting customized to the students' ability, touching on balance, safety, and identifying the proper waves. But they go beyond traditional surfing, too. They're also certified in stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) and teach SUP classes alongside yoga classes. This is because they believe that the two sports complement each other, since both rely on core strength, coordination, mindfulness, and a lack of rusty metal hip joints.
Pushing off from from Waterfront Park, paddlers in kayaks and on standup boards from Freeport Kayak Rentals can go exploring in the surrounding bays. Traverse the waterways to Wampum Island, where you can stop to search for shells or practice etching S.O.S. into the sand. Duos can share rowing duties in tandem kayaks, scoping the waterscape for local wildlife such as egrets, gulls, and other shorebirds. Each rental includes lifejackets and paddles, as well as a brief orientation and safety tips for your journey.
A destination for the determined and adventurous, Dosil’s encourages all manner of movement with a fitness studio situated above a watersports retail shop. From scuba gear, kayaks, and surfboards to skateboards, longboards, yoga classes, and serenity, Dosil’s helps guests to explore their minds, bodies, and backyard pools.
While waiting for a group of tour participants aboard his kayak on Cape Island Creek, Bob Lubberman made a new acquaintance when a 4-foot great blue heron landed on the nose of his boat. It's not an entirely new experience for the owner of Miss Chris Kayak Rentals and Tours, as opportunities to commune with nature came often as he crabbed and fished as a child from his grandmother's dock. Now he's able to connect visitors to this ecosystem as they independently paddle rented sit-on-top kayaks or as they participate in guided kayak or boat tours.
Paddlers on kayak tours often catch close-ups of ospreys, terns, and other birds, and see diamondback terrapin turtles sunning themselves on the shore or trying to hold their own ice-cream cones. Day and sunset tours let guests explore the wildlife-rich salt marshes, and night tours led during high tide let them paddle over grassy terrain to otherwise inaccessible areas. Guests explore similar territory on tours aboard the Osprey as they watch migrating shore birds or look out on the harbor's historic buildings. Kayak tour guides include an associate naturalist and a Cape May Bird Observatory field associate, and land-based staffers maintain a touch tank on the Miss Chris mooring dock, which they temporarily fill with conches, eels, and other sea life pulled up using open-sided conservation traps.
The friendly staff of the family-owned and family-operated Pier 88 Marina aims to create an all-inclusive setting for local boaters and visiting tourists alike. Docking services accommodate boats of up to 35 feet, and a fillet table and a bait-and-tackle shop accommodate anglers who seek the area's flounder, striped bass, and yellowfin tuna. The business also rents out single and tandem kayaks for self-guided jaunts into Townsend Sound or organized tours led by nature experts.