Along an Australian riverbank, a baby calf is being born, opening its eyes to the world for the first time. Carolyn “Chick” Dowd floats just 6 feet away and watches silently as the events unfold. At this moment, she discovers for the first time the powerful experiences kayaking can opportune, and plunges headfirst into the sport. Since this moment, Ms. Dowd has worked as an instructor in Thailand, Nova Scotia, and California, where she is also a member of San Francisco's national kayak polo team.
It wasn't just a love for kayaking that led Ms. Dowd to overcome a human's natural tendency to melt in water. When younger, she dreamed of being Julie, the cruise director from Love Boat. To that end, Island Spirit Kayak is the junction of Ms. Dowd's passions; a place that mixes fun activities with the natural surroundings of her hometown, Martha's Vineyard. Here, Ms. Dowd and her team of ACA-certified instructors can lead tours into tranquil waters or more advanced excursions toward the Aquinnah Cliffs, where sunrises paint warm colors across the exposed clay.
From beginners to experts, Ms. Dowd and her crew cater tours to everyone. Before each trip, they help people belly flop out of their comfort zones with a game of kayak ultimate frisbee, during which many feel compelled to jump out of the boat. The staff—which includes a school teacher—also has a soft spot in their hearts for children, welcoming little ones as young as 5 into kayaks.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Brands Used: Ocean K, Old Town, Perception, Necky, Wilderness, and Bic.
From Tihonet Pond in Wareham or the sands of Onset Beach, paddlers push off into the beauty of the surrounding wilderness, navigating their kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards across the placid waters. Guided tours of Onset Bay lead kayakers through rivers, islands, hidden coves, and even fishing spots where those with licenses are free to cast their lines. Along the Weweantic and Sippican Rivers, tours present participants with the opportunities to get glimpses of local wildlife such as herons, egrets, and osprey.
If you love sports, you'll probably also love Island Spirit Kayak in Oak Bluffs.
Don't worry about packing a snack. This club has a great restaurant so you can keep the fun going.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this club — they'll love the scene here as much as mom and dad.
Take your pet pooch along when you visit Island Spirit Kayak — dogs are more than welcome to join their humans at the club.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
So this weekend, don't do the same old thing. Head to Island Spirit Kayak!
Those who have paddled with EcoTourz know that the quaint town of Sandwich isn't quite what it sounds like. The kayak tour company grants paddlers access to the town's marshy estuaries, which they'll explore in search of blue herons, osprey, and lush plant life—all of which they're more likely to spot than a single sandwich. But what it lacks in handheld eats, it makes up for in breath-taking views of the Upper Cod's waters, which visitors can enjoy during a guided kayak tour or on their own with kayak and bicycle rentals.
Steps from Phinney Harbor, visitors to The Paddler's Shop at Rivendell Marine can walk out with their lightweight boards and head straight for the shore. The folks at The Paddler's Shop outfit explorers and shoppers with rentals and purchasable equipment for aquatic recreation, including sturdy, lightweight fiberglass and kevlar kayaks and paddles. They also supply stand-up paddleboards, which are an ideal way for beginners to navigate nearby waterways, since they're lightweight and easy to balance atop.
If you're a sports fan, Martha’s Vineyard Eco Adventures in West Tisbury is the place you want to be.
Feeling hungry? Sit down for a bite to eat at this club 's restaurant.
Families will feel right at home at this club with its kid-friendly atmosphere.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.
So head to Martha’s Vineyard Eco Adventures for some fun, laughs, and a great experience.