With family in town visiting from overseas it was the perfect excuse as a Byron Bay resident to participate in one of our local attractions – Go Sea Kayaking. My brother and his family including 3 boys ranging in ages from 8 -17 were visiting form Kenya and rather than them leaving with a Byron Bay T shirt I thought a better gift would be an experience that they’d remember.
After all our beautiful weather unfortunately it was a rainy day the morning of our trip – however all the participants (there were around 20) turned up, no doubt encouraged by the still mid temperatures and tepid water!
Our kayak experience began with a fitting for suitable short wetsuits or tops for each of us, along with a helmet.We were then paired up with a suitable “buddy” if we weren’t already with a partner. As there was a bit of wind the instructors kindly took younger children on their kayaks as passengers. I have thought my 6 year old would be too young for the experience but it seems I was mistaken.My 8 year old nephew enjoyed being a passenger (sitting in the middle of the kayak) with one of the instructors as well as his parents.
After we dragged our kayaks down onto the beach we were given some instructions in paddle usage, how to steer, and also how to climb back into a capsized kayak. Obviously we had to get out through the wave break so it was stressed how important it was to stay straight on to the wave. So pair by pair we went out, with one of the first couples obviously not having paid much attention veering off course, oars everywhere, who promptly capsized! An instructor was quickly in the water swimming out to assist them.
We had 3 instructors who were all very personable and enthusiastic – it is the force of their combined personalities which really helps create a successful experience. I didn’t like hearing how perfectly clear the water had been the previous few weeks as unfortunately it had just started raining in the last few days! The water was still clear but a darker green and with very little sunlight the visibility wasn’t great.
As we approached the reef area near the Pass we were encouraged to look for Sea Turtle heads popping up but no luck. We continued round on our paddle which was well paced to suit all fitness levels and then cruised in the water off Wategoes. It was squally and raining but still great fun. One of the instructors is Aboriginal and entertained everyone with songs and a bit of history of the area. We were all singing along in his language by the end!
The dolphin sighting was not so successful! We saw a pod of dolphins in the distance but after grouping together in the hope that they may come over for a play we had to satisfy ourselves with a brief glimpse. (I did notice that the afternoon trip the same day had more luck with dolphins in and around the kayaks).
We then headed back with the attraction of surfing the waves into shore. My buddy fell off as we surfed in and after navigating the last bit in I also managed to turf into the surf!!Despite the wind and rain the water was beautiful and the whole group went in for a quick swim before dragging the kayaks back up and having a biscuit fest! My youngest nephew caught the best wave in with one of the instructors complete with the arms in the air!
Go Sea Kayak Byron Bay is a professionally run fun experience. Obviously it was a little disappointing not having a closer encounter with the dolphins (by the way – if you see absolutely no sea life i.e. turtles/dolphins, then you are offered a free return trip) but the crew really make it an enjoyableexperience regardless. They also take plenty of photos which are then posted on their Facebook page for free download.
If you are looking for a fun activity during your stay with us, or in the Byron Bay area then I strongly recommend it. A Dolphin Kayak tour can also be selected as part of a Koonyum Range Retreat Activity, or Health and Wellness Package too.