Growing up watching people paddle boarding around Cape Cod through the surf and calm always made me want to try it out for myself. I guess I assumed that it was the kind of thing that took years to really get the hang of and was simply made easy looking by the people I always saw doing it. I had tried surfing and had fun but looked nothing like those dudes surfing through tunnels of waves in the movies and half the time I’d wipe out anyway. I was about as optimistic for my paddle boarding ventures. But I picked it up much more quickly than I thought I would when my buddies and I rented a few paddle boards and took them out on the water.
Paddleboards look a lot like surfboards but standing on them is entirely easier to balance, like the difference between riding a unicycle and a tricycle. I was able within minutes to get moving with some pretty good speed out on the water. It wasn’t long before my friends and I were racing along and trying to knock each other off into the water. After a truce we aligned our three boards into a wide, three hulled board raft and chugged along across the salt water. We let the wind blow us along, using our paddles held up in the air as sails to move us. We reluctantly pulled into shore at the end of the day, surprised at how much fun we had doing what would seem like such a simple activity. Even someone with no experience on a paddleboard can have a blast within a few minutes of getting on a board for the first time. If I knew earlier how much fun I would have paddle boarding, I would have gotten on one a long time ago.
This guided kayak tour in Provincetown was at Herring Cove tidal lake. One of my personal favorite places to kayak in Provincetown. I had an inquiry from 2 ladies that were interested in paddling in Herring Cove tidal lake. The ladies wanted to paddle the tidal rivers. They had never done this before so asked me to guide them and their son on the journey. The adventure started at Provincetown Aquasports kayak store. I loaded the kayaks into the Provincetown kayak delivery vehicle. Included was all the safety equipment needed. I drove from the kayak rental store in Provincetown out to the launch site. I met the ladies and young man at The Moors. We fitted everyone with the proper safety equipment and made all adjustment to the kayaks needed. I locked the kayak delivery vehicle and stored the keys. There is several tidal rivers in Herring Cove tidal lake. I like to start in the middle and paddle up the river as the tidal water is coming in. This is an amazing feeling. It feels almost effortless. The water is flowing like a river. Looking around you can see lots of sea life. The sea grass to our sides is thick and green. As we paddle up the river it winds and curves. With every few hundred feet the river narrows. I find a nice sand bar and I jump out of my kayak. I offer to take some pictures of the family. I climb back in the kayak and off we go. Today is a great day for this kayaking adventure in Provincetown. The tide is estimated to be 9.8 feet. This will give us plenty of water to paddle over the top of the sea grass. This is especially important because we will not have to back track the river we paddled up. There has to be a small portage over an exposed sand bar. after that now we are back in the kayaks. River number 2 is shorter than the first. This is because it does not wind in the snake like fashion of the first river we paddled. This river is much wider and more straight. The tide has now turned and the water is flowing out of this river. Now we are almost effortlessly paddling and floating down this river. The water is carrying us like wind over water, free flowing. I look to the left and point out a Herring standing in the sea grass. We are quiet so we do not disturb the bird. About 10 minutes later we arrive at the mouth of the tidal river. Making a 90 degree turn we are now headed back in the direction of the launch site. This is another 10 minute paddle. Our kayaks are going into the wind. I advise everyone that this will be the hardest part of our kayaking in Herring Cove. Directly ahead of us is The Moors. The last tidal river we are going to paddle is very close to the kayak launch site. This river is more tricky than the others. There are some dead ends in the river. Luckily for the family they have chosen to kayak with Provincetown Aquasports. I have paddled this river many times. This is my favorite part of the journey. The river is wide and deep. A lot of water flows in and out this river 2 times daily with the tide. The water is flowing out of the river because the tide has crested. There is a little effort to get our kayaks up the river. We take our time because this is the last section of the kayaking trip. As we near the end of the river I look ahead and see a fox. I quietly get the attention of the family. They are able to see the fox climbing one of the sand dunes before disappearing into the brush. This is a magical experience. I take a second and realize how lucky I am to be here in this beautiful spot at this time. We reach the point in the river where the water is so shallow that we bottom out in our kayaks. Everyone gets out of their kayaks. This is a great time for a little walk around. We are able to look at crabs and sea pickles. I take some photographs of the family. They are really having a good time! I also am having a wonderful time kayaking in Provincetown. We jump back into our kayaks and off we go. The final destination is the launch site. The water is now rushing out of the tidal river. I paddle ahead of the family and give them time to be alone for a few minutes. I really enjoy paddling the tidal river when the tide is going out. It feels almost like surfing on Cape Cod. The water takes the kayak down the river with zero effort. I arrive at The moors ahead of the family. I pull my kayak up on the beach and wait. I can hear them laughing and splashing. These are the sounds of satisfaction. The meet me at the launch site a few minutes later. This concludes the kayak tour in Provincetown. The family tells me they have had a great time. I thank them for kayaking on Cape Cod. Provincetown Aquasports thanks all their customers for business. I load the kayaks back into the Provincetown kayak delivery vehicle. I head back to the kayaking store in Provincetown. What a wonderful trip.
This paddle board trip to Race Pont is covering new ground for me. The trip begins at Provincetown Aquasports paddle store. There is 2 of us on this paddle board journey. We load the Provincetown Aquasports delivery truck with 2 paddle boards and all our gear. Firing up the engine we head off to Race Point. Stopping at the Race Point air down station we let air out of the tires on the truck. Letting the air out of the tires allows driving on the sand without getting stuck. Off through the dunes we go on the Jeep trail. This is truly beautiful scenery. We pass by the Race Point Lighthouse almost close enough to reach out the window and touch. Arriving at the Race Point tidal lake a little more than an hour before high tide. I unload the paddle boards to the waters edge. Grabbing all our paddle gear and locking the truck its off to the water. We paddle away from the truck into the tidal lake. The wind is under 10 knots, this makes the paddling easy. Small fish are all around in schools. There is a large amount of edible sea pickles everywhere. We are the only people on the tidal lake and the only people around! I paddle into some very shallow marshes. The sand is inches below the fin on the back of my board. My paddling partner stays in deeper water heading to the breakwater damn. I paddle around a sand bar to see the damn straight ahead. The water is higher than the water transfer pipes to the other side. The water is rushing at full speed through the transfer pipes to the other side of the damn. This is a very dangerous area to be paddling, so we keep our distance. If there was a gust of wind it could blow us into the current for the water rushing through the damn. We paddle 100 feet to the side of the damn water transfer tubes. I pull our paddle boards up on the damn. Now we are on top of the damn. We can view either sides and the pure power of the water rushing.
The tide is soon to crest. Now it is time to head back for the launch point. I walk down the damn and launch our paddle boards into the water. The tide has crested and the water is moving out of the tidal lake back into the Atlantic Ocean. There is a slow and easy current that takes us effortlessly back to our launch site. We look to the left and way off in the distance is a glimmer from a beach fire. Looks like we finally have people joining us in this remote location. Its now almost dark when we arrive at the launch. Loading the paddleboards back into the truck we take another look around at the beautiful sunset. Such a exquisite experience to come to this location in the world and paddle board. I feel lucky and satisfied. Into the truck we go and back to Provincetown Aquasports.
I can direct anyone on this paddle board trip. Unfortunately this is not something we can offer as 1 of the tour from Provincetown Aquasports. Race Point tidal lake is protected seashore and is very closely watched for commercial use. I love kayaking and paddle boarding this location. Contact me and I can give more information.
One of the more memorable kayak tours from 2014 was with a smaller group. As to not name names there was 4 people on the kayak trip. Myself, 2 gentleman and a nice lady. It was July 26 early evening. If you have never done it kayaking in Provincetown Harbor is beautiful.
The launch site was The Moors on the west end of Ptown. 4 kayakers including myself, this trip was going to be a breeze. The wind was around 9 MPH. This is a very manageable wind for kayaking. Pointing our kayaks for Wood End Lighthouse we paddle out around some sand bars covered with sea grass. Three quarters of the way to Wood End Lighthouse (about 1/2 mile) we make a turn right. This takes the group up one of the most beautiful tidal rivers I have ever seen. A winding snake of salt water eye level with sea grass. Paddling up the tidal river is easy as the tide is still flowing in. The river is becoming increasingly narrow and more shallow with every minute.
We reach what seems to be a dead end. I tell the fellow kayakers to wait a moment. I jump out of my kayak in thigh deep water. I climb up onto the salt marsh and sea grass to discover that the river continues if we portage for about 20 feet. I assist everyone out of there kayak and across the portage. Within minutes we are back in water not more than a few inches deeper than the draft of our kayaks. Crossing over a thin sand bar, we had to schooch our body’s slightly due to shallow water. 45 minutes have passed since our launch. The tide has crested and water will now be flowing out of these rivers. I had taken us to a turning point. With the small portage and crossing the thin sand bar we are at another tidal river Now we get to do one of my favorite things about kayaking. Riding the tidal waters out of these tidal rivers.
This is similar to the feeling of surfing. The power of water carrying us effortlessly. At the end of this river we have done a large horseshoe shape path. The river has left us 1/4 mile from the launch site. Heading back in that direction we are nearing dusk! The lights in the sky are becoming increasingly dark. The last leg of the trip is to go right by the launch site to the final destination. Here is the last of the 3 tidal rivers. Paddling against the current I encourage my companions to push on. This river is much wider and also shorter. This river fills a large tidal lake which is where we are headed. We reach the point in the river where the tidal water exposes sand.
Everyone gets out of our kayaks and we put our feet in the sand. There is green crabs scampering to hide from our presence. Pictures are taken and we board our crafts and head back down the river for the launch site. Again we ride the tidal waters, lightly surfing to our end destination. Our kayak bows touch the sand at The Moors. Slightly sad its over but happy at the same time because the trip was beautiful.
This is one of the reasons I love kayaking in Provincetown!