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Sea kayaking around Honeymoon Island

photo
[Times photo: Douglas R. Clifford 1999]
Sea kayaking tests strength and endurance.

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000


Looking for an after-lunch adventure? Grab your paddle and head out to Honeymoon Island.

It doesn't matter if the wind is blowing from the north or south, at some point during the circumnavigation of this barrier island, your muscles will be tested.

Roughly one third of the trip follows the channel at Hurricane Pass, then you head north along one of the most scenic beaches in Florida for the second third before heading southeast across the sheltered grassbeds on the leeward side of the island.

Although the trip can be completed in a canoe, the sea kayak is the human-powered craft of choice. Sea kayaks have long, sleek, stable hulls and track well over open water. A general-purpose touring kayak, usually about 15 to 17 feet long, 22 to 24 inches wide, and made of hard-molded plastic or fiberglass, will have covered hatches, so you can bring along a picnic lunch.

A sit-on top kayak, built much the same way except for one major difference -- the cockpit is open -- might appeal more to novice paddlers. Sit-on tops, because they are easier to get on and off, are more user friendly than enclosed boats.

Agua Azul Kayaks, 343 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, rents sit-on tops and enclosed boats. They are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except Tuesday. Call (727) 738-4576, or log on to http://getpaddled.com.

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