Circumnavigating

Two of our guides circumnavigated Amelia Island. Fun Fact! Circumnavigating Amelia Island takes 36,000+ kayak strokes. Check out the pics on our Facebook. Also, thank you to Tarah Coastal for the fun blog!.

31 miles in 10 hours fueled solely on chocolate donuts, chocolate milk, and beef jerky. Well, partially. I met with Aaron and Nick two days before their Amelia Island circumnavigation journey to get the low-down on what this adventure was all about.

Aaron, pushing his Zaxby’s chicken tender basket to the side, unfolded an impressively large and important looking map (Amelia Island Waters map available at Wal-Mart), ushering us into the AIKE (Amelia Island Kayak Excursions) Amelia circumnavigation war room. “We plan to put in here (pointing to the boat ramp at the Harbor Marina) at 5:00am”. The day and times for the trip were chosen based on the tide cycle and hours of daylight available this time of year. Due to the shallow waters at several points of the journey, planning around high and low tides is necessary to avoid getting stranded on a sandbar. The most concerning part of the trip was the 13 miles of ocean as the water conditions are more precarious than the river stretch. As the guys pointed out, if the currents were not in their favor, the ocean could actually push them backwards if they stopped paddling for any length of time.

Aaron has paddled the waters of Amelia Island for over 10 years and is a Master Naturalist and guide for the family business and has entertained the idea of circumnavigating the island on a kayak for as long as we have been friends. Nick is an island native and also serves as a guide with Amelia Island Kayak Excursions. He is entering the Air Force this fall so this trip was, in part, a goodbye to his home.

Supplies for this trip included all Coast Guard equipment requirements, water and Glacier Freeze Gatorade, a cooler of sandwiches, beef jerky, flashlights, headlamps, a GoPro, and camera, along with standard kayaking equipment. A 21 foot ocean tandem touring kayak was their vessel of choice. Amelia Island Kayak Excursion t-shirts were their chosen attire to shamelessly promote the business during the trip. It was decided that I would meet the guys at the Salty Pelican after for a debriefing.

Wednesday, 3:30pm: A thunderstorm with severe lightening, heavy rain and winds snuck up on the island quickly as afternoon rainstorms in Florida often do. I texted our mutual friend, Alberto, to voice my concern and to see if he had heard from them. He had not. I assumed that meant that nothing good was happening and went about my business, disappointed that I would not be having tuna nachos at the Pelican. Not really, I had faith in their outdoorsmanship. At around 5:00pm I received a text from Alberto saying that they had made it back to the Marina. Tuna nachos after all!

I was expecting a much less enthusiastic attitude from the typically high-energy Aaron which was not the case. Spirits were still incredibly high in he and Nick despite the storm that they had just endured. Their trip summary included bits about the ocean being a bit more tedious than they would have liked, a sea turtle boosting their morale when they were hitting a rough spot, Nick’s bald spot, annoyance at the seemingly endless Omni property, regretful breakfast choices, a close encounter with a yacht, and the nasty lightening.

My follow up questions included whether or not they would do anything differently (leave earlier, go to bed earlier the night before, and avoid donuts and milk. Note that it was only Nick who made this regretful breakfast selection). The conversation over dinner was no different that our normal interactions but I realized so profoundly how much I enjoy the adventurous and upbeat spirit of these guys. They take the planning and safety of their craft seriously, but never so seriously that they fail to laugh at themselves when needed and enjoy the ride. They did not just tackle this endeavor for self-serving purposes but to share their love of the outdoors and this island with others.

My original trip down Lofton Creek with Aaron as my guide sparked a love of kayaking in me that led to owning my own kayak. The nature on the waters surrounding Amelia provide beauty and peacefulness beyond any place that I have been in this area. This obvious love of the natural aspects of the island are exactly what I love about the guides at AIKE and why they are always my first recommendation to visitors to this area.

At our first meeting Aaron commented “as far as I am concerned we’ll do this again”. To which I replied jokingly that I was writing that quote down to revisit after the trip, skeptical that the outlook would be nearly that rosy after a 31 mile trip. Sitting at Salty Pelican, with the guys looking a few shades darker, tired, and still trying to dry out from the rain, I asked, “So would you do this again”? To which they both replied, “Absolutely”.

Visit their website www.ameliaislandkayak.com for all of the pictures and video from their adventure as well as to find more information on taking your own kayak trip! Tarah Coastal @ Tarahcoastal.com

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

Yeah AIKE!

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

Fort Clinch at Sunrise

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

Water Water Everywhere

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

South End Of The Island

Amelia Island Kayak Excursions

Our Route

 

 

Got Mother’s Day Covered?

Think outside the box – think kayaking! Treat Mom with a family-fun activity on her special day by getting “off the beaten path” for one of our guided kayak tours.  As a keepsake, the tour includes a Mother’s Day themed digital photo memory album, a gift from our family to yours.

So, call us at 904.557.5307 to reserve your tour, and know you now have Mother’s Day covered in an awesome way.

Mother's Day Paddle

New Video! Check it out!

A Day Paddling With Amelia Island Kayak Excursions! Let’s Go Kayaking! Call 904.557.5307 for reservations.

EXTRA! EXTRA! Happy Anniversary Amelia Island Kayak Excursions!

EXTRA! EXTRA! Amelia Island Kayak Excursions celebrates its 3rd Anniversary paddling the beautiful waters of NE Florida!

From the United States and 16+ countries, guests have included awesome families, NFL players, NFL coaches, mystery novel authors, foreign ambassadors, missionaries, civic clubs, and corporate groups, to name a few. They have helped us rank #1 in 6 categories on TripAdvisor for 3 consecutive years! During this time, our guests have ranged from little ones to 93 years of age!

Above all else, we are thankful for God’s faithfulness in giving us the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people while exploring His beautiful creation! Thank you for choosing Amelia Island Kayak Excursions – Where Kayaking Fun Begins! We invite you to check out pics from our most recent tours.

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2016 Certificate of Excellence Award

A big shout out to our wonderful guests for their reviews which have helped us receive TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence award for the second year in a row! Thank you for choosing Amelia Island Kayak Excursions to be a part of your time on Amelia Island. This family business appreciates you!

The Bullingtons

2016 Certificate of Excellence TripAdvisor

A Father & Son Team

A big shout out to Kayaking in Florida for choosing us as their Guide of the Month in their February Spotlight! We are both excited and honored! Let’s Go Kayaking!

Guide of the Month

Early Bird Kayak Tour

Announcing our newest excursion being offered by popular request! Come paddle with us on our Early Bird Kayak Tour on the scenic Amelia River! In response to requests for a tour that is longer than our 2-hour Amelia River paddle, but not an all-day excursion, we are offering a 3 ½ hour guided tour! Paddlers will experience local, scenic waterways, stop off on a nearby island, paddle through areas off of the main channel, getting a close up view that most people rarely see! So, imagine viewing the flora and fauna of the Amelia River where even dolphins are often seen!

Photographers welcome!

Now accepting reservations for the Friday, June 12, 2015 paddle. 

Please call 904-557-5307 for reservations. The cost for this extended tour is $125.00 per person, with a two-person minimum. Not recommended for ages 12 and under. Limited space.

We look forward to meeting and kayaking with you!

The Adventure Begins

Reserve a kayak for our Okefenokee Swamp Tour

Come join us on May 17, 2015, for our Okefenokee Swamp Tour!

The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1937 to preserve the Okefenokee Swamp. The refuge includes over 403,000 acres. The Swamp, at 630 square miles, extends 38 miles north to south, and 25 miles east to west. It remains one of the most well-preserved freshwater areas in America. The vision for the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is to protect and enhance wildlife and its habitat. Exhibits can be seen at the on-site Visitor Center. We are very privileged to offer this wilderness experience by kayak.

This tour is considered a day trip, consisting of a 5-hour paddle with a 2-hour round trip travel time from Amelia Island, Florida, or our guests may meet our guide on site. Enjoy lunch at a secluded wilderness area. Paddle through what looks like a fantasy world – mysterious and wild. See beautiful Cypress trees draped with Spanish moss, and have opportunities to see wildlife in their natural habitat.

Cost for this tour is $175 per person for 1-2 people / $150 per person for 3 or more people. Includes park admission. Lunch may be purchased on-site and/or packed to take along on tour. Please call 904-557-5307 by May 16, 2015 for reservations. Space is limited.

 

Exploring Okefenokee Swamp

The Amelia River Extended Tour

The Amelia RiverDon’t miss this tour! Come paddle with us on the scenic Amelia River!  In response to requests for a tour that is longer than our 2-hour Amelia River paddle, but not an all-day excursion, we are now offering a 3 ½ hour guided tour!  Paddlers will experience local, scenic waterways, stop off on nearby islands, and paddle through areas off of the main channel, to get a close up view that most people rarely see! So, imagine viewing the flora and fauna of the Amelia River where even dolphins are often seen.

We’ll complete this tour by arriving at the Fernandina Beach marina, where you have the opportunity to explore our beautiful historic downtown area.

Cost for this extended tour is $100 per person. Please call us at 904.557.5307, to reserve your kayak, and we’ll have the current necessary departure time for your tour.  Not recommended for ages 12 and under.

Amelia River Sunset Tour

Amelia River Sunset TourDon’t miss this tour! Come paddle with us to see Amelia Island’s fabulous sunset by kayak. Watching the sunset from the downtown Fernandina Beach marina on Amelia Island is becoming quite popular with visitors and locals alike. So, imagine paddling on the beautiful Amelia River with the sunset at your shoulder.

We’ll arrive in style at the marina where you have the opportunity to explore our beautiful historic downtown area.

Give us a call at 904.557.5307, to reserve your kayak, and we’ll have the current necessary departure time for your tour.