My preferred method of travel…slow.

Most of my time spent working is usually with the goal to save up and travel. My girlfriend Jacqueline and I enjoy traveling slowly.  Staying in one place for a few weeks if not a month or more.  It is easier to make good friends and find the secret spots.

Our travels this year have taken us to South America in search of waves and wind.  We flew into Lima, Peru and spent a few nights with an AirBnB, walking in the nicer part of the city and exploring the cuisine.  Quickly realizing that the “expensive” restaurants offered the same fare as the hole in the wall restaurants, we went with the latter.  Ceviche is one of the most enjoyed dishes and the best meal is lunch, you receive a “first” and a “second”, a drink and a soup.  All for about 6$.    Jacqueline was quite excited to explore the chocolate scene, but was only able to locate one chocolate store.  She did make a nice little find of a chocolate tea made from the husks of the chocolate bean.  From there we traveled south to Paracas, to teach Jacqueline how to Kiteboard.

Paracas has great conditions to learn how to kiteboard, flat shallow water and plenty of wind, although you do need a wetsuit after you get 200 feet from the shore.  It is difficult when you are traveling to either bring too much or not enough.  I have all the gear; wetsuits, pumps, kiteboards, surfboards, etc.  But by the time you bring it all, the extra baggage airplane fees add up. Although she had never wakeboarded, and had only flown a kite a few times before, she picked it up quickly.  It is quite a difficult sport to learn.  We had booked a place in Lobitos about 20 hours north of Paracas ahead of time, and wish we would have stayed in Paracas a bit longer to make sure she had kiteboarding “down”.  Waves and surfing was next on the list.

I managed to secure a boat ride out to a secret surfing spot called San Gallan with some locals from Lima.  I can’t say I have surfed that much, a few times here and a few times there,  Wisconsin surf.  But with fairly small waves that were pretty kind.  The day we arrived out at the island, the waves were huge!  I was borrowing a wetsuit from the captain and a surfboard.  The wetsuit was not thick enough and i got real cold in the water.  Luckily I would catch a wave here or there and warm up a little bit, but I didn’t last that long due to being out of shape as well.  I definitely got hammered by a few large waves.  It wasn’t as fun as I thought it would be, due to the fact I wasn’t catching that many waves and everybody else was.  If you caught a wave in the wrong spot, you would end up on the rocks during low tide, and it almost happened to me once.  But I thought of it as a training experience and learned a lot watching the pro’s ride some huge barrels.  The most fun part of the trip were the sea lions. In Peru, they call them sea wolfs.  Packs of sea wolfs would surf the waves and were always so curious.  They would come up and stick there head out of the water a few feet away from your face and look at you with a “come on lets play” attitude.  There were hundreds of these little guys everywhere.  It made for a memorable experience.  I told my new surf friends, give me a month, and i’ll be catching them like you’ll.

Off to Lobitos for more surf…and yoga.

 

 

Biking the Penisula

Door County is known for its beautiful sunsets and parks, why not enjoy them from a bicycle? Helping the environment and enjoying the beauty of Door County is a win for everyone: individuals, friends, and families! Come bike on by and say hello to us at Door County Kayak Tours!

An Honest Summer

As the water begins to warm DCKT’s kayaks are being prepped, our bus is being cleaned, and my excitement to meet everyone and everything that Door County will show me grows. The Summer of 2013 is going to be filled with kayaking, kite boarding, and new friends. But, just as importantly, this summer my relationship with my fellow paddlers (you!) will be an honest one. I will be capable of telling everyone in my tours an honest recommendation of wineries and bars, for the summer of 2013 is my first summer as a twenty-one year old in Door County! So come paddle with us at DCKT, make some new friends and enjoy a drink with us afterwards! (off the water of course)

2013 Guide James Perry

Top 5 Homemade Energy Bars

2013 is going to be the summer of enjoyable snacking.

I have been getting excited since tasting an energy bar a friend had made and gave me on a outdoor adventure.  Since then, I have researched a number of homemade energy bars and are currently coming up with my favorite bar put together from all of these with a local Door County twist…Door County Dried Cherries.   Stay tuned for some exciting experiments with homemade energy bar concoctions this spring!  A little sesame joke from one of my favorite comedians, Mitch Headburg, “What is a sesame?”

  1. Fruit and Nut Bars  via the kitchn
  2. Raw Lemon-Coconut Bars Similar to larabars.  via The Mother Nature Network
  3. Super-Charged Energy Bars  via The Never Home Maker
  4. Homemade Vegan Energy Bar Recipe  via The no meat athlete
  5. No bake vegan energy bars, don’t let those fancy words fool you, yum! via Food Confidence

Let us know: Do you have a favorite energy bar or homemade energy bar you want to try to recreate or some ingredients(dried cherries) you would like to see in an energy bar?  We are creating our own version now.

 

Learn deep water exit and entry for sea kayaks in a tropical paradise.

long-caye-panoramaSlickrock Adventure’s tiny private island eco-resort on Long Caye  34 miles off the coast of Belize is the perfect place to learn anything having to do with kayaking. Given the 80 degree water and pristine sheltered conditions, it would almost have to be. But along with a bevy of other water sports, sea kayaking is central to a week on Adventure Island so having a staff of expert guides and loads of the latest-model equipment make Slickrock ideal.

The reason so much emphasis is placed on sea kayaking at Adventure Island (http://www.slickrock.com/kayakbelize.html) is that, in addition to it being fun in it’s own right, it also serves as the chief mode of transportation to nearby snorkeling hot spots. That’s why every guest attends sea kayaking orientation first thing after breakfast the morning following their arrival on Batfish, Slickrock’s private shuttle boat.

Kayak Belize lesson

A Slickrock sea kayak guide explains the basics of the “T-rescue” technique on land before the group heads out into the lagoon.

(Caption: A Slickrock sea kayak guide explains the basics of the “T-rescue” technique on land before the group heads out into the lagoon.)

For beginners, our orientation class covers all the basics: how to do a safety check of the equipment, how to hold your paddle, entering and exiting the boat, the use of the spray skirt, etc.

Even expert sea kayakers attend the orientation. At Glover’s Reef we snorkel right out of our kayaks. That means learning how to safely exit and re-enter a sea kayak while in deep water.

Because our guests are generally from the US or Canada, where water temperatures are colder, few sea kayakers ever think about purposefully getting out of their sea kayak. At Glover’s Reef, the water is 80 degrees so we slip out and back into our kayaks all day long.

A second reason even expert kayakers are asked to take orientation is that we teach our guests something called the “T – rescue”, and then practice it right after the demo (at right). This technique is a safe and easy way for one kayaker to assist their partner in righting an overturned kayak in deep water and steadying their boat so they can climb back in.

Once both these skills have been learned, our guests are free to explore the reef far and wide, even without a guide, as long as they have a buddy.

Franklin Seal

Slickrock Adventures

Fyr Bal 2013 — Kayak Tour

Join us for a paddle on the bay to watch the lighting ceremonies for the 49th Annual Fyr Bal Festival!

Experience the sunset, bonfires, photos & fireworks with your Door County kayak guide.

Paddle begins on Saturday, June 15th 2013 at 7:30 at our Door County Kayak Tours location off of HWY 42 in Juddville.  This paddle ends late, so be prepared with a change of warm clothes, patience, and a relaxing attitude.

Interested to see a Door County Aerial Video of Fyrbal.

Call to reserve your spot today! (920) 868-1400

Boy Scout & Girl Scout Kayaking Merit Badge Requirements

Kayaking merit badgeHey Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts! I remember the first time I went kayaking…My uncle, a kayak guide at the time invited me out on a kayak tour with his group. I was quite nervous, being only 13, it was tough to keep up with the group, but I learned quickly all names of the kayak, the different strokes, weather considerations as well as group dynamics. Looking back at that first day, it inspired me to; start kayaking surfing with my uncle, build a wood canvas kayak, visit a kayak symposium, those first few experiences and now led me to surfing, kiteboarding, a job in Maui kayaking and swimming with the dolphins as well as my own business doing something I love! Follow your dreams and passions, even with multiple people saying otherwise, those dreams and passions will lead you success!

So we hope to offer an opportunity for you to get that next merit badge! Don’t think it will be too easy, kayaking goes back to the time of the Native Cultures like the Inuits, there is deep history with many interesting sports they used to play, e.g. Having a race upside down in a kayak, by putting the paddle over the bottom of your kayak and racing a friend. Might not want to try that friendly competition until you have mastered the wet exit.

Kayaking merit badge requirements requires prior BSA swimmer test.

  1. Explain the potential hazards encounter while participating in kayaking activities, including weather and water-related hazards, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
  2. Review prevention, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that can occur while kayaking: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, hyperthermia, dehydration, sunburn, sprains, and strains.
  3. Review the BSA Safety Afloat policy.
  4. Review the characteristics of life jackets most appropriate for kayaking and understand why one must always be worn while paddling. Then demonstrate how to select and fit a life jacket for kayaking. What “Type” life jacket is required to kayak?
  5. Review the importance of safety equipment such as a signal device, extra paddle, sponge, bilge pump, and throw bag.
  6. Kayak Nomenclature.
  7. Review the differences in the design between recreational, whitewater, and sea or touring kayaks. Include how length, width, initial and secondary stability, and rocker are involved in the design of each type.
  8. Review the advantages and disadvantages of the materials most commonly used to make kayaks. Explain the care, maintenance, and storage of a kayak.
  9. Using the trucker’s hitch and bowline, demonstrate how to secure a kayak to a rack on a vehicle or a trailer, or to a rack on land.
  10. How to choose a kayak paddle.
  11. The different materials from which paddles are made, parts of a paddle, and the care and maintenance of a paddle.

Using a properly equipped kayak with an open cockpit, a sit-on-top, or an inflatable kayak, do the following:

  1. Safely capsize and perform a wet exit.
  2. Reenter the kayak with assistance from a buddy boat.
  3. Demonstrate a kayak-over-kayak rescue.
  4. Demonstrate the HELP position.
  5. Capsize the kayak, swim it and the paddle to shore, and empty water from the kayak with assistance, if needed.

By yourself with a properly equipped kayak demonstrate the following:

  1. Forward stroke
  2. Backstroke
  3. Forward sweep
  4. Reverse sweep
  5. Draw stroke(s)
  6. Stern draw
  7. Paddle a straight line for 25 yards, make a sharp turn, and return 25 yards in a straight line.
  8. 360 degrees rotation to the right and 360 degrees rotation to the left.
  9. Move abeam to the right 10 feet and to the left 10 feet.
  10. Stop the boat in one boat length.
  11. Paddle a buoyed course of a length determined by your counselor that includes two right turns and two left turns performed while under way.

Well, good thing kayaking is fun, because that is a lot of knowledge to learn. Help out your fellow troop mates and lets hear some comments that answer these requirements!

 

Kitesurfing Lessons

Kitesurfing Lessons

Lesson # 3 Body Dragging

When I learned to fly a practice kite I found myself constantly resisting the pull from the kite. Leaning backwards so I would not go flying forward. My first experiences body dragging have taught me to think of the kite in a completely different way.

For those who do not know what body dragging is; it is using a kite to pull yourself through the water. No board is involved. This is done to allow an individual to experience the force of the kite and the coordination required to fly it.

When it was no longer necessary to resist the pull of the kite I was able to feel the power of the kite and the effects of my technique. Skipping across the water in a wetsuit was amazing. The whole process is very intuitive. A person can feel how their movements can effect the kite, and without doing anything can form a basic idea of what different strokes will do to them in the water.

I have body dragged three times. The most recent time, I was able to arc my back and peer out over the water. I watched the kite while it moved through my peripherals  and I skimmed across Bailey’s Harbor.

2013 Landscape/Gearage updates to DCKT.

I have been exploring some design ideas online and keeping my eyes open around the off season and throughout my travels.  It provides inspiration and enthusiasm.

Landscape/Gearage Updates;

  1. Wood pallet Fence, I have been getting a few complaints about neighbors seeing the trailers with the kayaks on them. The cedar trees I have planted are taking a while to take off, as well as having the electric company spray them with poison, even thought they weren’t under the electric lines.  We have a local pallet resource down the way from us, a little cherry orchard, who has plenty of wooden pallets, two of them would provide a good amount of height for a fence, as well as creating a landscape opportunity with vines, moss, etc. What should I do with the fence to make it unique?
  2. Hewlett-Packard
  3. Outside shower/foot wash. Hot Tub. Some place to rinse off, some place to relax.outdoor bath
  4. Larger Garden with chickens, we put a little bit of energy into the soil in the fall, so hopefully we will have a nice garden this next summer.
  5. Flower and plant landscaping around driveway, maybe a river of flowers.flowerriver
  6. Still thinking what to do with the gearage, I don’t like the garage doors, but currently they are the easiest and least expensive option, maybe there are some ideas to change the design or look and feel of the doors.
  7. Another gearage or addon to the current gearage to allow parking of the trailers.IMG_2241
  8. A Gibbon Slackline practice area, near the trampoline, stacked and padded with wood chips around it. For practicing balance before getting in a kayak.
  9. slackline

Ski Vacation to Vail

 

trampoline flip

Preparing for the mountain, required vigorous training!

vail cliffsIt didn’t take long before we were enjoying our selves.

vail lightsThe town is lit up for the Holidays, New Years and the rest of the ski season.  Living in a fairy tale.

snow deepIt finally snowed…alot!

boosting off of a cliffJumping into a cloud pillow.

shack in woodsThere are still miles to go before I sleep.

We always have room in my day for friends, kayak guests, strangers, and curious adventurers.  Come say hi to vail and me right meow.  Life is short, make it sweet.

 

Blessing in Disguise, a Door County Gift.

With the significant water level drop in the past few months, kayaking might be one of the only ways to get on the water next summer.  How excited that makes me as a silent sport enthusiast feel for a quick minute!  Just think we would have lake Michigan all to ourselves, no more rainbow oil slicks glistening in the water, no more jet skiers and wave runners careening as they show off how cool they look 10 feet from our defenseless kayaks.  That thought only lasts for a quick minute thou, it is a greedy thought, there is plenty of room out there for all of us.  It wouldn’t be worth the sorrowful look of my friends running fishing charter businesses, or the sad look of my grandmother who is past her prime at kayaking and can only powerboat out to see the sunset and fireworks.

Well, just in case it does happen, now would be a good time to grab some Door County Gift Certificates for a Kayak Tour this next summer.

Changing water levels provide larger waves for Kitesurfing.

A small observance from this past fall of kiteboarding in Baileys Harbor at Ridges Beach.  The wave height has increased due to the drop in water level.  Ridges, which is a very shallow beach as are most of the beaches on the east side of the peninsula.  This is due to the sediment being pushed through deaths door from our predominantly northwest storm patterns and deposited down the east side of the peninsula.  The shallowness of the beach extends 30-50 feet off the high water mark.  From there, the water level drops and with this more sudden of a water level drop, the waves break faster and significantly larger.  This is great news for us kitesurfers who enjoy large waves.

The Great Lakes

The beautiful water that we paddle on everyday makes up a portion of 31,341 trillion gallons of the World’s Fresh water contained in the Great Lakes.  So come out & experience the majestic beauty that surrounds the peninsula!

 

Check out NatGeo for more info about our planet’s fresh water:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/04/water/water-animation

Tony the River Otter…or some sort of creature.

We have yet to determine what animal this is, we’re bringing in experts from all around the county to help us pin point the creature we’ve grown extremely close to.

Meet Brody’s new friend Tony! Tony loves to bask in the sun over at Cave Point County Park. He also enjoys a brisk swim as long as his best friend, Brody, watches over him.  Tony loves playing chess, as well as challenging himself with rubix cubes.  His favorite animal friend is a Wamandark, half Whale Shark, half Charmander.  He is fascinated with the flames of the charmander & the powerful movements of the largest non-mammalian vertebrate. When the night sky covers his cave, Tony marvels over the constellations, recently discovering Aquila. Yet, Tony’s favorite constellation is Delphinus because it’s a little nugget just like himself!

His favorite jokes are knock knock jokes. His favorite one in particular combines two classic jokes;

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”
“umm, I dont know”
“To get to her friends house”
“knock knock”
“who’s there?”
“the chicken! duh!”

Tony’s Story:
A long time ago, Tony packed his little things in his little briefcase and walked his little legs down the big coast. He was wrongfully accused along his travels and sent to prison for life! In prison, he befriended a kayak tour guide named Brody who was also wrongfully accused and given a life sentence. Even though they were two completely different creatures from different backgrounds they shared a common experience that created a strong bond between them. This bond grew so strong it seemed as if nothing could ever break it. They also shared a dream that every creature on this planet should be given a chance to pursue, and that dream is freedom! As time went on, Tony realized he had to make a plan before it was too late. One day he broke free from the chains that were causing him pain and made a break for the coast. Years went by and Brody eventually was liberated and all charges were dropped as he was found innocent! He remembered a talk he and Tony had shared years ago of a beautiful coast in a distant land… DOOR COUNTY! He paddled and paddled until he reached Cave Point where the two were reunited! Beautiful beaches, dolomite caves, and sunshine forever! They pass each other once a day and exchange smiles that only the two of them will ever understand. The smiles represent more than happiness, more than freedom… they represent hope!
Don’t ever give up, and don’t ever lose hope in your dreams to come paddle with us down the beautiful coast of Door County!

What animal would you embody?

Throughout these past few weeks, our guides have encountered a plethora of animals along our paddles. From swans to otters, our tours haven’t lacked the visual appeal of wildlife in Door County.  Our recent sitings of the playful family of river otters portrays the elements of earth & water, both in which encompasses our passions of adventure.  Come paddle with us, gather your courage & curiosity, & the great bald eagle may grace us with its presence.

Happy 4th o’ July Door County! Enjoy the explosion of colors in the evening sky in Baileys Harbor tonight!

 

July 4th, 2012 Kickoff!

Our favorite holiday is just around the corner…JULY 4TH!

Aside from the traditional 4th of July events such as BBQ’s, fireworks and boating, Door County has some of the most fun outdoor activities one can imagine. What is our favorite? Kayaking of course! With 298 miles of shoreline waiting for you to partake on a kayaking adventure there is no reason not to get out on the water on us.

Besides kayaking, our guides at Door County Kayak Tours share a wide array of personal interests and hobbies. Every year around the 4th we make an extra effort to enhance our team bonding and are always on the lookout for an adventure. Our next two weeks are not just filled with work-but also skydiving, kiteboarding, ziplining, climbing, off road segway-ing and fishing (just to name a few).

These past 2 days we’ve been blessed with a full day of kiting lessons in Bailey’s Harbor and a chartered fishing trip with Reel Addiction Charters in Ellison Bay. A big thanks to Captain Tim for taking the crew out and helping us come home with 12 salmon…enough dinner for a few weeks! With a great kickoff to the 4th of July craziness we look forward to many more adventures in the upcoming weeks- stay posted!!

Thanks for listening, and if you’re ever wanting to fish be sure to check out Reel Addiction Charters :)

-Tina

Exploring off Ridges Rd. in Bailey's Harbor

Emma, Brody and Tina after a day of kiting

My first fish of the evening!

The whole crew with our "catch"

 

 

Aviary Invasion

If you are a fan of the aviary variety, then Door County is a good place to do your gawking.  Whether you’re looking for Cardinals, Vultures, Pelicans, Hawks, Eagles and/or the ever available Seagulls, there is something to be seen if you have an eye on the sky.  My bird book has taken note of all of the varieties above, but by far the most tremendously amazing encounters have been with the US of A’s pride and joy-> thee Bald Eagle.

The first meeting came on the way back from a tour of Cave Point.  One lady had asked if we were going to see any birds on the trip, and I could only promise that there would be a plethora of Gulls along the way.  Sure enough, as we made thee approach back to the launch site, from the vast blue abyss that is Lake Michigan, a white-headed wonder soared in above and made its nest in a shoreline cedar.  Sometimes, you do get what you wish for*

The second meeting was a bit different, but just as grand.  Just last Tuesday, on a two person private tour, a mother Bald Eagle and its Fledgling came in over the land from the South, and put on quite the display of outstretched wings.  It was the first time that I had seen a “teenager” Eagle and they are quite easy to distinguish, as they are mostly brown with white spots.  It was hard for me to maintain my excitement, but luckily the guests were just as enthused as I.

Bald Eagle and It's Fledgling
My brother is a trained Wilderness Guide out West in Washington, and always emphasized that one should always keep their chin up because of the way our eyes and faces are designed.  We can easily look down without moving our heads, but we can not easily look up.  Try it- keep your chin up so you can see the sky, and you can still see below and out in front. If your chin is down so that you may better see your feet, anything above is in your blind spot.

Keep Your Chin Up and Your Eyes on the Sky^ :)
Sincerely,
Keith

Kayaking…The Cheapest Boob Job You’ll Ever Get

Kayaking is a great cardiovascular workout, that not only targets your arms, back, and core, but your breasts as well! With your strong paddlers box, you will work out your pecs, while lifting your breasts at the same time! Stronger pectorals will lift your breasts & make them incredibly firm.  So, all you ladies come paddle with us & you’ll have a six pack and a firmer two pack by the end of the day!

 

Gearing up for the Kayaking season started!

I love being a business entrepreneur with a seasonal business.  The anticipation in May gets the juices flowing in my brain.

Maybe some new signage coming soon.

web links- always looking to exchange links with any DC businesses.

kayaks- a few new kayaks

buses.- darn transmission is costing me an arm and a leg.

Gorgeous spring so far!

 

5 Star Day!

Went kitesurfing with my new 10m Lithium Ion, wakesurfer, backroll kiteloops, raleys.  Just getting back into the swing of things and getting back those lil muscles that are going to hurt so good.

Then went skating the ramp with my buddy Tom B, still getting better. One pump at a time.

Motorcycle ride on my new/old 1974 Honda CB750 Bike.  Checked out the sunset. YES!

Grabbed the fun maker for tomorrows chaos!  Rail sliding all day!  This thing is going to be soooooooo fun!  I am in need of more wind!

Be careful out there!

Well after that first kitesurfing session, my hands and feet were not as cold as I had thought they would be.  The warm breeze had brought in all the warm surface water into the baileys harbor.  Now when I say “warm” it was maybe 48 degrees warm!  So quite cold.  The adrenaline was pumping through my veins.  My wetsuit has one major hole in it, from the bottom of my armpit to my waist, as well as other holes in not so pleasant places.  I layered up with two synthetic rash guards underneath my wetsuit and one long sleeve rash guard above.  What amazing Door County weather!  The wind quickly picked up beyond what my 14m kite could handle, and I was without a smaller kite.  So when I got home, just physically destroyed. I went online and ordered two more kites!  1 8m and 1 10m.  Airrush Lithium.  Now I can teach on the 8m. and Michael my business partner from Gravity Trails can learn.  While he is riding the 8m I can ride the 10m and while he is riding the 10m i can ride my 14m.  But first we need to get him doing a body drag once it warms up a little.  He also needs to get a wetsuit.  I used to use a drysuit, but after tearing the seals after a season and a half. It is unusable unless I replace the seals.  It also seems a little too risky, just think if I tear the suit out in the middle of the bay, and it fills up with water, I will be a giant water anchor.  With a wetsuit, at least if I tear it, it still works.  So I am transferring over to a semi-dry wetsuit.  It is a wetsuit with better seals than the standard wetsuit.

Speaking of wetsuits, please don’t go out this early on the water without a wetsuit, drysuit or a buddy!  No one likes to read a story in the paper of a hypothermia incident.  So please be patient, stay close to shore and use a buddy system.  Or better yet, go take this time to practice in a pool those re-entries and kayak rescues.

Winter of 2011

Everyone is talking about the mild winter we have had in Door County.  And now we just got done with a nice little heat wave in the middle of march.  I wonder how early this summer is going to start.  We have been getting calls for tours as early as march 21st.  Looks like we are going to have to get the buses started and the cobwebs cleaned out that much earlier this year!

A goal for this summer is to focus on photography, we will now be giving away images on facebook for free!  If you would like the digital license for any of those door county photography images, then let us know.  Some of the new guides will have experience in photography, so prepare those smiling faces, paddle poses and backgrounds of caves, lighthouses, and cedars.

Here is a photo from an early day of kiteboarding in Baileys Harbor in the fog, it was surreal…

Early march kiteboarding in Baileys Harbor

Looking forward to 2012 summer!

Sailbags Maui

Just giving a special thanks to our friends from Sailbags Maui for the awesome bag they sent us! Be sure to check out their bags made out of used kite surfs at http://www.sailbagsmaui.com …you won’t be disappointed!

IMG_1071

hottest day in July so far…just got in from a great morning paddle. now about to hit the water & the waves.

kayaking the caves tomorrow!