Kayaking in Orange Beach with Coastal Kayak Excursions

Of all the activities I did while visiting the Alabama Gulf Coast, including biking, ziplining, flyboarding, and going on a dolphin cruise, my favorite was kayaking with Coastal Kayak Excursions. I’ve kayaked at home in Rhode Island, off the coast in Hawaii and Costa Rica, and even in the salt marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, but none have been as beautiful and relaxing as my morning kayaking in Orange Beach, Alabama.

We met our captain and boarded the Coastal Kayak Excursions’ pontoon boat just behind our vacation rental at the Caribe Resort, near the Cobalt restaurant. Coastal Kayak Excursions offers two tour options: a “paddle and play” excursion around Walker Island, Bird Island and Robinson Island; or a three hour excursion through Wolf Bay where you search for dolphins before climbing into the kayaks to explore on your own. Our group elected to spend more time paddling and exploring the inlets of the bay islands.

Kayaking in Orange Beach Alabama with Coastal Kayak Excursions -- a perfect day on the water!

As we skimmed across the smooth, clear blue waters of the bay to our landing beach on Walker Island with Jimmy Buffett playing in the background and the bright sun overhead, I suddenly felt like I was on vacation. I’d entered “island time.” The thoughts of emails piling up and the things I could and should be posting on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook slowly faded away and I was able to be in the moment and enjoy the perfect weather and beautiful scenery surrounding me.

Our trip over to Walker Island only took a few minutes and soon Captain Glenn had the kayaks unloaded and was giving us a brief orientation and safety demonstration. From there we were on our own to explore these three small uninhabited islands in the bay and the wildlife that calls them home. There was very little boating traffic in that part of the bay and the islands were close enough together that you really couldn’t get lost. There was nothing to think about except the slap of the paddle as it entered the water, the call of the birds nesting on Bird Island, and choosing the prettiest cove to pull into and explore.

Kayaking in Orange Beach Alabama -- our landing spot on Walker Island

Being out on the water was so relaxing with no agenda, no deadlines, no set itinerary, no one to keep up with and nothing but blue skies overhead. I couldn’t resist pulling in close to the pelicans resting on Walker Island and checking out the heron nesting grounds. The pelicans were not shy about telling me what they thought about me taking a close look at them and the sight of them taking flight over my kayak is something I wish I had captured more carefully on video.

Kayaking in Orange Beach -- getting up close to the pelicans on Walker Island

As I paddled along I saw a few fish and a couple of stingrays glide underneath my kayak and I was surprised and delighted when a school of fish jumped out of the water in unison just in front of me. When I paddled across the channel to Bird Island, I got a glimpse of what it must be like on a summer weekend, as I watched a few pontoon boats pull up to stake their territory on the island, setting up their beach chairs and breaking out the boat drinks.

Our group pulled up onto a beach on Bird Island and took some time to explore the peaceful cove and splash in the warm and shallow water. We had fun watching the plentiful hermit crabs scuttle through the water, curling up inside their shells whenever we attempted to pick them up.

Kayaking in Orange Beach -- taking time out for a swim on Bird Island

Before too long it was time to head back to the pontoon boat on Walker Island and pack it in for the morning. My only regret is that my family wasn’t there to enjoy it with me! While it would be harder to paddle the two-person kayak, I know I’ll be back some day because I need to show the rest of the family the beauty of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Alabama.

For now, the video will have to do:

What is your favorite spot to kayak?

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Kayaking in Orange Beach Alabama with Coastal Kayak Excursions -- a perfect day on the water!

Note: Thank you to Coastal Kayak Excursions for hosting our paddle tour to facilitate this review. All opinions are my own. My visit to the Alabama Gulf Coast was hosted by Gulf Shores Orange Beach Tourism.

 

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