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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sound Kayaking on Hatteras

For those who want to discover all the many pleasures and experiences Hatteras Island has to offer, kayaking in the sound is an activity well worth trying.

The 60+ miles of sound shoreline to explore consists of small islands, secluded coves, narrow channels winding through miles of marshes, and untouched beaches scattered with driftwood and shells. Often you can spend a day in the sound, paddling for miles, and not see or hear a soul. You will see a variety of birds; egrets, herons, tern, gulls, oyster catchers, osprey, ibisis, pelicans, and skimmers. You can quietly glide into a bay and come upon deer, nutria, fox, racoons, and opossums. You will see along the marsh shores thousands of mud and fiddler crabs scrambling away from you. As your kayak glides through the waves, sea turtles, horseshoe crabs, rays, blue crabs, a variety of fish and, on the rare occasion, a dolphin will swim right under you.

Generally, there are 3 types of kayaks available suitable for the sound: open surf kayaks, closed cockpit kayaks, and open cockpit kayaks. There are a number of local shops that rent kayaks by the day or week. Whatever the type, one can try out crabbing, fishing, photo-taking or just exploring. Fishing is best in the coves and bays; crabbing can be successful along some of the channels.

One must always keep one eye on the weather. It is best to start your roundtrip going into the wind, returning hours later you can conserve your energy and almost stop paddling, letting the current take you back to your starting point.

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