Kayaking for most people is a fun hobby or outdoor activity they may do on vacation. Enjoying it and making memories that will last a lifetime, but for me kayaking is so much more for I’ve learned more while kayaking than I think I did in school. All these life lessons and interactions I’ve had on the water have brought light to new ideas or perspective which I wouldn’t have thought of other wise, growing me as a person both socially and professionally.
Some of these lessons are as simple as seeing someone conquering their fear of water or even kayaking. For the fear is in their head and once you change their perspective on the situation nine times out of ten, they will give it a try and enjoy it. I’ve learned that if the kids are happy then so are their parents, less is more and even when someone’s mean to you be nice to them and maybe you’ll bring the good out of them. Never judge a book by its cover for you don’t know their story and always show respect. While most of these are commonly heard, having seen these in action drives their point home.
The effects of kayaking haven’t only affected me but also the people we take out, our valued customers. While I am seeing the overall effect of a situation, the individuals in the situation have their own takeaways such as they can kayak or get outside and explore when they thought they may have gotten too old or nervous. I witness this with the retirement communities we work with, being very rewarding along with allowing me to learn life advice from people who been there and done it.
Never stop exploring the world is your playground and you can only make the memories if you go and conquer. Thank you all for reading, see you out on the water. -Grayson Harris
A family adventure
One of my favorite trip’s is the very family-oriented trip we do here at Mahaniam Adventures the sharks tooth island trip located on the Cape Fear River. On this trip we see a multitude of wildlife ranging from Ospreys and Bald Eagles to bait fish and even an occasional alligator. The beautiful ecosystem allows for all the wildlife to cohabitate, making finding shark teeth and fossils even more fun.
My favorite aspect of this trip is when kids discover something new. On the island there are hundreds if not thousands of little fiddler crabs running about, which some kids love and others don’t, but many have never seen them. When they final capture and look at the little crabs they light up with curiosity and excitement, making being a guide very rewarding. Similarly with the shark teeth and the fossils because many people don’t know that the fossils are there allowing them to learn something new, that goes for all ages. The simile from finding their first tooth or fossil, which pushes them to find more is one that lifetime memories are made of. So get your youth, elders, and you out there and explore. Find some teeth or fossils, kayak through the coastal bays, creeks or rivers of southeastern NC making memories with family and friends. Thank you all for reading and well see you on the water making a “Positive & Memorable” experience. -Grayson Harris
What do you think of when you see some old growth trees? Do you ever wonder what they would say if they could talk? What they would say they have witnessed over their life time of standing, weathering storms, drought, fires, floods, heat and cold? I have had this thought many times as I paddle through North Carolina’s 3 Sisters Swamp. Recently it was announced that researchers from the University of Arkansas identified a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum)tree that was 2624 years old! Wow, imagine that a tree here in eastern North Carolina that is one of the oldest trees known to man today. This tree started putting down roots around 605 BC!
Just paddling in this ancient swamp give you a since of
awe. Trees that are so big, it takes 3
or 4 grown men to put arms around them and cypress knees that are talker than I
stand. Every time I am there in the
magical place I find myself in awe at the majesty of God’s awesome creation. I also realize just how small I am in the
grand scheme of life and grateful that God is always there each day for
everyone who looks to him.
We often get asked which is better; taking a guided kayaking adventure or renting a kayak and do your own thing. Well, I would say that all depends on your level of experience and familiarity of the areas you are paddling. Guided trips, such as the one we offer here at Mahanaim Adventures are all inclusive. This means that you get qualified guides that are familiar with how to kayak and to do rescues if and when needed. The guides know the area, the river or ocean currents, local weather patterns and other safety concerns about the river you are paddling.
When you decide to rent a kayak and do your own kayaking adventure on your own, you are assuming all the risks involved. Before you do this, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I know how to get myself out of trouble if I get into some sort of trouble on the water? Remember, it is not a question of if you tip your kayak over, it is a question of when you tip over. If you paddle enough you will get tipped over and have to do a self-rescue. Do you know what to do when this happens?
Are you familiar with the local weather patterns and make accurate decision on when to turn around or to not go out on the water? Weather conditions can change quickly even under the best of circumstances; don’t get caught out in bad weather.
Are you familiar with the area and the currents of the river you are paddling? This is very important. Getting lost or getting yourself in the wrong location to deal with the wake of a containership on the Cape Fear River can make your trip memorable for the wrong reasons.
In short when you are considering the question of taking a guided adventure or renting a kayak; ask yourself the questions above. When taking a guided kayaking adventure, you can concentrate on having fun with your group, not worrying about all that can possibly go wrong. When you rent a kayak and do your own thing, you are assuming all the risks yourself. You are saying that you know and understand all the risks involved and are capable of rescuing yourself from a bad situation without ANY outside help.