Blissful kayak dawn on the "No Motor Zone" south KSC boundary
Specialized tours of the Indian & Banana Rivers, Mosquito Lagoon and the rivers of central Florida. Options for expeditions include fishing, birding, archeological ecotourism, or just plain enjoying being on the water.
Banana River pleasure
Quality Kayak Expeditions, yep that is what I would want when visiting a new area, so.......
Quality Kayak Expeditions, so there is a selfish reason for my love of kayaking Kennedy Space Center.
I hate crowds.
And can hardly think of anywhere else that can provide the solitude and beauty of paddling the "No Motor Zone" of KSC or the shallow waters of Mosquito Lagoon.
Looking towards the north KSC boundary. Photo credit NASA
Well the Space Shuttle is history, but looking North from Launch Pad B is the Mosquito Lagoon, excellent kayaking open to the public.
Aerial view of Banana River that marks the South Boundary of KSC. Photo credit NASA
No motor zone silence of the Banana River
Photo credit NASA
And besides the world class fishing, the bird watching, no crowds, the space center waters have additional interests nearly every month. (why it's called "the space center")
Information about Kennedy Space Center and Merritt Island Wildlife Area is found on my Osceola turkey page
Boats begging to be used.....
Quality Kayak Expeditions is not a business. I do not charge anything to take people kayaking or birding (I like turkeys and buntings) around the space center.
I have been fishing the KSC waters for over thirty years and then became hooked on expedition kayaking and specifically the Missouri River race the MR340. (3 times completed this 340 mile race)
The consequence of this addiction: a large collection of kayaks that only get used when relatives visit from out of state. So why not share?
Naturally euphoric high of the Banana River No Motor Zone
Offering the following for use:
Two QCC 700, 18' expedition kayaks (I get one QCC 700)
One QCC 500, 16' expedition kayaks (for larger folks)
Two Epic 18' expedition kayaks
Two plastic Heritage Redfish 14' kayaks with rudders (These are stable kayaks you can stand up in if you wanted to.) (Yes they are slower boats)
One flat back canoe
Ok, yes I know I should sell the extra boats.....some day.....
Mosquito Lagoon, North KSC Boundary
My truck can only carry four of the above boats---that sort of sets the limit.
PFD (life Jackets) must be worn at all times when on the water. Repeat all times, no matter the Florida heat. Repeat, not on the deck, but on the body. (6 available--I get the new one)
Ultra-light carbon fiber paddles. I have five pairs available and two back up cheap models. These babies cost more than my truck, so please be careful!
Spray-skirts---Three full spray skirts and two 'half' skirts.
I do not use these often, however the Indian, Banana Rivers and Mosquito Lagoon have unpredictable waves driven by winds. There are occasions when we have to stop and put on the skirt.
If needed, I can offer gloves, shirts and hats--all used but clean. Also available can be fishing rods (the cheap ones I bought for out of state relatives) and some tackle, however I can make suggestions for best use in a kayak. I have some polarized sunglasses available (my old scratched ones)
However I strongly encourage everyone to bring their own: Long-sleeved shirt, hat, Sunscreen, polarized sunglasses & shoes that can get wet.
Highly encourage gloves (I use them for sun protection)
Oh, and any of my trips are strictly catch, photograph and release. (fish, bird or shell)
What I cannot offer is a fishing license
Down to the nuts and bolts......
You may have noticed the expedition kayaks are not your 'normal' rental plastic boats. The QCCs and the Epics should be paddled by someone with some kayak experience. However if you lack the experience in a kayak, I can tailor the trip to avoid the changing wind conditions of the open water areas and use either the QCCs/ Epics or our stable plastic boats.
The two Heritage plastic boats are 'unflippable' if slow. They also have rudders for paddling in cross winds.
Also an odd fact about the unique waters of these three big rivers of the space center: Most paddling areas are less than waist high in depth (actually knee high for most of the open water)
Easier (safer) kayak trips for the novice paddlers or if the wind turns too rough on the open water (Heritage Redfish kayak)
Back up plans for rough weather days (looking for the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker)
And the opposite is also true, I love to take the expedition kayaks out in the roughest weather mother nature can throw at the space coast. These craft are amazing and storms are a blast. If you so wish, we can do a non fishing, non birding "storm day"----I will be out there.
Enjoying a rough ride on the Indian River as Hurricane Sandy raged past the Brevard Coast---was sort of scary
Saw this one early morning- kayaking on the 'space coast'
A space shuttle on a barge being taken away for retirement.
About the local kayak touring businesses of the Space Coast: I have never heard a bad thing about them and strongly encourage anyone to try their events. Particularly if have never done a bioluminescence night kayak trip.
Just not my thing.....
"Where did the birds go?" I asked as we were interrupted by noisy paddling primates.
This however.......Quality Kayak Expeditions
A few final comments about safety when kayaking on the Space Coast, bird watching or fishing:
Kennedy Space Center has old grandfather alligators. Not a problem since they are not fed by humans, however they are scary big.
American Alligator, not longer than my 18' kayak, so no problem.
The unpredictable weather, wind and waves......
This summer storm on the distant shore is a perfect example of (---add cuss words) This little cloud brought on lightning, rain and a serious change in wind directions. Welcome to Florida....
The "No Motor Zone" was set aside for Manatee habitat. And so these cute, large herbivores will flip your boat in an instant if you scare them. Often they will be sleeping as you paddle over them.....and "splash"--- that fast you and your lunch are wet. Beware startling the gentle giants of the Space Center!
And ALWAYS shuffle your feet (the sting ray shuffle) when walking or wading in the Indian & Banana Rivers, Mosquito Lagoon and thier fresh water tributaries. The sting rays are there, they are scared of you and they will flee. Just shuffle your feet and they will scoot-You will never even see them. But step on one and the barbed stinger in their tail will ruin your vacation. In the photo a ray waits for mud minnows.
Let me throw out a note on this subject because this past summer when I told an out of state visitor to shuffle his feet because of the rays, the person did not want to get back in the water. If a thing is unknown, you cannot blame anyone for being nervous.
I have been wade fishing the shallow waters around the space center for nearly 40 years--never a problem with rays. In fact in the clear waters you will observe that 99% of all rays flee from you long before you are in stepping range (like any fish) However, I have observed that one percent that will sit in their sandy depression and I have nudge them away. And so because of that one percent that will not flee, you must always shuffle your feet in these waters.
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