Evening kayaking. Photo by T.L. Grace
Evening kayaking. Photo by T.L. Grace

Health & Wellness
July 2014
By T.L. Grace
I just returned from leading a full-moon kayaking tour and am reminded of how much kayaking contributes to one’s health and wellness, especially on Ocracoke. Sitting in a safe and stable kayak, close to the water and feeling the ease of paddling and gliding in the fresh salt air is reason enough to give this experience a try.

Add the surprises along the way of kayaking in mostly shal­low water where you are able to see the abundance of natural life and your body, mind and spirit are in for a real treat.
This particular full-moon tour I witnessed happy and sat­isfied smiles on the faces of two young women who couldn’t be­lieve they not only got the hang of kayaking for the first time, they led the group all the way.
When we stopped for a stretch with nets in hand every­one caught something of inter­est to examine: baby shrimp, flounder, hermit crabs, blue crabs, shells of all kinds, min­nows, sea weed, before releas­ing them back into the water of the Pamlico Sound.
As we kayaked back, fol­lowing the full-moon beams, a dolphin surfaced in the channel, and another one followed us into Silver Lake and surfaced just feet away from a very pleased young man.The memories from this trip were many and possible because of the beauty of Ocracoke and accessibility of kayaking.Of course, the full-moon tour only happens a couple of times a month, but there are many daily tours to choose from if you want a guided kayak trip: early and mid-morning, sunset and even a tour that introduces you to yoga and tai chi.
If you want to go exploring on your own, you are given instruc­tions and suggestions from the shop you choose to rent from. And, yes, you can bring your own kayak to the island and put in at the public dock or on the National Seashore.
Someone asked me, “Do you ever get tired of leading kayak tours since you’ve been do­ing them for over eight years?” and my resounding answer was “No!”
Every time I go out on a kayak it is a new adventure and I come back glad that I’ve taken the time to be in nature this way.
I expect you will too.

Terrilynn Grace West leads kayak tours with Ride the Wind Surf shop and provides warm water massage.

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