Paddling through the Pandemic; St. Christopher Offers Kayak Tours

To see the lowcountry from the water is a close to heavenly experience. There’s nothing quite like coming up close and personal with creation and wildlife. Last week I was leading a kayak tour and a dolphin came right up to my kayak, so close, that as he came out of the water for a breath, the boat startled him, causing him to quickly dart away.

I have heard more laughter on the kayak tours than I’ve heard since the start of the pandemic. It’s amazing how people’s troubles and fears begin to float away with the tide after an hour or two on the water. Now, more than ever, in the midst of disappointment, loss and pain, it’s important for us to find opportunities to have fun and connect with each other and what better place to do that than outdoors!

Outdoor Encounters offers three different kayaking excursions. All of our trips include a small orientation to kayaking, and also include a lifejacket and paddle. No experience is necessary.

Our most popular trip is a two-hour sunset tour each Wednesday which takes guests through the estuary and the salt marsh. The tour is a loop that goes from our kayak rack on the beach, through Privateer Creek and ends at our dock in the Salt Marsh. This trip flows with the tides and can be done by all ages.

We offer a three-hour kayak tour to Botany Bay Island, located directly across from St. Christopher. The island is filled with treasures including sharks’ teeth, seashells and historic pottery pieces. The trip begins with a paddle through the estuary before landing on Botany and giving you plenty of time to explore before returning back to the beach. The trip is highly dependent on the tides and scheduled accordingly.

We also offer a three-hour kayak tour to Deveaux Bank. Because Deveaux doesn’t have any trees on it, it’s technically not formed into an island yet. Deveaux is home to thousands of sea birds and is the largest nesting sea bird area north of Florida on the East Coast. Much of the island is protected land for the birds to nest and mate, but a third of the island is accessible below the tide line for us to explore at low tide. We supply binoculars for this trip as well. The trip is highly dependent on the tides and scheduled accordingly.

If you’re interested in joining us for a kayak tour, sign up for one of our scheduled trips, or inquire about scheduling another trip. The tours are a great way to connect with your family, small group, or friends.

By Laurinda Rapp, St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center