Out and about: kayaking at Lover’s Point

A seal lounges on a rock near the coastline of Lover’s Point. (Diane Thao)

By Diane Thao/The Skyline View

A seal lounges on a rock near the coastline of Lover’s Point. (Diane Thao)

Ever wanted to just go out and get off land? Explore beyond the grains of sand and with the wildlife of the seas? There are many activities that you can choose from to fulfill your need in venturing into the big blue ocean. You could kayak alone or with another with no previous experience.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the drive south to Monterey Bay from San Bruno about an hour and half. The easiest and fastest route is taking Highway 101 South straight into the city. In Monterey Bay there is a cute, quaint beach known as Lover’s Point.

If you’re not familiar with this beach, it is one of the more renowned sites for tourist, and is therefore crowded during summer. This doesn’t interfere with the rentals for kayaks or the experience of exploring the wonders of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Adventures by the Sea offers sit-on-top kayak rentals for $30 per person all day with a life jacket, dry bag and (upon request) wet suit. This is actually very inexpensive compared to most kayak rentals, which usually start at $45 with the equipment for only an hour. The dry bag given is large enough to fit a regular-size novel. It’s designed to hold your personal belongings such as wallets, watch, keys and most importantly your camera! This is probably the most valuable item in the package, so make sure you bring your camera to capture every moment.

Even during gloomy seasons such as the one we are currently in, you can see a lot of wildlife. If anything, you tend to witness more on days when the ocean is less occupied by people. Witness sea otters, seals and jelly fishes throughout your voyage around the coastline with every paddle.

And if you’re thinking you have no prior experience, and how you are even going to maneuver your kayak, the instructor will be more than willing to teach you the basic knowledge of how to correctly stroke and how to maneuver your kayak. The sit-on-top kayak stroking techniques takes less than 10 minutes to be explained to a newbie.

Once out on the waters, definitely make sure you practice your paddle strokes before venturing too far from the coastline. You don’t want to make the mistake of heading beyond the point of return and have the tides take control of you. This could result in your kayak being slammed against boulders along the coast and ultimately flipping into the sea. Being in the icy cold ocean watching your belongings drift away will definitely raise your blood pressure and stress level.

A better way to increase your adrenalin rather than taking a dip in the ocean unprepared is actually getting closer to the wildlife. Getting close to the animals may be considered dangerous depending on what you happen to approach. The sea otters were quite the calm and attention-seeking creatures. From a comfortable distance they continue to lounge on rocks, and if you get any closer they dive in the opposite direction. You can get within about 15 feet otters.

Aside from the experience of witnessing the wildlife, the physical demands make for a great abdominal workout. Your arms are the instruments you use to paddle the kayak, but if done correctly, your abdomen and entire core are what create a strong stroke. The whole upper body, from lower back to upper shoulders, are exercised with each paddle.

Considering the great price and the benefits of exercise and experience, this is quite the deal. Adventures by the Sea will remain open for rentals throughout the year. Also, if you mention their Facebook page while requesting an appointment, you will be given a 10% discount. This is a wonderful idea for a discovering a new hobby.