Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need any previous experience to participate in a kayak tour with Kayak Marco?
2. Can I bring my kids?
3. What variety of wildlife can I expect to see on the trip?
4. What are the chances of seeing manatees?
5. What equipment do I need to bring and what is provided?
6. Are the tours strenuous?
7. What is an appropriate gratuity for our guides?
8. How far will we kayak?
9. Can I bring alcohol on the kayak?
10. How many participants will be on a trip?
11. What kind of kayak will I be using?
12. What if there is bad weather the day of our trip?
13. Are there a lot of bugs?
14. Are there restrooms at the launch site?
15. Can we arrange a private or custom tour?
16. Do you offer group discounts?

1. Do I need any previous experience to participate in a kayak tour with Kayak Marco?

Our tours are for all ages and all people. Many of our guests are first time kayakers. The inexperienced paddler easily enjoys all of our experiences. As we are outside and on the water, weather can be a factor. We do ask that you bring along a good attitude and the willingness to be flexible if we encounter the unexpected.
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2. Can I bring my kids?

Absolutely! Children are welcome on all our kayak day tours and we encourage families to experience things together. However, only you know your children and their limitations. Generally, we encourage the use of tandem kayaks. We can pair a stronger paddler with one not so strong & an adult with a youngster. As important using tandems kayaks reduces the number of boats on the water and keeps guests closer to the guides so all can hear and communicate better. Generally, for a single kayak, 11-12 years seems to be the appropriate age. We are prepared to be helpful if the paddling becomes difficult.

For the night tours we do have a minimum age of 5.
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3. What variety of wildlife can I expect to see on the trip?

It is nature and it is wild. Every trip is different. Some days, we are fortunate to see a lot of wildlife, some days less. We can view only what is there at the time that we are. This is up to Mother Nature. Most days, you can see ospreys, various species of herons and egrets, pelicans, numerous species of shore and wading birds. Most every tour, in the warmer months, manatees are spotted. However, our guests also commonly see dolphins, rosette spoonbills, bald eagles, various hawks, white pelicans, owls, sea turtles, kites and black vultures. We really never know until we are on the water.
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4. What are the chances of seeing manatees and dolphins?

Manatees are very sensitive to cold water. When the water is warm, we see them often on our tours all year round. When we have a cold snap and water temperatures drop and stay low, they will move to warmer waters that can be away from our paddle area. When the water is warm, they will often let us paddle next to them. Dolphins are around all year round, but they are fast and move around constantly. You never really know where they are going to be.
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5. What equipment do I need to bring and what is provided?

Kayak Marco includes all basic paddling equipment including kayak, personal floatation devices and a whistle in the price of the tour. In the evening, we also a provide flashlight and a glow-stick.

Conditions can become extreme quickly in Florida. It is important to prepare well to gain the best enjoyment from your trip. Your guides are very familiar with your paddling environment and conditions. Feel free to ask any questions you would like in order to understand all you need to be confident about your trip. Please understand, we will not paddle in unsafe conditions including high winds and thunderstorms.

What to bring...

Clothes you don't mind getting a little wet.
Swim suit/board shorts, shirt; Cool weather... cover-ups (avoid cotton)
Water Shoes or sandals that can be worn in the water
Bring an extra change of clothes just in case...
Hat & sunglasses are great and SUNSCREEN - very important
Camera & Dry bag (optional)
Bottled water, Snacks
Towel (left in car)
Any special personal paddling gear if you like
Bug Repellent
Lock valuables in your trunk (We never had a problem but , it is more safe)

What to expect...

A drive that is 10-15 minutes from the beaches of Marco
Potentially, a launch site with No restroom facilities
About two hours on the water for a leisurely paddle
Expect to get a little wet - depends on you (or possibly your friends)
To see wildlife and stretch those muscles a little
To learn some basics about paddling and more about local wildlife
To actually wear your life vest & whistle
Great guides who enjoy their work and keep you safe
Lots of outdoor fun and a desire to return for another experience.
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6. Are the tours strenuous?

No, our tours are not designed to turn you into an athlete. It is about access and your outdoor experience on the water. On most day tours, we paddle three miles or less and are usually less than two hours on the water. We want you to have fun, explore and interact. We do, on occasions, encounter stronger winds that will require a higher level of exertion. Of course, we try to avoid these situations when possible. The beach experiences are longer - about three miles out and three miles back. However, there is plenty of recoup time on the beach while exploring and picnic. Guides are prepared with all safety equipment and tow ropes if any situation proves to be too difficult for a paddler.
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7. What is an appropriate gratuity for our guides?

Gratuities are not required, but are customary and appreciated. Depending on the level of service provided, a gratuity of 10-20% is appropriate. A 15% Gratuity will be added to a party of 6 or more.
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8. How far will we kayak?

The day tours are about two hours on the water and about 3 miles of actual distance covered. The tours are leisurely. We are not trying to turn you into an athlete. We do have tidal flow and daily breezes, so your guides will adjust each tour to the day's actual conditions and your group. The beach picnic trips are about 3 miles out and 3 miles back with plenty of time on the beach.
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9. Can I bring alcohol on the kayak?

On our general tours, we have a NO ALCOHOL policy. We do understand the desire to enjoy adult beverages while on vacation. However we take all paddlers on our general tours into consideration, thus we do not allow alcoholic beverages.

Kayak Marco reserves the right to refuse service to any patron deemed incapable of paddling should they arrive for their tour already intoxicated. If Kayak Marco employees make a judgment call based on alcohol abuse the patron in question will not be allowed to paddle nor receive a refund for the trip cost.
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10. How many participants will be on a trip? We try to keep our group size to eight guests with each guide so that the tours are intimate and personal. Summer time bioluminescent tours tend to be larger. We will divide these tours into smaller groups to insure safety and enjoyment.
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11. What kind of kayak will I be using?

We primarily use double kayaks on our tours. Most all are Ocean Kayak Malibu 2's. The kayaks you will be using are chosen with comfort and stability in mind. On most tours, guests share a double kayak; however a limited number of singles are available at our discretion. Singles are used mostly to meet the need of odd numbered parties.
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12. What if there is bad weather the day of our trip?

The weather in our area is generally quite pleasant. The months of June through October can produce strong afternoon thunderstorms that we carefully monitor. The morning tours these months are preferred. December through February sometimes have cold snaps. Our staff continuously monitor weather conditions to insure you have the safest and most enjoyable trip possible. Obviously, we are not in charge of the weather and cannot change a rainy day to sunshine to accommodate our plans. Your best bet is to be prepared for all types of weather and you will remain comfortable. Please review the gear list and follow the recommendations.

We will not paddle in thunderstorms, high wind or any weather that is dangerous. We do sometimes paddle in a light rain if there is no threat of lightning. Our policy, if thunderstorms, threaten is to "wait it out" if the radar indicates it may pass through or dissipate. This happens occasionally, especially before our sunset and evening bioluminescent tours. Often it is hard to tell if a tour will cancel early enough to save you the drive to our launch. If we can do this, we certainly will. Thunderstorms in the summer move fast and generally dissipate as things cool down from the rain. You should continue to the meet location unless you hear from us. Having a schedule that is a little flexible in the summer is also a help if you have to delay a little while to let a storm pass through. Some of our best bio paddles happen just after a thunderstorm when everything gets calm.
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13. Are there a lot of bugs?

This is Florida so we do have bugs...... Generally speaking, bugs are not a large problem. In some areas we may encounter biting insects (mosquitoes or no-see ums) but, a little bug repellent usually takes care of them! Most of the year there is little problem. Summer tends to be a challenge on the shore line after the rains begin and then primarily around dusk or dawn. Once we get on the water there is usually little problem. Occasionally we have an evening with no breeze, so bug repellent is a good thing to have on hand ...just in case.
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14. Are there restrooms at the launch site?

At most launch sites, there are restrooms available. However, the Shell Island Road and the Goodland Bridge launch sites do not. If you are short on time a quick stop is likely your best bet.
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13. Can we arrange a private or custom tour?

Absolutely! Many of our experiences are private. Please give us a call or an email with your thoughts to discuss your ideas.
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14. Do you offer group discounts?

Yes, we do. Please call us for details.
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Come have some fun and let us share our passion!

 

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or Call: Kayak Marco (239) 695-0067
Email: KayakMarcoFun@gmail.com

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