Expectations are Key

Changing Variables are Inevitable

Just about the only thing, we can guarantee is that today’s tour will be different from yesterday’s. This page was published to help you understand why and provide you with more information about numerous changing variables involved in every wilderness tour. Our Top Three Variables are

  • You – Each participant is different. age, ability, and expectations. If you have booked with a number of younger children, please understand that might be the deciding variable that makes this tour more difficult
  • Tide – Tides change 4 times a day
  • Wind – Wind is Wind! We hate it, but other than our customer’s ability, it’s the number one influencing variable

When you combine all three and can guarantee each one will be different from the last it can be difficult to know what to expect day in and day out. However, as long as the wind stays relatively constant we can usually make reliable assumptions for the next day.

It becomes difficult to make predictions when we have slight changes in weather such as wind direction. A north wind vs a Nort East wind can have huge effects on a tour. This is why we rely heavily on our first-hand information typically discovered a few hours before each tour.

Combining All Variables

One unfavorable variable in itself will not make or break a tour, but combining two or three unfavorable variables can! For example, if we have a strong north wind and a very low tide with fit kids on spring break they will overcome the difficulties, but if you switch that demographic with a few younger teenagers that would rather be on their iPad than explore the Everglades we might have an issue. With that said if someone in your group doesn’t want to go, leave them home. Don’t ruin your experience by dragging someone along!  In addition, if you have someone questioning their ability or fitness please, email us 48-hours in advance. 48-Hours before your tour we will at least have an idea of what to expect.


Wind is usually our enemy! Wind not only effects your kayak, but it also effects water conditions and visibility. Naturally it's more difficult to spot animals in rough water. However, a south wind can provide us with more water, sometimes eliminating issues with a low tide.

Wind Direction

A North wind blows the water into the Gulf of Mexico making water levels lower. Water clarity is usually better. A South wind blows us home at the end of the tour and will increase our water levels making the tour easier, but water clarity is usually worse.


We have two Low and two High tides a day. Each day the tides are around 45 minutes later than the last. Meaning if high tide is 12 pm today, tomorrow it will be 12:45 pm. We prefer the lowest tide possible for wildlife, but often a tide too low requires us to get out and walk stretches.

Dry/Rainy Season

The dry season starts in November, the water levels are at their highest at this time. As we kayak deeper into the dry season water levels naturally drop making some routes more difficult to paddle. However with lower water levels and less rain water clarity is best! It starts to rain in May.

Customer Ability

This tour is great for beginners of all ages at perfect conditions. When we have lower water levels, moving tide and high winds it can be difficult for tandems with young children or single kayakers new to the sport.

Group Demographics

Groups with a number of children or older ages need to consider the conditions of the day. If someone in your group doesn't want to go, please ask them to act their best for 3-hours or just leave them behind. Trust me you will be better off if you want to enjoy the experience.


This page is designed to inform you about the varying conditions associated with this tour. With zero wind, perfect tide and blue skies just about everyone will have fun. Including the 13 year old only interested in their Ipad, but if it's super windy, chilly or hot the person not interested in joining us will let us know!

Participant Weight

Weight plays a role in how the kayak steers. If you are in a tandem kayak it will steer better with less weight in the front. However, the more experienced kayaker should be in the back. If the less experienced kayaker is significantly heavier and sits in the front, it will be more difficult to steer. If both kayakers are approaching the weight limit of the kayak issues can arise on the lower water high north wind days.

Everchanging Conditions are Garuanteed

Knowing what we know now, we ask everyone to consider these factors and understand how they play a role in every tour. We try to send every tour out regardless of the weather and tide conditions as long as they are safe! The photos published throughout the website and on Instagram and Facebook are usually during perfect conditions. However, we do publish photos from every single tour daily so you can always view unedited photos by date.

The Manatees and Mangroves tour kayaks through two very different bodies of water.

The principles are still the same on all routes

Manatees & Mangroves Tour

Wind Direction and More

The majority of this tour kayaks inside the blue area on the map. Roughly 75% will paddle through mangrove tunnels and small ponds that are protected from high winds and rough water. The last 25% of this route is in deeper water with less protection from the wind. Both the combination of water depth and wind can allow for rougher water and more difficult paddling.

Yellow Arrows

The yellow arrows indicate the direction we must paddle to make it home. South, East then North. This stretch is protected from certain wind directions


If it's a South wind the wind will blow us home. North would be considered a head wind and blows against us. East and West winds don't have a huge affect.

North Wind, Full Moon, Dry Season

This combination of variables can bring in the best opportunity for spotting 100's of birds. However, the reason for these birds is low water everywhere! A North wind blows the water out of the mangroves and into the Gulf. A full or new moon is causes big fluctuations! Meaning a very low low tide called a negative low and a very high tide, often referred to as a King Tide or Spring Tide. Add the North wind, low tide and the lack of rain in the dry season we end up with a very low water tour.

Strong South Wind, Beginner Kayakers, Large high-tide

If we have to have a strong wind we would prefer them from the South. This means the wind comes from the south and blows north. This will blow water into our route always giving us enough water to kayak, but it can create muddy high conditions which makes visibility difficult. A south wind in combination with a rising tide however can sometimes cause us to kayak against the current in the protected mangrove tunnels. A south wind will also blow us home. A wind from behind will take us home faster, but can make it difficult to stear your boat. High humidity usually comes with a South wind as well. Higher winds regardless of other variables can make steering your kayak more difficult, especially for beginners.

High North Winds, Adult & Child kayaker

If you plan to kayak in a two person kayak with a younger child or teenager not interested in helping you. Please, understand the tour will be more difficult regardless of the conditions. However, if there is a strong North wind you will be kayaking against the wind the last 20-30 minutes of the tour. A North wind will also lower water levels sometimes causing us to get out of our kayak to walk through only a few inches of water. If your kayaking partner isn't capable of kayaking or isn't interested in the Adventure part of our tour it can be a less than enjoyable experience.

Children in Singles

Please, understand our age limit for children in single kayaks in 14-years-old. In perfect conditions 12-year-olds could get back, but in difficult conditions able bodied adults might have a tough time. Please, consider the possibility of less than optimal conditions before suggesting your child can kayak alone.


If any of this is confusing or you aren't comfortable with this information. Reply to your confirmation email.

This page is attached to your confirmation email. You have 24-hours before your tour to cancel for a full refund. If you haven't canceled 24-hours before your tour you have agreed to our process and accept all of this information.