Trip Report: Naples Kayak Adventures
By Kyle McKenzie | Nov 10, 2019 | Naples
Yesterday, we had two great Naples kayak adventures on the East River. Both kayak tours were small in number, with the 11:30 am tour only having four kayakers from Belgium and the 3:00 pm tour only had two kayakers from Germany. A cold front started pushing through Naples yesterday, which brought cooler temperatures, lower humidity and higher winds making for a very comfortable kayak tour. The higher winds typically have little effect on the East River kayak tour due to the numerous Mangroves surrounding our whole route. This kayak route paddles through a few smaller ponds no bigger than the size of a football field. These smaller bodies of water allow for great cover on windier days. I always mention to our kayakers in Naples that wind is not usually a factor, which is not the case on our kayak tours in Colorado. Colder temperatures at night typically encourage the Manatees to start congregating in great numbers in the Fakaunion Canal. Our Manatees and Mangroves kayak tour operates off of the Fakaunion canal and when the water temperatures in the Naples, Florida area start to dip below 75 degrees manatees start to look for warmer water. Be on the lookout for a good report of manatees very soon.
Kayak with Alligators on the East River
While kayaking the East River both kayak tours had some close encounters with a few smaller alligators inside the Mangrove Tunnels. We don’t often see them inside the tunnels but when we do the alligators will typically move over to one side then dip down to the bottom, allowing us to pass safely on one side of the mangrove tunnel. The first pond at the kayak launch is usually the freshest water being farther away from the Gulf of Mexico, which means there are usually 4 or 5 larger alligators floating on the top. Yesterday’s kayak tours were no different, the first kayak tour started out with a larger eight to nine-foot gator twenty yards from the put-in and all of our East River kayak tours have spotted two larger gators on the last PVC pole in the freshwater pond.
Bird Watching on the East River from a kayak
The birding wasn’t at its best on this Naples kayak adventure which is typical of changing weather conditions. We did, however, get to see some Black Crown Night herons on both kayak tours. Black Crown Night Herons are often hard to spot and will sometimes remain still and silent allowing our kayakers to pass right by without even knowing they are there. There were numerous noisy Kingfishers and Great Blue Herons along with a good bit of Ospreys soaring over us looking for their next fish catch. As always on the Fakahatchee kayak tour there were tons of Green Herons hiding deep in the mangrove roots, they were somewhat difficult to spot with the cloud cover but we managed to spot a few from our kayak. The second tour saw the most bird action and right at the start, we were fortunate enough to spot the magnificent Wood Stork soaring over us. These are easy birds to spot from your kayak due to their 5-foot wingspan and their black and white color combination. The Wood stork was actually listed on the Endangered Species list in 1984 but was downgraded to threatened in 2014.
Expected Kayaking Conditions
We are still at the tail end of the rainy season which provides birds and alligators with numerous foraging grounds outside of our normal kayaking areas around Naples and the unseasonably warmer October did not encourage the large migrations south for many birds. However, the cold front that passed through most of the southeast this weekend definitely pushed some birds south. This combination of colder temps and dryer weather will make for some great kayak conditions in Naples, Marco Island, and the Everglades.
If you would like to go on a Naples kayak adventure with us on the East River please visit our kayak tour page or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All of our guided kayak tours are within 30 minutes of Naples and Marco Island. The East River, Fakahatchee kayak tour is by far is the best and closest backcountry kayak tour you will find outside of Naples. This tour is now going out daily at 9 am, and 3 pm. Join us on a kayak tour today to spot some of this amazing wildlife for yourself!