Full Moon Kayaking

Full Moon Kayaking
Is there a full moon? Then it's time to hit the kayaks!
By Judy Green -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Thursday, August 18, 2005

Lapping water and dipping paddles may be the only sounds kayakers hear if they take a full-moon tour this weekend on a lake or along the coast. Away from city lights, they can expect to see the bright lights of Venus, Jupiter, Scorpio and Sagittarius - even by the light of the moon.

Paddlers of all abilities can enjoy nature's monthly bright light on Lake Tahoe through a tour planned by Kevin Hickey of Tahoe Adventure Co. in Tahoe City. The cost is $60 per person.

Company owner Hickey said first-timers often are amazed at how easy the sit-on-top boats are to maneuver after a short lesson. "Ninety-nine percent of people fear it's too hard, and most are surprised and wonder afterward what they were worried about."

Tahoe participants will meet on the beach for outfitting and a short paddling lesson before slipping a single or double kayak into the water and following the guide to make basic turns. Depending on the group, Hickey will guide participants out about a half-mile or farther, paddling a total of about two miles.

"We start out at just before sunset," Hickey said from Truckee. He expects the air will be cool and the sand warm from the day. The water will be calm and quiet as the wind dies down and other boats button up for the night. Kayakers can anticipate watching the sunset's colors glowing and changing as the sky fades to dark.

Although visibility will be fair in the moonlight, Hickey attaches green glow sticks to the bow and stern of guests' boats, and red ones on the guide boats and paddles, for safety.

After about two hours on the water, paddlers go back to shore and warm up with hot drinks and snacks.