And I’ll bet you didn’t use any of that water polluting sun screen on that paddle.
I do 80% of my paddling in the dark (pre-dawn daily paddle).
(only 80%, because my long, weekend paddle stretches into the daylight hours)
note: 80° paddles are comfortable when there is no sun (FL summer paddling)
No jet skis and hardly any boats
Beat the rush hour.
I’ve paddled at 3am trying to find the beginning of the Rum River. Pitch black is a bit unsettling. It was when I realized how much of my kayak balance was reliant on the sight of the horizon. Another spot I passed a buoy. I didn’t see it until it was on top of me. It said Dam Ahead. One night we got ourselves between a series of strainers. Our lights ran out of power. So we scaled a muddy steep river bank. We spent the night sleeping in the kayaks for warmth until sunrise leaning against each others kayaks. It got down to 40 degrees. Plenty cold wearing t-shirts and shorts. We finally found the beginning…sort of. The lake shore and the beginning was covered with floating cat tails. After 45 minutes of searching in the dark we rammed the bow of our kayaks into the cat tails, climbed out of the cockpit. Straddling the kayaks we walked to the bow. For the next 40 yards we would take a step, pull the kayak forward between our legs, take a step, repeat…until we got to the highway which the start of the river was on the other side and our car was parked there. Why did we keep the bow between our legs? Because if we fell through we would be under the cattails and may not be able to get back up.
Took my partner out in tandem CD Libra XT 22’ she didn’t like it and never went at night again.
Being on a lake with few dwellings around can be a bit disconcerting at night. Not quite pitch black but close.
Aren’t you worried about gators & pythons?
Me? Not in NY
Sorry, my comment was directed at @raisins.
I love night paddling around Pittsburgh. Our big rivers have many illuminated bridges and river bank parks so the waters sparkle after dark with the reflected lights near the city. And farther upstream in the more wooded valleys there are moonlight reflections on clear nights. The big barges that move through are like shadowy Leviathans in the dark. At sunset the water is like molten gold. This was paddling to the Point downtown to watch the Independence Day fireworks from the water.
Second pic is moonlight over the Housatonic in Connecticut, just before the delta at LIS. Another lovely nightime paddle.
Too far north for the pythons (Jacksonville, those monster snakes are in the Everglades), gators - only if I paddle up the smaller creeks, just be wary.
More of an issue is the ‘exploding’ manatee (they set off like a rocket if you spook them), even the un-attentive dolphin is a concern (when I know they’re close by, on occasional paddle strokes, I’ll create a ‘spash’).
Also, when I paddled a surf-ski, it was ‘bothersome’ do contiuously having minnows jump in the cockpit (and the occasional shrimp). Not a problem in kayak (note: I always wear a sprayskirt)
Wait for decent moon light.
Go on familiar protected water.
Night paddling is amazing i use to do on weekends it really helps me in reducing my stress levels.
Look out for power boats, cold water, tidal rips, current, getting lost and capsizing. All are much worse at night. There is no help.
Don’t go at night when water is below 65°
Don’t go at night when it’s rough meaning 12" fast period bay chop.
Currents at bridges I can handle except one at times. No other major currents except tidal currents in the Long Island bays.
I have two radios and CG station, bay Constables, County Police boats.