Crazy Ocean People

I’m in upstate, NY and what we have here is an endless supply of beautiful fresh water; lakes, ponds, rivers, creeks, huge rivers, small and everything in between…I have no trouble finding a place to kayak around here. I know some kayak in salt water(oceans) and crocodile infested rivers, lakes(Florida?) because that is where they are and that is the water they have.

Now my question…How the hell do people paddle in a skinny Kayak in huge water with man eating sharks and all sorts of goodies? I could NOT get the stones big enough to paddle out where huge great white sharks are routinely swimming underneath and around my tiny Kayak. As soon as I felt the first ‘tunk’ on the bottom of my boat…i’m outta there! I’ve seen people on youtube kayaking on sit on top kayaks with their feet hanging in the water on each side…screw that!

I realize people are going to say shark attacks are rare and all that, but the thing is…they do happen, you practically are a few inches fron the surface of the water and sharks as big as cars are rolling around and under you. I don’t care if they just swim around you to have a ‘look’ if I see a shadow of a huge shark swimming past me in my kayak…I’m going to pee in my pants and paddle out of there.

So how do people kayak out here in the ocean? you guys are nuts!

pick your hazard
I tend to agree with you about sharks, but they are just one of the considerations that paddlers have to deal with if they are going to expand beyond lakes and small rivers. Where I mostly paddle, it’s sea lions that give me the creeps. I’m pretty sure they don’t want to eat me, but they are huge animals that could ruin your day if you happen to get in their way.

You probably drive
the risk of everything else pales in comparison.

Society accepts certain risky behaviors( driving) and glamorizes the less likely but more spectacular ways to get in trouble.

Fairy tales and movies have little to do with reality.

We love paddling with sharks, and
all the other critters that you seam to be frightened of.

We had several occasions this past winter to have humongous ones between our yaks.

Gators are afraid of people, and Crocs are scarce and also afraid of people. naturally any one would be a fool to dangle their legs under water.

There is nothing that can compare with having a spotted Eagle Ray with a six foot wing span leap out of the water in front of my yak, or a pod of Dolphins dancing on the water showing off for us.

We videoed a six foot long Eastern Diamond Back Rattlesnake swimming off shore a few years ago, and now portions of that video are on the Animal Planet Tv show

Jack L

I got more to fear from a power boater
running me down than from ANY FORM of wildlife that may call the ocean home.

Not trying to belittle what you say
But your “fears” are so irrational and misguided that they border on a psychological disability. Come on down to SE Mass and I will take you paddling on some beautiful coastline. I guarantee you will not see a shark unless you want to, then we can paddle the Cape coastline and have a decent chance of seeing a GW fin or two.

I thought the OP
was wacky but then I thought people are often afraid of what they don’t know.

You need to try it first

– Last Updated: Apr-20-14 7:25 PM EST –

If the fear of getting eaten by sharks can create undue anxiety while you are sitting inland in upstate NY, over the Easter holiday (or the end of Passover if that works for you), I think you need more to occupy your time.

Glad you found Mountain Man at least on the phone, though I don't understand your surprise about fitting you. It is exactly what a number of people already advised in replies to your first post.

Second the advise to wait until Paddlefest when there will be more boats to choose from.

Dang, people are a bit serious today.

Bordering psychological trouble? hahah.

No, but, yes I would go insane if a Great White swims up next to my yak and eyeballs me!

And ya I know they aren’t out to ‘get me’ it’s just the thought they are swimming under me unnoticed…it’s friggin creepy while paddling along in a 13 foot piece of plastic, two inches off the surface.

Therapy also available on
Paddler’s Place Discussion Forum.

If it helps
You need not worry about my pressing you to join me/us on an ocean paddle.

Stay away areas thick with sharks
No need to make the situation more than it is. Avoid the most likely times and places where you’d meet them, and don’t worry so much.

You’re more likely to be injured or killed by a powerboater, jetskiier, drunk driver (car OR boat), cell-phoning or texting driver, drug addict…you get the idea.

I figured you were jokingly exaggerating in your OP I was too in my response.

People Are Meaner Than Sharks
Mean people.

Drunk people.

Oh lord; a mean, drunk, immature young male human trying to impress his girlfriend… look out.

Oh wow.
Who knew that would step on peoples toes…

Guess I need therapy for my primal fears…thanks to the kayaking forum I now know this.

Read Again…
what alpalmer wrote up there.

You didn’t step on anyones toes
No one is offended, but just want to hint broadly how off base your fears are.

After all do you think if there were any reasonable chance of being eaten that kayak guiding companies would lead ocean tours???


You are being juvenile
That is the problem - and it is annoying because people have expended some real effort in trying to help you with how to get to a good boat choice. Or you really are a kid.

Funny you mention that…

– Last Updated: Apr-21-14 11:27 AM EST –

I have a lot of whitewater friends who say the same thing!

After about 20 years of WW, I turned to seakayaking over a decade ago and have seldom looked back. I don't think it is the wildlife they fear so much (some folks even get edgy when a pod of curious dolphins come alongside and look at you with their goofy grins) as it is a lack of understanding of coastal conditions, weather, and distances.

Coastal paddling is more than just paddling skills. It requires far more knowledge of basic seamanship than river paddling....tides, currents, fetch, wind, changing weather conditions, not to mention navigation and other boat/ship traffic. No doubt trying to run, by intent or poor planning, an inlet at the wrong time in the tide cycle will be an eye opener. Then there are beach landings and departures. Plus, a lot of WW folks see the riverbank as being a short swim of not too many yards away, vs potential long distances on a seemingly vast expanse of water.

Forget the sharks, they aren't your enemy in coastal kayaking. Lack of knowledge of coastal paddling sea conditions, traffic patterns, proper equipment and preparedness, and weather is the real danger.

I thought Pammy had
graduated… next gen?