Do you urban night paddle?

A single white light
Legally, you are required to have a single white light that is visible 360 degrees. I use a Scotty Sea Light that I picked up at MEC. Since the light is mounted on the rear deck, and subsequently blocked from view by my body to the front, I also use a headlamp (admitedly, I usually only turn on the headlamp if boats are approaching or if I want to illuminate something).

We launch our kayaks at the boat launch beside the Coast Guard station and have spoken many times to the Coast Guard officers as we’re putting in and have received several positive comments from them telling us that they are pleased to see that we’re taking adequate measures to be seen.


Mission Bay
Every Thursday night on Mission Bay, San Diego there is a social paddle where all are welcome. Also full moon paddles from La Jolla to Mission bay are done whene the ocean is forgiving enough (it is an open ocean paddle) Great Fun!!

Different in USA
In the USA the coast guard considers a 360 degree visible single white light to be for a vessel at anchor and not for use in a vessel under oars. You either need to light yourself like a sailboat or show a lantern or torch in sufficient time to avoid collision.

Personally, I don’t like that rule since it is difficult to turn and shine a light at a boat coming on you from behind, a flashlight or headlamp beam moving past another vessel seems to confuse them as to what the heck they are looking at, and just how long is sufficient time to avoid a collision? In addition, as I mentioned above, a pleasure boat or sailboat from the stern shows only a white light and it could be stationary, moving away, or drifting towards you so a white light really means that there is something out there to watch for but don’t assume it is stationary.

in our own Coconut Grove back yard a couple years ago for a full moon and wine & cheese outing. Put in at the beach of a posh condo on an island -Fair Isle -off the Coconut Grove waterfront. From there we paddled up to Vizcaya, the Italian mansion brought over brick by brick at the turn of the century by one of the Deerings (who owned International Harvester) and reconstructed on the shores of mid Biscayne Bay just south of what is -now -downtown Miami.

As we paddled north, the ruddy orange moon came up behind the Rickenbacker Causeway to our right, rising beyond the palm-studded roadway, silhouetting the breeze-swaying fronds from behind. Straight ahead, beyond the big Powel Bridge, the city of Miami scintillated in the night, and at the Port of Miami, a couple of cruise ships lie brightly lit at their berths, while far beyond, the towers of southernmost South Beach reached for the cloud-strewn sky.

We toured the basin of the Vizcaya Estate (now a county park and ‘active museum’ used for weddings, stylish social gatherings, and numerous model shoots in the house and on the extensive formal garden grounds). The we turned back for our late evening repast & soiree, watching the glowing condos of the mid-Grove waterfront twinking in the night.

It might be nice to do again, some day, but in truth? I’d only do it in a fairly sizable group well-festooned with lights.

There’s a lot of nighttime boaters and boating anglers down here, and a lot of them speed merrily along, blissfully unmaware of things “in” the water, sometimes not until it’s too late. Bettr safe than sorry when doing our own local Miami urban night kayaking thing when we


-Frank in Miami

San Diego Bay
Is an awesome night paddle. Just stay away from the aircraft carriers on the Coronado side. There is a group that goes out every Tuesday night. In Reno, there are band concerts every Fri night during the summer, right by the WW Park.

late night snacking
My wife and I night paddle up the Assinaboine River in Winnipeg a couple of times a year to the centre of the city (to the Forks if you are familiar with the area - one tourist guide referred to the Forks as False Creek on steroids, whatever that means). We always cause a bit of a scene as we emerge from the dark waters and sit down in one of the many riverside restaurant patios for a late night snack. If I weren’t married this would probably be a great way to get some attention, but what’s even better is sharing the experience with your spouse. For the record I have paddled False Creek once while visiting Vancouver, but during the day.

Restaurant, Waterfront bars, Festivals
A favorite of mine.

South Florida is great for kayaker access to beach bars & restaurants, jazz brunches, we can even access the summertime free movies on the beach and downtown.

Something so cool about watching JAWS or Pearl harbor right on sand looking east into the ocean.

Could actually sit in your boat offshore and watch from the backside of the screen.


Isn’t that down the Assinaboine?
So how clean is the river these days? I’d love to paddle there and see the Forks. Enjoy!

it’s all relative

– Last Updated: Jun-03-05 11:26 AM EST –

You're right, its "down" the Assinaboine to the Forks from where I live - the problem is that by car we say we're going up the road to the same location. In the other direction my wife and I paddle up the river to my parents place but we drive "down there". Go figure. The river is as murky as usual. Actually, probably moreso than usual because the spring run off whips up the silt. Also as usual the mud you get on your shoes entering and exiting the boat is almost impossible to get off of your shoes, boat, and anything else it comes in contact with. The Caribbean this ain't, but I still think the paddle to the Forks is great. Are you orignally from the area?

Every Thursday evening, year round, we have a group that paddles White Rock Lake in Dallas. Our lake is 1,300 plus acres in size and is in a city park located just a few miles East of downtown. Check our “urban oasis” out at

Mariner Sails (the best INDEPENDENT dealer in Dallas) brings out a trailer load of boats for free demos. This summer, through July, we paddle about a mile from our put in to the Dallas Arboretum and listen to the “Cool Thursday Concerts” from offshore. Of course, munchies and other varions libations are passed around the refting yaks.

Summer life is great in Dallas!!!