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Weather & Water Conditions

  • The National Center for Cold Water Safety considers anything below 70 degrees as cold water, and has extensive information about risks associated with activities in cold water. Please consider the information on their site at the link below.
  • The water of Southwest Florida may seem warm and safe but for much of the fall, winter, and early spring water temperatures will be at or below this benchmark temperature.
  • Proper clothing choices can reduce these risks and help you have a wonderful kayak experience. Please avoid wearing cotton clothing. Choose synthetic materials or wool to stay comfortable.

  • Lightning is a very real risk when on or near large bodies of water.
  • Lightning is consistently one of the top three weather-related causes of death.
  • The vast majority of water related lightning injuries and deaths occur on small boats with no cabin.
  • It is crucial to listen to weather information when you are boating. If thunderstorms are forecast, do not go out.
  • If you are on the water during a thunderstorm and cannot get back to land and safety, get as low as possible.

  • Another risk is the surface of the water.
  • “Rogue wave” is a term that applies to oceans, and can be used here to make this important point.
  • The sizes of these bodies of water make them susceptible to waves and chop created by winds.
  • The waves and chop created by the wind can catch even experienced boaters by surprise when coming around a point, or out from behind some natural or manmade shelter.
  • Other boats will create waves. These waves can travel great distances and appear seemingly out of nowhere. Or, they may be created by the nearest boat and observed from the moment they are created until they are long past the kayakers.
  • Kayakers should always be aware of the risk of waves, regardless of the source. If possible, the safest and most comfortable way to deal with a large wave/wake is to aim the bow of the kayak directly into the wake/wave.
  • There are many websites with helpful information about kayaking in waves and winds. Please consider some of these techniques.
  • In addition to these wind and wave risks, please consider the extra energy required when paddling into the wind and waves.
  • Please remember that if you are paddling with the wind when you start your adventure that unless the wind changes you will be paddling into the wind and waves on your return leg.
  • You may want to paddle into the wind at the start so that you may have the benefit of paddling with the wind on your return leg when you or others in your group may be tired.

  • Navigation is always an important consideration when boating on large bodies of water.
  • Please be sure to make a note of landmarks and other visual features at your point of departure so that when it is time to return you’ll be able to identify the location.

  • The size of these waters presents illusions of proximity.
  • It may seem when looking out across a body of water that one could swim to the other side. This can be extremely misleading because oftentimes the other side is much farther away than it appears standing on the shore. There are many places in this area where what appears just a short distance away is actually a number of miles.
  • All About Water hopes that prudence will be the watchword when considering your intended course.
  • Start out with short trips that will be manageable for everyone in your group, and work up to longer trips as comfort, skills, and endurance build.

  • The risks described here apply to everyone.
  • Water can overwhelm and put in danger the youngest, most vulnerable child, or the fittest, most experienced swimmer.
  • Water should be respected whether in open water far from shore, or within a protected beach swim area.

  • Attempting to describe all of the potential risks is beyond the scope of this site.
  • All About Water wants your kayak experience to be as successful as possible, and hopes you will remember these safety issues.
  • Please contact 911, the United States Coast Guard, or the local Sheriff’s Department if you become aware of a safety issue while on or near the water.
  • All About Water hopes all of our customers will wear the life jackets provided as part of every rental package. If a life jacket does not fit, please let us know and we will do our best to provide one that does.

The National Center for Cold Water Safety