We try to do one kayaking tour every place we go on vacation and had chosen Marine Discovery Centre for our outing from Daytona Beach. Marine Discovery Centre is located in New Smyrna Beach, which took us close to an hour to drive to. When we arrived at the site, we assumed we would be going on our tour with the four other people who were there, but they were locals doing a cleanup of the island across the channel—it seems this was part of a Sea Scout project.
Marilyn, whose name we learned later, was supposed to go out with them, but ended up being our guide as there was some confusion about our reservation which was eventually found for the following month. So it was just the two of us and our guide who went on the tour, which was great as we could get close and hear everything she had to tell us. (Kayaking in the past with larger groups, we often miss information, as we cannot all be right beside the guide.)
We went out along the intercoastal for a bit and I got wet as the wake of a passing boat sloshed over the edge. As we were holding ground looking at the birds on Bird Island, Marilyn could identify each species and even what stage of life the pelicans were by looking at their feather colour, etc. We saw a few dolphins playing but had to move along through the marina and into the protected mangrove. Our guide knew a great deal about mangroves as well and gave us some of the history of the New Smyrna area—this area was populated at the same time as St. Augustine, but did not end up as a permanent settlement—there was room and provisions for 500 and 1500 started on the journey over.
Kayaking is a wonderful way to enjoy seeing the wildlife of the area. I always enjoy being a bit physical as well, as we tend to eat more on holiday than at home, so anything to burn a few calories.