The Kayak Chronicles

by Darren Caffery



June 2000

The paddling gang for this trip included my buddy Tom, my cousin Christopher and his friend Garrett.  We launched from Shelter Cove in Toms River even though it required some sweet talking from me and the boys.  The young & perky little lifeguard informed us there's an ordinance against launching kayaks from the beach when it's open to swimmers and wanted to make us pack up our kayaks and gear and launch from somewhere else. We were smooth though, and after a few minutes of assuring her we would launch far away from the bathers, were paddling away on the tides of the Barnegat Bay.

With the wind, sun and strength on our side, we paddled toward the eastern shore, with the Lavallette water tower as our guide.

We paddled a nice leisurely pace as we made our two mile trek across the open waters of the Barnegat Bay.


With no time constraints for the day, we stopped our kayaks at a number of places on the bay and just floated, enjoying every ray of sunshine that the day provided. We weren't in any real rush to get to our destination. The joy was in the journey.


In an attempt to cool off a bit, Garrett and Christopher decided to get out of their kayaks and take a swim but they soon found the water was rather shallow so they just simply waded next to their kayaks for a while.  After a quick "cool off" they returned to their kayaks and continued to paddle across the bay.


On the way, while Christopher began practicing his transcendental paddling technique. (an ancient aquatic meditational practice) Tom, with his cooler strapped to the back of his yak, decided he couldn't wait any longer for lunch, and went into high speed paddling.

When we arrived at the beach at Lavallette we simply relaxed some more, had lunch and enjoyed the beautiful Summer day at the Jersey Shore.  We later walked into town for some cold refreshing ice cream at the local ice cream parlor. After we finished our ice cream we launched back into the bay and made our way back to Shelter Cove.

This was one of those lazy days of Summer.


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