Mystery Mondays: Night Kayaking

Fireworks in Prescott, AZ 7/4/2010

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you all had a safe, fun holiday. I think that ESP Boss & I have just found a brand-new holiday tradition that I wanted to share with you.

Kayaking by LED lantern light to watch fireworks!

ESP Boss saw a flier in a local sporting goods store about renting canoes to go out on Willow Lake in Prescott, Arizona, to watch the fireworks. Since that sounded like our type of outdoor adventure, we left the barbeque a bit early to load the kayaks.

Besides the kayak, life vest, and paddle, here are some supplies that you’ll need:

  • Insect repellent. We used Off! Clip On Mosquito Protection and it worked great. There were bats swooping all over munching down on the skeeters but we didn’t get a single bite!
  • Coleman LED lanterns (2 for the front of the kayak, 2 for the back)
  • Battery operated LED light stick (2)
  • Long-sleeve tee-shirt or button-up tee (for when it gets chilly!) I was really glad I had brought mine because just before the fireworks started, a slight breeze came up and I got chilled. With it, I was able to enjoy the show and not be too cold.

Before you launch, be sure that you turn on the LED lanterns and push them as far into the bow and stern of your kayak as they’ll go. For extra glow, we had two lanterns in both the front and the back.  We had these really cool red, white, and blue, LED light sticks that were about 10 inches long and ran off 2 AA batteries. They fit perfectly under the knee pads of the kayaks for 360 degrees of glow. (We picked them up on clearance at Walgreens; when we went back to get more, the store was sold out!)

Isn't this a cool photo of ESP Boss?

In fact, David, a new friend we met at the lake called us the red fireflies. And we had several people tell us how cool the two kayaks looked floating on the water during the fireworks!

You can ONLY get amazing photos like this if you're on the water. (And lucky with the camera!)

For all you kayakers, if you’ve never kayaked in the dark, you are totally missing something. If you are going night kayaking, here are some tips for you:

  1. Check your local boating regulations to find out what the rules are about night boating. Here in Arizona, you must have a bow and stern light for any boating after dark.
  2. Check the batteries before you leave! Nothing is worse that getting to the lake and having a dead flashlight.
  3. Bring warm clothes — just in case you get chilly.
  4. Wear your life vest! In many states just having it in the boat is enough. But if you tip out in the dark, you want to be wearing that life vest not having it float away in the black!
  5. Bring a headlamp so you can use it to light up that path you’ll be paddling along.

A few more photos of fireworks:

We were close enough to hear the "WHUMP" as the fireworks were launched.

Happy Independence Day!

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