SOUTH CAROLINA

Kayaking on the Atlantic

It's official. Time at the ocean reduces stress and engages activity. A recent survey proves what most people have known all along - life is better by the sea.

Many are shoving off into the open water rather than simply lounging on the beach. With a paddle in hand and destination in sight, adventurers - old and young - are discovering the Intercoastal Waterway (ICW) as a jumping off point. They have moved past the lure of the lakes and rivers to the waves and sunrises of the ocean waters.

In Beaufort, South Carolina, Kim Gundler, David Gorzynski, and Beaufort Kayak Tours are presenting a totally new perspective.  

"Beaufort should be seen from the water," says Gundler. "Beaufort was built as a destination to be reached by water. Ferries and boats were the most common mode of travel for most of Beaufort's 302-year history. In addition, a great number of the historic homes in Beaufort were built facing the water. If you look at them from land, you're looking at the back door."

With six possible tours for the experienced or inexperienced, seekers choose between historic (their most popular) and nature based excursions. The history  tours focus on Beaufort's rich history which includes Penn Center and the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped habitats on the east coast. The nature tours highlight its natural history including Hunting Island State Park.

And no matter which fits your curiosity, each provides excellent photography opportunities.

"For beautiful scenery, the barrier island (which includes Hunting Island) trip can't be beat with its palm tree lined lagoon and the boneyard beach at the halfway point," she says. "If you love historic homes, the Beaufort history tour would be the best for scenery. But, the ACE Basin is also fabulous, the tour route being nestled within 300,000-plus acres of protected land."

With early mornings and late afternoons being the best time to be on the water with camera in hand, tour times which change daily are dictated by the tides. The ICW includes tremendous tides, a six-to-10 foot change four times a day, and constant two-to-three mile per hour movement. However, with the number of tours offered, they are sure to be on the water throughout the day.

With cooler temperatures, fall is the perfect time to explore. With chilly mornings, wildlife in the ACE basin, including alligators and early migratory waterfowl, are more active. It's also a great time of year to see the explosion of colors on the coast.  

Grab the camera, your family and friends and explore historic Beaufort from the water.

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