So this past Memorial Day weekend we were on a group guided tour of Estero Bay in Bonita Springs. We were on a group rate so the cost was very reasonable ($35 a person). We were on the 3 hour tour that starts at 9:00 a.m. Only hiccup was finding Adventures Kayaking as we did not realize that it was right off the road (directions were very generic: leaves from Bonita Springs Water Tower and New Pass Bridge – Southeast corner) but their van is visible off of the street. They had tandem (two seat Kayaks) as well as single seat Kayaks. All of the Kayaks have excellent comfortable seats as indicated in the above photo. My wife and I have not had much experience kayaking so the Estero Bay was perfect for us for two reasons. First, most of the bay is very shallow — less than 5 feet of water and in many cases only 3-4 feet. Second, the bay has very mild waters so it was easy to control the kayak. The peacefulness of the scenery was very relaxing.
Our favorite spots were going through the mangrove areas with mangroves on either site and enjoy the wildlife, going under the bridge and watching the small boats going the other way. We even saw a tall well-fit mom in a bikini and hat standing on a paddle boat with her baby sitting up front and a radio blasting party music.. Fortunately, we did not see a single alligator. Our group was from Valencia Bonita and despite the ages of the participants (the majority being in their late 60’s no one had a problem with getting into our out of the kayaks (the staff can help you). Nor did anyone not have the energy to paddle the kayaks. Although, I must admit by the end of the tour my arms were getting tired so if you have recently suffered a shoulder injury I would wait until you are all better. There was enough of a mild breeze and shade that the sun on a very hot weekend did not bother us at all. But we all had bottles of water (supplied by the tour) just in case as well as sun block Our tour guide was very pleasant and did a great job of telling us about the wildlife and making sure no one got lost or left behind. If you kayak happened to get stuck in the mangroves it was so shallow that all you had to do was push your oar down and push away from the shore. My shorts got very wet from the paddling of the kayak so I am glad that I put my phone and keys in a plastic baggie in my pocket. Did not do so for my wallet so my money got wet and I had to dry it out when we went to Doc’s on the beach (less than a mile to the south) for lunch.
About two thirds into the trip we stopped for about 15 minutes of shelling/wading/swimming at Big Hickory Beach. This beach is so remove that there are signs “No nudity allowed,” although we were told that the nude beach is just north of this beach. The beach is accessible only by water vehicle. We saw a baby dolphin at one point while enjoying the beach.. The trip is very entertaining as well as educational and should not be missed if you are visiting Bonita Springs, Naples or Estero.
All and all it was a very relaxing, scenic and enjoyable experience that made us feel very fortunate to be living in Bonita Springs.
Photo Credi: Big Hickory Beach