A word from founder Bruce Smith

“Welcome to Seascape Kayak Tours. This company began as an outgrowth of my passion for paddling, outdoor education and sharing special marine environments with others. I love introducing people to wild places and helping them feel comfortable and reach their potential on the water. Whether you choose to join us for a sunset paddle, a day trip or an extended expedition, you will travel with just a few others, in a safe, sensitive and environmentally sound manner.”


Client Corner Recent Posts

Ode to an OpossumMay 7th, 2009

We mentioned in our last blog that the next entry would be written from a totally different region and climate: Canada. But we felt compelled to write one last time from our southern home beside the beach in Tambor, which we will leave in just a few short days. 

Playa Tambor after a hard rain, with its view of the silent sentinel, the land formation locals call a crocodile.

PLAYA TAMBOR AFTER A RECENT HARD RAIN, WITH ITS SILENT SENTINEL, THE LAND FORMATION LOCALS CALL A CROCODILE.

Throughout our time in Costa Rica, our blog entries have introduced you to our adventures and to the rich biodiversity of the country…

A couple of days ago, an Opossum wandered onto the hotel property and collapsed on the walkway close to our apartment. The animal had likely been hit by a speeding vehicle and was badly injured. Initially the small mammal appeared to have died. However, as we watched, the poor creature seemed to come back to life and continue to move slowly and try to shake off its serious injuries. 

One of the local workers came to inspect the animal and decided to take him, somewhat unceremoniously, to the back of the property and put him out of his suffering. In only a few short moments, we had become emotionally involved and felt very sad all day about this loss. 

Golden Trumpet or Bejuco de San José in bloom along the Rio Panica

BEACH HIBISCUS OR BEJUCO ALONG THE RIO PANICA

Death is a part of the cycle of life. In nature everything is connected and has an important role to play. An Opossum is not a cute, cuddly creature like a puppy, nor does it flash vibrant tropical colors like a toucan or possess human-like features like playful monkeys. But its role in life is just as important. Its life, too, is special. 

Last night, a Pacific Screech Owl sat in a tree in front of our apartment and called incessantly for an hour and a half. And today, while cleaning kayaks for storage, we were graced with a visit from a very large and venerable “green” iguana, who has taken on the orange-red and blackish grey colors of the very old.

Very old and large Green Iguana, now reddish-orange and grey-black.

OLD GREEN IGUANA, NOW REDDISH-ORANGE AND GREY

We wish to pay tribute here to the opossum and to wish him, and all the other souls now crossing, safe passage. 

Bruce and Frances


Halcyon DaysMay 3rd, 2009

We write this during the final countdown to our seasonal departure from Costa Rica. There are seven days left until we leave to run the summer kayaking season on Deer Island in the Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick, Canada. Seven halcyon days.

The rainy season has begun. A few nights ago, we were driving home from Curú Wildlife Refuge at dusk when the first substantial rain began to fall, making the dirt roads suddenly oily and greasy. We nearly got stuck in the slippery mud dropping off a friend who lives near the river.

Green HeronCOMMONLY SEEN GREEN HERON ON THE PANICA RIVER.

 

 

Last night we were awakened by a deafening roar of rain, the first true torrential downpour that lasted several hours and brought a fresh, cooler feeling to the hot, sticky air. As a result of this hard shower, the water in the ocean in front of Tambor Tropical and in the nearby River Panica has turned to a ruddy red. We paddled up the Panica this morning at high tide and saw a variety of birds, including beautiful pink Roseate Spoonbills and tall, regal white Wood Storks. Every paddle offers opportunities to see a tremendous number of wading birds such as egrets and herons, the most common being the Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, Tiger Heron and Green Heron.

 

Boat billedNOT SO COMMONLY SEEN BOAT-BILLED HERON, ALSO ON THE RIO PANICA.

 

 

Two days ago, we saw a heron we hadn’t seen before in the Panica River, the Boat-billed Heron, which searches for fish at night. Its shoe-shaped bill is thought to help it catch food in lower light, in which precise spearing of fish with a narrow bill would be difficult. The bird was hiding in the thicket and very shy, but we got some decent photos that show its huge, human-like eye and unmistakable bill.

 

We also saw a Belted Kingfisher this morning, one of five types we see in Costa Rica, the others being the Ringed, Amazon, Green and American Pigmy. The kingfisher has been the subject of a fair amount of folklore, hearkening all the way back to Greek mythology. There is a myth that Zeus was jealous of a female character, Alcyone, for her power over the wind and waves. In a jealous rage, Zeus killed Alcyone’s husband by destroying his ship with lightning. Alcyone threw herself into the sea to join her drowning lover and they both turned into kingfishers. So through the years sailors believed the kingfisher could protect them by calming stormy weather; they referred to the kingfisher as the Halcyon bird. Kingfishers were also thought to nest for seven days of peace and calm when rearing their young, and these were called the Halcyon Days. (Les Beletsky, Costa Rica Travelers’ Wildlife Guide.)

 

BeltedTHE BELTED KINGFISHER, ONE OF THE HALCYON BIRDS OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY.

 

 

The paddling season in Canada is shaping up with plenty of day trips and multi-day experiences on the calendar May through September and we’ll have to hit the ground running once we arrive. Meanwhile, as we pack gear, clean boats, store belongings and prepare to depart, we are listening to the Howler Monkeys, watching all the birds, feeling the rains move over the sea, and trying to get every ounce of enjoyment we can out of our final halcyon days in Tambor.

 

When we next communicate with you, it’ll be from an entirely different climate at the opposite end of the Americas, but one with just as much beauty and joy to offer paddlers, wildlife lovers and everyone who makes the time to visit our very special corner of the universe: Deer Island. We hope to see you there this summer.

 

Pura vida,

 

Bruce and Frances


Returning rhythmsApril 26th, 2009

Today’s guest blogger is Sandra Jayne Taylor, who participated in the recent yoga and paddling trip: El Espiritu del Mar. The trip will run again January 9-17 and May 14-22 of 2010.

SandyEstuarySANDY PADDLING QUIETLY IN CURU WILDLIFE REFUGE’S MANGROVE ESTUARY.

On my recent trip to Costa Rica, camping on Playa Quesera, paddling in Curu Reserve on El Espiritu del Mar, I felt the comforting, soothing rhythms of my life return. 

 

In the last year, grief and stress were the rhythms I lived.  

 

But nothing could prevent me from feeling all the glorious natural rhythms of Costa Rica:

 

The crash of the tide riding to the shore.

 

The dramatic red fall of the sunset to immediate nightfall.

 

The noisy stealth of the gazillion hermit crabs whose precise footprints in the morning sand looked like a miniature Los Angeles freeway system.

 

Never-ending waves originating in the graceful Pacific swells.

 

The warm peach color of sunrise that blushed the surrounding cliffs of our gorgeous beach.

 

The breaths that came fast and excited as another view gave me such beauty.

 

The breaths that came deep and full while lying in the yoga pose of relaxation on warm sand.

 

The quiet stir of the kayak paddle, its rhythm that gained strength and efficiency and also, to my amazement, gained a rhythm similar to those of the other beach nuts of my great group.

 

BeachNutsSANDY SET UP HER TRIPOD TO PHOTOGRAPH HER GROUP AT EVERY MEAL ON THE TRIP. LEFT TO RIGHT, SHOWN HERE ARE WENDY, LAURI, BRUCE, GREG, FRANCES AND SANDY.

 

All of these and more wonderful rhythms gently returned to me my own way of being, my own rhythm, the wave that begins and ends on its own but constantly connects with the world.   

 

My photo of the brown pelicans gliding on the warm air currents at sunrise is my own reminder to be always present to the rhythms, of the grace and beauty and strength in all rhythms.

 

Thank you so much Bruce and Lauri with a heart full.

 

Sandy

 

PelicanPathPELICAN PATH BY SANDRA JAYNE TAYLOR