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

Union of earth, sea, sky and spiritApril 19th, 2009

Today’s blog comes from Laurice D. Nemetz, MA, ADTR, E-RYT, LCAT, who works as a yoga teacher and dance/movement therapist throughout Westchester County in New York. Lauri was the instructor on our recent El Espiritu del Mar, Seacape’s pilot yoga and paddling trip. We are planning future yoga and sea kayaking trips with her in both Canada (July) and Costa Rica (next January and May).

Palm practiceLAURI LEADS HER STUDENTS ON THE COSTA RICA PADDLING TRIP IN GENTLE PRACTICE UNDER THE PALM TREES AFTER KAYAKING.

 

Since returning to the states from Costa Rica, I’ve experienced hail in New York, hugged my boys countless times, have seen many, many students, worked in several therapeutic settings and led my college class of movement and anatomy students through the BODIES exhibit in NYC. 

 

As your guest blogger, I wanted to share a few of my reflections on the trip from the yogic perspective. Like Bruce, I never take for granted the work we get to do, or where we get to share that. As a yoga teacher just outside of the big city of New York, I am near lovely trees and the deep blue Hudson River, but I also spend quite a bit of time in the city itself, both teaching and taking classes. I have enjoyed many an inversion in the studios of New York, but I also enjoyed the experience of my own practice on the sandy shores of Costa Rica, looking at the ocean and sky together reversed.  

 

TEACHING YOGAAFTER A LONG PADDLE, LAURI GUIDES THE GROUP IN EXERCISES THAT WORK OPPOSING MUSCLES FROM THOSE USED IN KAYAKING.

 

When I teach yoga, I consider myself a guide. I share my knowledge and can point towards a path, but ultimately the work is self-initiated. Each person on this trip made such lovely positive changes and I believe that those changes ripple into all life. It is my privilege to teach yoga and share its wonderful gifts. The environment of Costa Rica allowed for this process to be quite deep and meaningful.

 

Kayaking is about connection as well. Whenever I am on the water I gain a sense of how small we are, but also how connected we are to everything else. That is the essence of yoga practice – the idea of union, of linking one thing to another. What we do to any other creature and to the environment matters deeply. When someone leaves a piece of trash, it may not seem like a large amount in the grand scheme of things, but that garbage can multiply and turn a beautiful beach into something else. However, I’m an optimist by nature, and I feel that while life isn’t always easy, our own ease can create something beautiful in an ocean far away.

 

HeadstandLAURI ENGAGING IN HER PRIVATE YOGA PRACTICE ON PLAYA QUESERA IN CURU WILDLIFE REFUGE, BASECAMP FOR THE PADDLING TRIP.

 

The Costa Rican days were full of brilliant sunshine, wildlife and colors, but I also enjoyed the Costa Rican nights. I loved watching the stars, so bright and beautiful, and the last morning of our camping, I woke up watching the stars before greeting the day with an extra early morning yoga practice. 

 

As many of you know, the constellation Orion, known as the Huntsman, is easy to spot in the evening sky, whether in New York, or far south in Costa Rica. For years, I carried a favorite poem about the constellation with me, a small part which l give to you here: 

 

The choice is always ours. Then, let me choose

The longest art, the hard Promethean way

Cherishingly to tend and feed and fan

That inward fire, whose small precarious flame,

Kindled or quenched, creates

The noble or the ignoble men we are,

The worlds we live in and the very fates,

Our bright or muddy star.

Up from among the emblems of the wind

Into its heart of power,

The Huntsman climbs, and all his living stars

Are bright, and all are mine.

From "Orion"

by Aldous Huxley, 1931

 

 

Shanti (Peace),

Lauri

 

 

 


Inuksuit in Costa RicaApril 16th, 2009

The inukshuk (plural inuksuit) has long been used by Inuit peoples to guide hunters and travelers safely through barren landscape. These stone landmarks, usually in human form, suggest a spiritual nature, and perhaps even signify how our very existence requires a strong, solid connection to the earth.

InuksuitINUKSUIT MAY HAVE BEEN USED FOR NAVIGATION OR A MARKER FOR HUNTING GROUNDS OR A FOOD CACHE.

 

Rosi Jory, an eclectic artist from Canada, created three Inuksuit in the center of our base camp on Playa Quesera. The figures seemed to all look carefully out to sea. At first glance, the inuksuit seemed out of place situated beneath a coconut palm. However, on further reflection, their significance became appropriate.

 

David and Rosi had engaged a Canadian based company to guide them safely through various experiences in Costa Rica. Following our brief stay at Bella Vista mountain retreat in Turrialba, we traveled by ferry to the Nicoya Peninsula, where the paddling would begin. On the ferry, Rosi enthusiastically practiced her Spanish with local women who were traveling to Montezuma to visit with family during Easter week or Semana Santa. She carried with her a laminated cross-language chart that helped to facilitate conversations between non-Spanish and non-English speakers. 

 

Ferry GalsROSI JORY SHARES A MOMENT OF LAUGHTER WITH A LOCAL WOMAN ON THE FERRY FROM PUNTARENAS TO PAQUERA.

 

The weather was absolutely perfect for the five-day paddling experience. Calm conditions prevailed and allowed us to explore the Tortuga Islands, Bahia Organos and the passageway to Isla Negritos. The wind freshened on day four so we decided to switch our paddles for hiking boots and ventured into the tropical dry forest to observe wildlife. We were rewarded with sightings of numerous birds: Trogons, Motmots and a Laughing Falcon. Howler Monkeys also appeared trailside.

 

WernerWORLD TRAVELERS, THE JORYS ARE OPEN TO ANY NEW EXPERIENCE THAT INVOLVES PADDLING.

 

Following our paddling and hiking excursions we always returned to our home and base camp on Playa Quesera. It is fitting that Rosi placed the Inuksuit in the center of the campsite. We were greeted by the quiet sentinels each time we arrived.

 

Safe passage is granted if we are patient and we listen carefully to Mother Earth. We must also follow her moods very carefully.

 

Pura vida,

Bruce

 

 

 


Bella Vista RanchApril 10th, 2009

Here at Seascape’s southern headquarters, it’s the second cleanup day after a five-day paddling, four-night camping trip on the Nicoya Peninsula with a couple of Canadian clients, David and Rosi Jory. 

The Jorys chose to begin their Costa Rica experience with a pre-trip extension to the mountains north of San José. We joined them for two nights at the relaxing mountain retreat known as Bella Vista Ranch near the area of the Turrialba Volcano. 

BV HikeBELLA VISTA GUIDE JOSE (KIKO) LEADS BRUCE AND DAVID ON AN INTERPRETIVE HIKE OF THE AREA BELOW THE TURRIALBA VOLCANO AND NOT FAR FROM THE RIO REVENDAZON.

Bella Vista is comprised of a series of simple cabins linked by a raised walkway and set into a hillside overlooking the volcán and several other montañas. This special getaway is owned by Mark Shultz and Anabelle Solano, from the U.S. and Costa Rica respectively. Visits to the ranch are hosted by Anabelle’s mother, uncle, aunt, brother and sister-in-law, so the experience allows clients the chance to interact with a wonderful local family. 

Green BasiliskA RESIDENT AT BELLA VISTA, THE GREEN BASILISK IS REFERRED TO AS A JESUS CHRIST LIZARD BECAUSE OF ITS ABILITY TO SKIM ACROSS THE SURFACE OF CREEKS AND STREAMS.

Birding here affords glimpses of Montezuma Oropendolas, a variety of toucans and hummingbirds, and many other fascinating species. A lily pond near the main cabin is inhabited by frogs who begin to call at dusk and continue throughout the night. We were also visited by a variety of local lizards, including ground anolis and the beautiful green basilisk with its prominent crest. 

The retreat provided an opportunity for David to hike up into the mountains and down into the valley, and to learn from a local guide about the organic crops that are grown on the fincas or farms in the area, crops such as sugar cane, culantro (cilantro), beans, rice, coffee, plantain, mandarin lime and guava. Meanwhile Rosi sketched the incredible vistas from the lodge. Meals were all traditional locally grown Costa Rican fare accompanied by refrescos naturales, fresh fruit juice drinks. Rosi has a keen interest in cooking and asked to participate in a culinary experience with Doña Lila, during which she learned to make tortillas, Tico style.

Tico TortillasROSI JORY, ORIGINALLY FROM GERMANY, LEARNS HOW TO MAKE TORTILLAS COSTA RICAN STYLE FROM BELLA VISTA HOSTESS LiLA SOLANO AND HER DAUGHTER-IN-LAW ALEJANDRA.

If you search YouTube for Bella Vista Ranch, Turriabla, Costa Rica, you can see a great little slide show of the flora and fauna and incredible views from this exquisite mountain lodge.

Happy Easter weekend,

Frances