Paddling With Your People

Time spent on the water with loved ones offers a special bonding experience.

Time spent on the water with loved ones offers a special bonding experience.

As I paddled along the Turner River with family and friends last weekend, I was reminded what a unique bonding experience shared time on the water can offer.

We laughed as we stumbled our way through unloading kayaks and hauling them to the launch ramp over some rough terrain, then again as we splashed our way into the river, without the finesse of advanced paddlers but with plenty of enthusiasm for the day ahead.

Without much of a plan in mind – only to spend time together – we watched alligators sun themselves on muddy banks, enjoyed the sawgrass views, and counted tiny turtle hatchlings. We paddled south along narrow mangrove tunnels, where the sunlight filtered through hundreds of bromeliads and the honorable paddler in the front removed spider webs for those of us farther back.   

We were in no rush, so we took our time, talked about meaningful and trivial subjects, and frequently remarked about how lucky we were to be out in the wilderness, in the company of loved ones. It was a great day.

As you navigate the holidays, we encourage you to make time for adventures on the water with your loved ones too. Sure, it can be challenging to plan and coordinate, and other to do list items may seem more important, but you will never regret making memories this way. Happy Holidays from the Ocean Tribe Paddlers!

Ocean Tribe Paddlers is a club hosted by Sanibel Sea School that helps the SWFL paddling community better explore, enjoy, and understand the ocean. Visit or follow us on Facebook to learn more.