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Kayaking for Two

Just like a tandem bicycle, a tandem kayak is made for two. Over Memorial Day weekend, we tried one out as we navigated Macintosh Run into Southern Maryland’s Breton Bay along with other kayakers and canoers who were out enjoying the beautiful weather.


After renting our kayak from Patuxent Adventure Center (PAC), we launched into Macintosh Run off a small make-shift dock behind the Port of Leonardtown Winery.

PAC also offers “illumination tours” during which NOCQUA light systems light up the underside of stand-up style kayaks.  PAC has a special daytime package, too, that includes kayaking or canoeing followed by a wine tasting at Port of Leonardtown, but this weekend we were just interested in trying out a tandem kayak.

The water was low and brackish in the river, and there were many submerged logs, pebbly shallows and low-hanging branches to navigate. For me, the fun of negotiating these obstacles (and sometimes getting snagged by them) was the best part of the trip.

The water was often deceptively low, and several times we had to remove the rudder to keep it from dragging the bottom. We even ran aground in the middle of the mouth of Breton Bay within sight of Leonardtown Wharf. Now that’s shallow!

Boaters can dock at the wharf to use the amenities or take a stroll into old downtown Leonardtown. The town is within easy walking distance and has lots of interesting little shops and restaurants, as well as a small art gallery that features the work of local artists.

Because we’ve been to downtown Leonardtown many times, we spent our three hours of rental time exclusively on the water, trying out our tandem kayak. I am much larger than my wife, so our strokes are very different, and synchronizing them was a challenge. We managed, however, and by the end of the trip, we were paddling upstream (almost) like pros.

Macintosh Run passes through a 58-acre protected habitat. It’s purportedly home to bald eagles, wild turkeys and Baltimore orioles as well as other bird species. Although we didn’t see any birds that we could recognize, we did spot a beaver paddling in the dappled sunshine by the bank as we headed back to the launch.

If you’ve never tried a tandem kayak, I think you would enjoy the experience. My wife and I won’t be buying one any time soon, but it was fun to try one out. And kayaking together, actually together, was a great way to spend time on the water.

Tagged in: kayak


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Guest Tuesday, 27 June 2017