How to find a kayaker?

I was thinking there would be some posts about this already so,apologies if a thread already exists.
How does one find a kayaker for a swim in Florida? The new organizers of the Alligator Lighthouse haven't responded to my question so I thought I would be proactive about start a local Keys search. Of course, living in California, I need some help. Does anyone have any suggestions? It would be cool if there was a Craig's lost chat road for Kayaker's, but I couldn't find anything just yet. Thanks.

Comments

  • NikkiNikki Member

    I should note that I'm willing to cover costs and pay the kayaker to make it worth their while.

    Alex_Arevalo
  • EllisEllis Baltimore, MarylandMember

    I needed a kayak/pilot for this year's Swim Around Lido Key and asked for help on my college alumni web page. Turns out two classmates who lived in the area volunteered, guys I have not seen for over 40 years.

    thelittlemerwookieswimrn62dpm50
  • swimrn62swimrn62 Stowe, VTMember

    Ellis, see you there!

    If the organizers can't help, and Ellis's idea doesn't pan out, you can try local kayak shops or clubs. Google Islamadora and Kayak and you'll find at least one local shop. There may be local FB pages for the area. You can also try Virginia Key Outdoor Center, they have a very active kayak community and may be able to help.

  • msathletemsathlete Victoria, British Colubia, CanadaGuest

    I have always been quite lucking with paddlers as I am also part of the paddling community. @nikki one thing you might want to try is reaching out to the local kayak or canoe club. there are usually people with lots of water experience and the fitness level who are interested in helping out with swims. California has a number of outrigger clubs as well. They may also be a great source. Good luck!

  • IronMikeIronMike BostonCharter Member

    You could also try a local Scout troop or Explorers/Venturers group. Often times those young people need volunteer hours and would probably really enjoy kayaking for a marathon swimmer!

    miklcct

    Just here troubling deaf heaven with my bootless cries...

  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member

    Contact @RonCollins
    He may be able to help.

    Otherwise, I may be up for a trip to Florida!
    :-c

    Alex_Arevalodpm50
  • NikkiNikki Member

    @Ellis @DanSimonelli @IronMike @msathlete @swimrn62
    Lots of great suggestions all around. Since I'm in Cali and the swim is in FL, the canoe club or boy scout troop in the local vicinity may be the way to go. Thanks for the creative suggestions.

    IronMike
  • NikkiNikki Member

    @DanSimonelli
    Great suggestion to contact Ron Collins. I just checked him out and see his connection to swimming in FL. Think I will start there and then move onto the local canoe club. Thanks again.

    DanSimonelli
  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMem​ber

    @IronMike said:
    You could also try a local Scout troop or Explorers/Venturers group. Often times those young people need volunteer hours and would probably really enjoy kayaking for a marathon swimmer!

    I am a scout and most of my friends in my group LOVES kayaking! But it is a pity that there are no long-distance swimmers otherwise I can form a scout YakSwimmers team for Clean Half.

    IronMike
  • Alex_ArevaloAlex_Arevalo Member
    edited January 26
    Really depends what you're looking for. A body in a kayak is easy. Local scout troop should do for that level of support. But if you really need/want a higher level of support & safety, experience with marathon swim events is what you should be looking for.
    Basically, your kayaker is your one other teammate (yes, marathon swimming is a team sport). Do you really want that person to be just someone who doesn't capsize intentionally? (yes, sometimes that's enough)
    FYI, I'm finding that some swimmers can make for good support kayakers. They already know the demands & won't leave you high & "dry".
    DanSimonelliaafairmanedward
  • miklcctmiklcct Kowloon, Hong KongMem​ber
    edited January 27
    > @Alex_Arevalo said:
    > Really depends what you're looking for. A body in a kayak is easy. Local scout troop should do for that level of support. But if you really need/want a higher level of support & safety, experience with marathon swim events is what you should be looking for.

    The marathon swimming community at my place is extremely small - I think two hands count all, as demonstrated by the participation number of marathon swimming races, but the kayaking community is huge - the vast majority of my friends from sea scouting, and also my orienteering friends, do good kayaking.

    Students from the Edinburgh youth programme and also the sea school volunteered to be support paddlers in the race yesterday, and I saw them complaining cold and shivering by the end of the race, despite the warm weather (sunny, 21°C air, 19°C water, force 4 - 5 wind).

    Therefore it's not possible for me to insist on marathon swimming experience for the teammate.
  • DanSimonelliDanSimonelli San Diego CASenior Member
    Have inexperienced kayakers practice with you on some training swims.
    They’ll gain valuable experience both in terms of escorting (i.e. navigating) and supporting (e.g. feeding, etc) and getting to know you as a swimmer on longer swims.
    No short cuts really.
    IronMikeflystormsAlex_Arevalo
  • dpm50dpm50 PA, U.S.Senior Member
    I've successfully advertised on Facebook and Craigslist (in the latter case, we needed a power boat pilot for the Boston Light relay, and we got someone terrific... a fisherman who knew the waters really well and did an awesome job steering an ideal course for us.

    Quite a while back, I used the USMS open water forum, also successful.
    DanSimonelli
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