A simple kayak will:
1. Get you to a shallow place
A simple kayak will take you to the place you want to go, even if it is too shallow for a dinghy.
The drought of a kayak is 0.0002 ft.
2. Get you to a quiet place
The kayak has no engine, therefore it makes no noise.
You can sneak upon people’s properties without being noticed; or float downriver without disturbing the wildlife.
3. Get you to a tight place
You can paddle even in mangroves, between roots and branches.
4. Get you to a beautiful place
With the kayak you will be able to explore the most beautiful places on your journey.
5. Not pollute the waters
Keeping the environment clean (and having your conscious clean) is another advantage of not having an engine.
6. Save you money
This is an obvious one. No engine= no fuel= no dollars
7. Provide a nice spot for kids to do art while under sail
8. Provide a dark shady spot on the boat for resting
9. Keep you in shape
Paddle, paddle, paddle! Often living on a boat means less physical exercise. Paddling the kayak will make you spend that extra energy and it is good for your heart and muscles.
10. Take your kids and their friends off the boat
The kayak will become a favorite jumping-off platform and transportation for your kids, no matter how old they are. They will paddle between boats to pick up their friends, go to shore, or to explore the region.
11. Provide transportation for Cuban officials
If you ever sail to Cuba you will be unpleasantly surprised how many times you will have to deal with officials. Every time you move the boat from one cayo to another you will have to do another immigration checking out and checking in. The Cuban officials will board the boat every time to verify if there are any undocumented people on board (you are not permitted to have Cuban friends visiting the boat EVER even if the boat sits at the marina). Making the officials paddle to the boat instead of taking them there by dinghy is a nice little revenge.
12. Be loved by children everywhere
When you show up with a kayak in an indigenous Mayan village in Guatemala, you become The Event of The Year. Not you, the kayak!
There hasn’t been any scientific research done on the subject of How many indigenous kids can sink an unsinkable kayak, but the experiments have already started.
13. Help you make friends
Your new indigenous friends will visit your boat if you invite them. They are as curious about your way of life as you are about theirs.
You may take a few kids to the boat on your kayak, the rest will arrive shortly with their lanchas and cayucos.
14. Transport you and your groceries
You can park your kayak on the docks everywhere and visit the local village or town. Be sure to lock it against theft, though. When you comeback with bags full of fruits and vegetables, the kayak will be there for you. It will take more load than you think.
15. Transport 10 cases of 24 beers!
Yes, it will. You can load as much cases of the cheapest beer you ever saw on a simple kayak as you want. 10 is not the limit!
16. Pull your boat
When there is no wind there are but a few alternative ways to advance with a sailboat without using engines. Put your flippers on and go push the boat; or jump in your kayak and pull! Ivo has done both, but he prefers to pull: it’s more efficient. His record speed pulling the boat by kayak is 0.5 knots!
The story of Agent Orange
A few months ago, our good friends Neith and Sherry gave us a kayak along with a bunch of other useful things, before heading off to the desert in New Mexico where they will take part in The Solar Ark Project. We named the kayak El Poderoso which means The Mighty One in Spanish after Che Guevara’s famous motor bike. But after some time, we nicknamed him Agent Orange, as the kayak’s most notable feature is his bright orange color.
Agent Orange is a simple plastic unsinkable kayak. We didn’t realize then how much we will be needing it on our travels. The kayak became one of our most treasured possessions. We use it for transportation to go from the boat to shore and back when we are anchored someplace, as well as for a number of other things and I am sure that the list of ways to use it will keep growing with time.