Tag Archive: diving

Some divers use stable kayaks to reach diving locations and transport their diving gear with them. W kayaks are most suitable as diving platforms.

Cap’n Larry Jarboe: The Boat That Does It All

Quite a few years ago, back in the mid-1970’s, I was fortunate to work as a mate then captain of a large passenger carrying boat that took people snorkeling on the shallow coral reefs of John Pennekamp State Park in Key Largo, Florida.

I promoted our business with the phrase “If you can swim, you can snorkel.” Twice a day, we hauled up to 61 passengers a trip on a wooden Harkers Island-built boat to witness the amazing coral reefs and tropical fish that are found right here in the United States.

Today, the State Park concession that I worked from has about 4 multi-passenger snorkel boats that have evolved from that one vessel.

Like snorkeling, there are many marine sports that have sprouted over my lifetime.

Obviously, canoes have been with us for many years. But, who figured out that you could sit on top of a kayak or stand up to paddle a fat surfboard? These are relatively recent innovations that have attracted a huge following.

Then, there are those Wave Runners. When I grew up in the Fifties, we never figured you could have a motorcycle that flew across the water.

All of those sports are fun for those of us who swim but owning all four: a canoe, kayak, paddle board and Wave Runner is expensive, space consuming, and a major maintenance hassle.

What if one vessel did all this, and more?

The Wavewalk catamaran style skiff is the stable and portable boat that literally, does it all. A visit to the company website at wavewalk.com will show you the W500 and W700 solo and tandem twin hull kayaks that are easy on your back because they are straddled like a Wave Runner. Fishermen are especially fond of the Wavewalk design because they are so easy to stand up in order to spot or cast to their prey.

These magic boats can be paddled with kayak or canoe paddles or outfitted for gas outboard or electric trolling motor or both! And, they are lightweight enough to carry on top of your car without a special carrying rack or trailer.

I discovered the Wavewalk design while I was searching the Internet for the perfect kayak to establish a retirement rental business in Key Largo. My first Wavewalk was purchased at retail price. That little W500 was so good that I used it in my commercial fishing business in the Chesapeake region to supply Blue Catfish fillets to Linda’s Cafe in downtown Lexington Park and the Victorian Candle Bed and Breakfast in historic Hollywood, Maryland.

At present, in addition to two commercial fishing work boats, I have a fleet of Wavewalk kayaks for weekend Wavewalk Adventures in the State Parks and National Sanctuaries that surround Key Largo.

And, I am fortunate to be the exclusive Wavewalk distributor for all of South Florida. Contact me if you are in the Chesapeake region and I can arrange for you to have your own Wavewalk kayak.

On a nearly daily basis, I motor my green W700 skiff through mangrove creeks or out in the ocean to make my own adventures exploring places that are almost impossible to reach by any other method of marine conveyance. This Wavewalk lifestyle is a most wonderful and unexpected retirement pastime that I am most happy to share.

So, if you are tired of being cold this winter and want an excuse to visit the Florida Keys, you have one (as if you really need an excuse to visit paradise).

A trip to my website at floridafishingkayaks.com. will provide all the info you need to schedule a free Wavewalk Wednesday demo of this vessel. Or, a weekend rental with included guide service might be a way to enjoy a complete kayak, canoe, stand-up paddle board package in a boat that “does it all.”

Who knows? You might drive home with one.

Welcome aboard.

Cap’n Larry Jarboe

 

 

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Snorkeling at the Elbow Reef with our electric catamaran kayak

By Capn’ Larry Jarboe

Finally, the wind laid down, so my wife and I took the W500 out to a deeper reef at the edge of the Gulf Stream. There was 50 feet of visibility at the Elbow Reef which is about average for here but pretty darn good elsewhere in the U.S.
It is really nice having a buddy to enjoy the scenery. And, also to keep the snorkel sled from drifting while I free dove to work the GoPro camera.

I’ll be doing some major maintenance and rewiring of the mother ship. Thus, the motorized W700 will be my distance runner for awhile.

Enjoy the clear water. We did.

Wavewalk catamaran fishing kayak from a shark's point of view 1024

Different angle: View of diver and electric Wavewalk 500 kayak from within the water

 

View from the mother ship

 

 

Electric catamaran snorkel sea sled with my Wavewalk 500

By Capn’ Larry Jarboe

Yesterday, I threw the white W500 set up as a sea sled on top of my engine box of the “Line Dancer” and pounded through a close sloppy chop to a pocket of calm water over 3 miles offshore of Key Largo.
Though the wind was blowing 15-20 miles out of the Southeast, the water behind Grecian Rocks was flat calm. Low tide forces the coral bottom above the surface and creates a natural breakwater to find shelter behind.
Here is a perfect place to enjoy an afternoon with my wife and experiment with the snorkel sea sled concept.
This incarnation has the trolling motor in the bow which is much safer and easier to steer than the stern mount position. The on/off speed control extension is a length of PVC that clips on to the throttle handle.
I took the sea sled away from the calm part of the reef to avoid the crowd and the protected “no catch” zone.
Beyond the reef, in a foot and a half close chop and relatively murky water, the sea sled pulled well without shipping any water into the hulls. There were no lobsters in the holes that I checked which confirms reports from the early season.
But Santiago my W500 worked very well and still has a special place on my boat, in my truck, and in my life.
Santiago is not for sale…

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Wavewalk 700 skiff with 2 motors – first lobster grabbing trip

By Capn’ Larry Jarboe

Yesterday, I launched the W700 with both motors installed to go to a secluded creek far into the mangroves.
This run included a trip through creeks, over the ocean, and across extremely shallow flats.
In past years, I could catch my recreational limit of six here in my secret spot, or at least dinner.
After using multiple power options including paddle pushing across shallow bottom with grass on the surface and powering with both engines in the ocean, I arrived and started putting on my gear. Then, I realized I forgot to put my lobster gloves in the Wavewalk. Aargh!!!
I had purchased a special camera holding mask for this event. Maybe, some GoPro footage might save the day?
Following entry into the creek and spotting quite a few undersized lobsters, but no real obvious legals, I did not feel so bad about leaving those gloves behind. While filming, I realized that the GoPro camera was going out of the water slapping the surface. That’s why there are light flashes in the video.
So, I set the angle down which definitely does not give a real view of the snorkeler’s perspective but the camera stayed submerged.
In 63 years on this planet, I never grabbed a lobster in its hole without gloves. Imagine trying to pull up a rose bush without hand protection. But, there is a first time for everything…
I only wish the video footage was better.
Today, I bought a GoPro camera extension arm to fix that angle issue.

Tomorrow, another Wavewalk adventure!

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Wavewalk 700 Lobster Scout Sea Sled

By Capn’ Larry Jarboe

Key Largo Fishing Kayaks and Skiffs

With the advent of Spiny Lobster season coming, I decided to convert my W700 into a search sled to hunt those crafty crustaceans.

A conventional tow sled that is used to drag a snorkeler behind a boat costs about a hundred bucks. The hapless free diver has no control over boat direction and has to breathe the fumes from the boat engine or engines. If the vessel has one or more two cycle outboards spewing exhaust upwind of the towed snorkel diver, there will be a lot of poisonous gasses inhaled.

This incarnation of the Wavewalk design as a lobster search sea sled allows the critter gitter to control direction and speed while breathing clean air. Electric trolling motors produce no air pollution and operate for pennies a day. It is easy to fly a dive flag planted in a support hole of the W700 support bracket.

This first test run worked very well but remember to cinch up your bathing suit real snug. I nearly lost mine a couple times…


Camera: Mrs. Jarboe

electric-Wavewalk-700-kayak-for-catching-lobster

Electric Wavewalk 700 attached to the mother ship

electric-Wavewalk-700-kayak-for-catching-lobster

 

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