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A sea kayak tour is a guided trip via sea kayak over a certain stretch of sea. The tour is guided by a professional sea kayak tour guide with first aid and safety training as well as extensive knowledge in safe kayaking. The guide is usually also knowledgeable about the area in which the tour will be run; he or she may have extensive knowledge about the plants and animals in the area, the history of the stretch of sea on which the tour will be conducted, and so on. Participants in the tour will either paddle their own kayaks or paddle the kayaks in pairs.
Before the sea kayak tour can take place, participants must usually participate in a safety training course. This course may run only a few minutes or a few hours, depending on the type of trip and the ability level of the paddlers. This course is taught by the sea kayak tour guide or another representative of the guide company. This period of time is also useful for introducing paddlers to one another and becoming familiar with the equipment as well as the planned route for the tour.
Many tour companies provide transportation of the paddlers and their boats to the drop-off point and from the finishing point. The company will also provide most of the necessary equipment for the trip, including sea kayaks, paddles, life vests, and sometimes even waterproof bags for storage. Paddlers will be responsible for other gear necessary for the sea kayak tour, such as warm and waterproof clothing, appropriate footwear, headwear, and eyewear, and sometimes even food for the trip. Longer trips are usually organized in such a manner that the guide company provides the food and necessary equipment to cook the food along the way.
The tour guide will navigate the trip and monitor paddlers for safety and education. The tour guide may recommend tips for more effective paddling, or he or she may give the paddlers information on the surrounding flora and fauna. The guide is usually quite knowledgeable, and he or she is usually quite willing to socialize with the paddlers. The guide often works for tips as well as a base salary or hourly wage, so paddlers are encouraged to tip if they enjoy the trip. Multi-day tours may require the presence of more than one guide for safety and support throughout the trip.