“Do you still kayak if it’s raining?” It’s a question we get asked all the time at Black River Outdoors. The answer is complicated… Sometimes we don’t have a choice in the matter. While the weatherman is pretty good here, he’s not perfect, and I can tell you several stories of tours that ended in torrential storms that were not on the radar when we started. The term “Paddle Faster” is not just for banjo music, it also applies to freak thunderstorms!
If we know there are thunderstorms headed our way, we don’t paddle. Paddling in a thunderstorm is a generally bad idea. Being in a little boat on the water with a big paddle pointing up in the air is not the ideal way to experience the awesome power of Mother Nature!
If it’s just going to rain, with no lightning, then we have some options. I personally love kayaking in the rain (in warm weather), and the heavier the rain the better! It’s nice and cool, and when you watch rain hit the water from a kayak, you can see each individual raindrop almost bounce off the water when it first hits, and the whole river appears to be dancing. It also seems to bring out the wildlife. Fish start jumping, frogs start calling, and even the birds sometime come out to enjoy a nice cool shower. If our guests are up for an adventure and don’t mind getting wet, we are happy to paddle in the rain. Of course, if you don’t want to paddle in the rain, we understand and will happily reschedule your tour for a drier day or give a refund if the timing doesn’t work out.
Raindrops on the Waccamaw
One of the perils of being an Ecotour company is we are very much at the mercy of the weather gods, and some days are just not meant for kayaking. The good news is that for visitors to the Myrtle Beach area, there are many drier options to explore on a rainy day. Myrtle Beach is home to Ripley’s Aquarium, or if you are up for a drive, you can head down to Charleston to visit the Charleston Aquarium and their new Sea Turtle Hospital. There are also places like Wonder Works, which has tons of really cool experiences under a dry roof. It may sound odd, but if it is too rainy for kayaking, but there are no thunderstorms forecast, you might consider visiting Brookgreen Gardens for the day. It is easier to carry an umbrella while walking at Brookgreen than while paddling a kayak. One of my favorite visits to the Gardens was during a huge rain storm. We had the entire place to ourselves and didn’t see a single person for several hours!