Kathy Crago and her boyfriend, Rich Elack, are hooked on Sea Eagle kayaking. Kathy, a Sea Eagle 370 owner, sent such a nice note (below) that we just couldn’t help ourselves — we had to call her to hear more about her Sea Eagle boating experiences. And Kathy had plenty to tell.
Dear Sea Eagle,
I never imagined our Sea Eagle 370 could provide us with so many great experiences we’d have otherwise missed! It’s the best investment in FUN that I have ever made. What a great avenue for some incredible on-the- water entertainment!
When a Florida vacation opportunity came up, the first thing we packed was our Sea Eagle 370! I had never swum in an ocean, let alone kayaked in one. We kayaked along the white sand shores of Sanibel Island, just south of Fort Myers, Florida, and in San Carlos Bay and its canals that lead to the Gulf of Mexico.
Our Sea Eagle 370 enabled us to experience the best self-guided tour we could’ve ever imagined. A pair of curious dolphins popped up just 10 feet from our Sea Eagle. What a treat, as this Wisconsin girl had never seen dolphins in the wild before! We paddled hard and fast trying to follow their lead through the beautiful blue-green waters. Once we entered San Carlos Bay, flying fish started shooting out of the water into the air, almost landing directly in the Sea Eagle!
I was truly amazed at the number of nesting pairs of sea hawks, pelicans, and other ocean birds we were able to see up-close and personal, all because our Sea Eagle kayak moves so quietly and easily through the water. I am so hooked on Sea Eagle kayaking!
Kathy Crago, West Bend, WI
Kathy’s note describes their recent Florida boating adventures, but summers find them boating in their local Wisconsin waters. Among their favorite spots are lakes in is Kettle Moraine State Forest.
They have a number of nearby lakes to choose from including Little Cedar Lake and Big Cedar Lake. Cedar Creek connects them and flows through historic downtown Cedarburg, Wisconsin. These northern waters teem with smallmouth bass, northern pike, bluegills, rock bass, sunfish, carp, and more.
Summer evenings & weekends on the water
Kathy’s a medical social worker in her local hospital; Rich works in sales
and building materials. “After work or on the weekends in the summer,” said Kathy, “we just load up our Sea Eagle 370 and go.” Kathy’s nine-year old grandson, Vincent, is a frequent companion on their boating adventures.
“We explore every channel, outlet, and everything in between,” Kathy told us. “We found a beautiful sandy beach on Little Cedar Lake.” Kathy and Rich tie up the Sea Eagle and just float in the sun for hours on end. “It’s not unusual to have eight or 10 boats parked there,” says Rich. “We’re the only Sea Eagle and we always get a lot of questions.”
“We always had boats”
Why do Rich and Kathy love boating? “We both love the outdoors,” Rich explained. “We do hiking and biking, cross-country skiing, and some downhill.” Kathy grew up boating. Her family had a summer cottage on a northern Wisconsin lake. “We always had boats,” she told us.
And why Sea Eagle? “In just 10 minuts max we’re on the water,” says Rich. “It’s easy to transport and easy to use.” Kathy explained further. “We see people loading up hard hull kayaks on roof racks or trailers. Rich and I can load and unload so much easier.” Rich takes the Sea Eagle to the launch spot and pumps it up with their battery-operated pump. “While I’m doing that,” Rich says, “Kathy blows up the premium seats with the foot pump and gathers gear including the soft cooler we have for drinks and food.”
Then there’s the toughness factor — darned important in rocky Wisconsin waters. “The number of rocks we went over, that bottom should be ripped up,” says Rich, “but we never got a hole in it. It looks brand new. Anything else would have gotten torn up like crazy.”
Quiet nature moments
Just 40 miles from Milwaukee, the West Bend area is well populated. But there’s plenty of nature around, and kayaking gives boaters a unique opportunity to enjoy it. “We were kayaking down the Milwaukee River and we looked up and saw a family of owls – a mother and three fuzzy babies,” says Kathy. “We’d never have seen that if we weren’t on the water.”
On that same trip, “A great blue heron flew ahead of us, leading us on an adventure. She’d land and we’d catch up, then she’d take off again. Hours later, she was still flying ahead of us. She was like our scout!”
Fun way to socialize
You read a lot about online social networking these days, but Sea Eagle boating can be a “social network” of the old fashioned kind. Six or eight of Kathy’s friends own Sea Eagles, and all of them have gone boating and picnicking together. “It’s a fun thing to do with other couples,” says Kathy. “You can go as a group and explore, it’s a fun way to socialize.”
“Next summer, we’d like to get together with friends to do the Wisconsin River,” Rich told us. “It’s probably 125 miles from Sauk Prairie, 45 miles west of Madison, Wisconsin to the Mississippi River.” Rich estimates it’s probably a two or three day trek with tent camping along the way.
She took her friends’ advice. Now she passes it on
Kathy’s friends bought their Sea Eagles first. They did a lot of research on boats so Kathy didn’t have to. When she got interested they advised, “Don’t bother looking any farther than Sea Eagle.’”
Today, Kathy and Rich pass along the same message. When they get curious looks and questions, which they often do, “We tell people if you’re serious about kayaking, Sea Eagle is the way to go. We send them to the Sea Eagle website where they’ll see how easy they are to transport and use, easy to inflate and deflate in just a few minutes. “We’ve probably sold a dozen Sea Eagles!”
“We steer friends toward the Sea Eagle 370 instead of the two-person 330,” says Rich. “You can get three people and a lot of gear in the 370. If you’re going to buy one, you might as well get a big one, one that you can use for a variety of things.” Rich also advises, “Get the premium seats. They’re comfortable, and they’re good as flotation devices when you’re just lounging around in the water.”
Sweet summer afternoons on the water, in the sun, enjoying nature and good friends. Does it get any better than that?
— Do YOU have Sea Eagle photos & stories to share? E-mail us!
Kathy & Rick-
I like your post and story on the SeaEagle blog. What a nice way to get “back to nature” and enjoy the wildlife & great outdoors with family and friends. Have fun out there.
I love your comments and feel the same way about my Sea Eagle 385FT. I’m thinking about also buying a 330 for my great-nephews, and for me to use in some tight class II and class III water nearby. Where I paddle here in Tennessee, there can be sticks and limbs just under the surface of the water, and rocks where I pull up on the edges of woods. Will the 330 be okay for those kinds of “hazards”? I think it will, but I need reassurance before purchasing. Thanks! Happy paddling!
GREAT TO HEAR THE FOLKS ARE ENJOYING THE SEA EAGLE 370 – I BOUGHT
A SEA EAGLE 370 DELUX FROM YOU AND IT IS GREAT – BY THE WAY CAN I FIT A ELECTRIC TROLL OUTBOARD – IF YES PLEASE ADVISE IF YOU HAVE THE BRACKETS – REGARDS ANTON
We too love our Sea Eagle 370. The only thing sometimes we have trouble steering it straight. Do you by chance put the heaviest person in the front?
It’s nice to read about real life adventures about real people using the Sea Eagle inflatables, and their real paddling and kayaking experiences.
Through the years we have had everything from fiberglass to metal boats and had never given an inflatable serious thought as always thought nit would be like riding in a ballon on the water and if any wind you’d be blown around and have a hard time paddling and tracking straight, and if you came close to a rock or obstacle in the water you’d punch a hole in the hull and sink, but the Sea Eagles seem very resistant to these things. My only concern is that as a inflatable they sit on top the water and don’t have enough hull underwater to prevent been blown around like a ballon with the wind and you’d fight tracking with every stroke, so anyone out there that’s experienced padding any Sea Eagle under windy conditions please write me with your experiences, as we are looking at hard shell kayaks as well but like the smaller package for our motor home travels and packability.
We just bought a 2 man kayak from you but realize we would not be able to utilize it. We did not open the box. Can we return this by Fed Ex and will it be our cost? D. Knudsen
I purchased 2 Sea Eagle 330’s about a month ago to use while on vacation in Tampa, FL. I’ve never owned a boat before, and I love these boats!!!! I’ve used them 2 times near my home in Columbus, OH in an 8 mile long reservoir and my kids and I have had a blast! I cannot wait to get them out at the beach near Tampa and paddle along the beach on the Gulf! More to come!
hello, i have the sea fast track 385, i was kayaking on what i thought to be a very windy day. it almost felt like i wasn’t moving at all. as i looked to the shoreline; i was moving maybe not as fast as i wished . this had been only my second time out in the boat. the wind was blowing in the 10-12 mph range that day. as it turned out it took 1/2 hour longer to get back against the wind.it also the first time kayaking with white caps and being 59ys old i was kind of nervous but the boat didn’t give me any doubt of flipping. very stable and i would recommend this boat to anyone looking to explore the rivers and lakes. i carry my kayak in the trunk of my honda just in case i happen by a lake/river. i hope you get one and enjoy it as much as i.i just love being on the water.