This adventurous California couple travels and kayaks all over the world. Read Bob and Ellen Domb’s chronicle of their kayaking experiences along the Costa Brava, Spain, in their twin Sea Eagle® FastTracks™.
“My wife and I have gone kayaking in oceans and lakes for some years. We rented hard-shell kayaks while traveling in Europe, China, and South America. Renting is a VERY mixed bag proposition!
It’s hard to tell what you’re going to end up with when you rent a kayak, particularly when it comes to good back support for extended trips. Some places we’ve been had no rental capabilities. And rental costs mount up quickly if you rent by the day.
We finally threw up our hands and decided to buy our own inflatable kayaks and pack them along when we travel. We began a few months of research and kept coming back to Sea Eagle® inflatable boats. My wife and I were considering Sea Eagle’s sleekest, fastest models like the RazorLite™. However, in discussions with advisers at Sea Eagle®, we decided to get two of the potentially more stable 385ft FastTrack™ for the kind of boating we do.
They ocean-tested them and decided, “We’re keeping them!”
I appreciated the 180-day trial period, so as soon as they arrived, we got them into our local lakes and then down in the Pacific for some good testing. I was really impressed at performance in the heavy surf around some sea pillars south of Corona del Mar, California, for instance. The inflatable Sea Eagle® FastTrack™ is embarrassingly better than our hard shell models. We emailed Sea Eagle® and let them know it was pretty unlikely they were going to get their boats back!
Sea kayaking in Spain
Off we went to Europe with each ‘yak’ (our slang for ‘kayak’) packed in its own suitcase. The breakdown paddles went into an elongated sports bag along with the tiny pump-up motor. This little electric pump connected just fine to the battery terminals of our rental car. We didn’t put our ‘yaks’ back into the suitcases until ready to fly home. After each use, we just opened the fill valves and let them self-deflate. Then we folded them loosely and tossed them in the trunk of our car. No sweat.
Once in Spain, we kayaked out of Garraf one morning then drove up to Sant Feliu de Guixols, one of the world’s beauteous places. There was a rough cove right at the base of the hotel, but the 385ft FastTrack™ did just fine with the heavy surf, surge, and rocky approach. From Garraf harbor, we went north along the cliffs.
We kayaked 18 miles up and down Spain’s beautiful Costa Brava region. There were a few challenging whitewater spots plus lots of caves, caverns, cracks and crevices. We noted a pillbox built into the cliff, a WWII remnant.
Bill’s local travel & boating tips
North from Sant Feliu de Guixols to Palamos, then up the coast you’ll see some of the most untouched and remote areas of the Costa Brava. Good caves and archways. Castle ruins, too. Our Sea Eagles® negotiated numerous deep caves with no problem.
Unquestionably, this area is ‘kayak heaven’ with tons of caves to explore. Some are hundreds of feet long to the point that you’ll really want a light. We paddled another twenty-some miles up the coast from Llafranc. Originally, we tried to start from Tamariu, but couldn’t get to the beach area there. Then had to negotiate a rat’s warren of micro streets to get out of the tiny town. Parking’s always a challenge along the Costa Brava! Prepare to pay, but, if you scout around, can sometimes find some free zones.
We took a nice trip out to the islands off of Estartit, almost in France. You can find calm as well as more challenging areas just a mile or two offshore.
Our Sea Eagle® FastTracks™ performed with complete reliability!”
— Bill and Ellen Domb, Sea Eagle® FastTrack™ owners, Upland, CA, USA
‘So pleased to read that your FastTrack functioned so well in heavy surf, surge, and rocky approach.. I have found the same, but have been a little hesitant in the coastal environment because I had not read about such usage.