A 50% discount with Groupon for a seven-hour Kayaking Tour at Penguin and Seal Islands which includes morning tea and picnic lunch persuaded me to go kayaking. I had not done kayaking before and was excited to try it. The $85 price for a one day wild life adventure valued at $169 with a company called Capricorn Seakayaking seemed to be a very good deal.
And indeed, it was. The guides were very friendly and helpful. There was a pick-up service from Fremantle (next to Pioneer Reserve in the corner of Market street opposite the train station) at 7:30am to go to Mercy Point, Shoalwater.
Arriving at Shoalwater, all kayakers helped to unload the double sea kayaks with traditional sit-inside from the trailer. After which, our guides helped with the fitting of sun shirts and snorkelling gears, and demonstration of life jackets. Hats with clips were provided, as well as water-proof bags to put in valuables.
A kayaker wearing provided sun shirt, hat and life jacket
Our guides gave a brief introductory kayak lesson and basic safety instructions. Then off we went kayaking. With no experience at all, I found the kayak lessons very helpful. It was uncomfortable paddling in the beginning but it became second nature after a while. Capricorn Seakayaking accepts non-swimmers and children from the age of eight.
As we kayaked along the Seal Island, an Australian sea lion swam right in front of our kayak. Although a spectacular sight, a rather big creature weighing about 300kg that could bite (as we were informed), was not something I would like to closely bump into. At least not when I was just learning to kayak, and stopping was not as easy as stepping on a break of a car. I was worried at some point that we would collide with the sea lion. Luckily, the sea lion can swim faster than we can kayak.
Our kayaks parked along the beach sand of Penguin Island
We continued to paddle across Penguin Island where we got off to see the Penguin Feeding Show before enjoying our morning tea. We then strolled around the island and stopped to snorkel across the limestone reef.
Little Penguins or Fairy Penguins at the Feeding Show
It was almost the end of the tour. We kayaked back to where we started from and packed up. We were back at Fremantle about 3:00pm. It was a day well spent. The experience was not only of kayaking, but of nature and of wild life encounters. I enjoyed it so much that I am now looking forward to the next kayaking expedition.