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Clocked Out: It's hot kayak summer (with beer)

Did you know you can explore the Naples canals by kayak for $14? After, a metal head's burger joint awaits on the sand.

Clocked Out: It's hot kayak summer (with beer)
Can anyone tell me why this bridge in Naples has been named The Treat Fairy Bridge? Photo by Kat Schuster.

This past weekend marked the first weekend of summer, for me anyway. After a long week of lamenting and cursing a dramatic change in weather, I woke up Saturday morning and decided it was time to embrace the sunshine (and the swelter).

You folks reading this who have air conditioning may not understand this hatred of the heat as well as those who endure it raw. Nonetheless, this itinerary is for everyone.

My friend Amanda and I have decided it's activity girl summer or tenniscore summer, nerd girl summer ...or whatever. Naturally, we started taking tennis lessons in Naples through the city's parks and rec department a few weeks ago. We also paid a visit to a local chess club β€” more on all that next week.

Right after Saturday's practice around 1 p.m., we traded our tennies for sandals and headed over to Bayshore Beach (195 Bayshore Ave.) to rent a couple of kayaks.

Somehow, in my seven years of living in Long Beach, I'd never gone kayaking. I realize now that was a big mistake β€” huge. If this is you too, check it out: It's $14 per hour, per person to rent yourself a little vessel. You can pick a single kayak or a double kayak. If it's your first time, you might want to grab a friend and pick the two-seater (double) so that you can work together to paddle, but a single is more than manageable in Alamitos Bay's waveless waters.


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Kat Schuster was laid off from the Long Beach Post on March 22, yet she still authors Clocked Out and serves as editor of the Watchdog without pay. Thank her for her work.

Nervous to try it out? Don't be. As long as you can swim (unlikely you will need to) and you're prepared for some low-impact aerobic exercise, you'll be fine β€” you'll only be at risk of getting hooked on it.

You will also be supplied with a lifejacket and advised on how to paddle/steer your boat and where not to kayak in this comically 90s-coded instructional video. Oh, and do not forget to wear sunblock, zinc, a mullet hat, any hat, what have you β€” you're gonna be exposed out there.

If you want to wend through the glassy and wind-blocked waters of the Naples canals, you really only need an hour. And if you go over that hour but stay under two, they will only charge you for the first hour, plus however many minutes extra.

After setting off from Bayshore Beach, which took about 10 minutes or less, Amanda and I reached the wind-protected, glassy waters of the canal, where you can pass under Naples famed bridges and view a ton of snazzy homes belonging to well-heeled folks from a whole new perspective.

Canal-cruising. Photo by Kat Schuster.

Beneath one of those bridges, we passed by a gondolier β€” dressed the part, of course β€” as he serenaded his two passengers using the acoustics of the cement enclosure.

"Is this real life?" I asked my friend flippantly as we drifted by sort of awestruck. Anyway, you might catch a glimpse of old Venetia right here in Long Beach if you take this route.

We took a leisurely paddle through the canals and on our way back to the rental palapa but we still made it back after just perhaps a minute over one hour.

Grill 'Em All - 5411 E. Ocean Bd.

Beer selfie by yours truly.

Whether you kayaked for one hour or five, you might find that you're quite parched and/or peckish after your seafaring adventure. Luckily, you won't have to leave the sand to remedy that situation.

Did you know there's a metal-themed burger-beer joint right there on Bayshore Beach? Grill 'Em All (a nod to a Metallica song in case you didn't know), which began as a food truck, offers 11 different types of burgers from the Ozzy Osbourne with house-made chimichurri, garlic aioli, blue cheese, onion frizzle, field greens with a black bun to the Long Beach Dirtbag with house-made chili, crispy bacon, chipotle ketchup, garlic aioli and American cheese.

Folks line up to rent kayaks on the right while others eat and drink at Grill 'Em All. Photo by Kat Schuster.

If you abstain from meat like I do, any of their burgers can be made with a veggie patty.

More importantly, they've got beer β€” and lots of it. From craft beers on draft to basic domestic to more canned alcoholic goodies in the fridge, you can reward yourself and your tired arms with a cold one.

Cheers, seafarers.

Check out this link to get all the information you need on renting kayaks in Alamitos Bay. Pssst, they also offer a group rate of $8 per hour.

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