By RACHEL BRANT
Central Kitsap Reporter Staff writer
July 16, 2009 · Updated 4:29 PM
Olympic Outdoor Center offers kayak rentals, classes and tours in Seabeck.
Barbara MacAusland is happy to see people paddling around Seabeck waters in neon kayaks.
“It just seems to be making up a little bit for the marine activities that should be going on out here,” she said.
MacAusland, co-owner of Uptown Seabeck, said people have been asking for kayaking opportunities since she opened the waterfront business seven years ago and with plans for a new marina delayed, boating activities around Seabeck have been down.
“This is just an amazing location,” she said.
In the spring, MacAusland invited Olympic Outdoor Center owner John Kuntz to see what Seabeck had to offer. Kuntz liked what he saw and rented a space from Uptown Seabeck to offer kayak rentals, which have been available since June.
Kuntz said he never thought about offering kayak rentals in Seabeck, but he is glad MacAusland approached him with the idea because business is doing well.
Kuntz said kayak rentals were hopping Fourth of July weekend and people seem to like the opportunity to paddle the waters of Seabeck without having to own their own vessels.
“The people of Seabeck have been good to us,” he said. “They’ve really gone out of their way to help us.”
Olympic Outdoor Center has single- and double-person kayaks for rent and offers kayaking classes and tours.
“There’s some pretty neat places they can paddle to,” Kuntz said. “Their chance to see wildlife is pretty high.”
Kuntz said harbor seals, bald eagles and clear views of the Olympic Mountains are just a few things people will see while paddling through the Hood Canal waters.
The introductory kayaking class and tour is the first Saturday of each month. Sunset tours are offered Tuesday and Saturday evenings.
While the kayak rentals are a start, MacAusland said hopefully canoes, sailboats and other vessels will take to Seabeck waters in the future.
“I would like to see even more availability of the water activities here,” she said. “We’ll see what happens.”