Biobay: kayak or pontoon boat?

Jan 9th, 2008, 04:52 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 46
Biobay: kayak or pontoon boat?

Hi, I have read everything I can find about Vieques and the biobay-- lots of helpful stuff out there. But I have a few questions I hope someone can help with to help decide whether to take kayak or pontoon boat tour.

1. How difficult is it to get back in kayaks? My spouse has a hip injury that could be a problem. Plus we have 2 kids, 8 and 10.

2. Are mosquitos less intense on higher up, faster pontoon boat?

3. Can you bring towels or dry clothes on pontoon boat? Sounds like on kayak you can have nothing with you, and I've read it can get cold on way back. (going in April)

4. Does the pontoon boat tend to be crowded? How many kayaks tend to go together?

I've heard of Abe's and Blue Caribe for kayaks and Island Adventures for pontoon. Almost all reports seem very positive. Any advice or additional info would be appreciated! Thanks!
needavacation is offline  
Jan 10th, 2008, 04:29 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 111
Hi. We did Vieques and the bio bay in November and it was fabulous (we have two kids, 4 and 7). We did the electric pontoon boat with Island Adventures.

1 - assuming your spouse has mobility and is comfortable sitting down for a long period, you'd probably be fine with the kayak. Your younger child might get tired though. It's a (very) bumpy ride on a school bus to the put-in point (for either the kayaks or the pontoon).

2 - we experienced zero, not one, mosquito on the pontoon boat. You don't go dramatically *fast*, but it's an enjoyable ride and the employees are very helpful and kind (especially to the kids! they talked with my 7 yr old for quite some time!)

3 - Yes to towels and dry clothes on the pontoon. Don't bring a lot (and don't leave anything of value on the bus while you do the tour) but we brought towels and dry cover-ups (there are no changing facilities out at the put-in point.) You might want to bring a small snack (granola bar, bag of chips) and a bottled water. My kids needed a little something after swimming.

4 - Our boat was crowded, but not overly so (if that makes sense). There is a seat for everyone and once you get in the water, you can swim away to your own little quiet zone. My son (7) and I swam off and it was a once-in-a-lifetime feeling, imo. Everyone wears a flotation belt (kids wears life jackets, of course).

5 - We didn't do the kayaks so my information on those is limited. We did see them and it looked well organized. Each kayak group looked to have 6-10 in the group. It is *dark* on the water and I would have been wary to get my kids out on there and keep them with me, and still have an enjoyable experience (for us personally). I did not see double kayaks, so your kids will kayak alone.

Good luck and have fun! It is amazing!
travelhappyfamily is offline  
Jan 13th, 2008, 06:36 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 3,064
I was amazed at how easy it was to get back in the kayak, and we'd paddled and swam and played on the beach all day, so we were kind of tired.

We had a dry bag with us (we have one and there was a group bag), but we just air dried- and I don't remember freezing. We were there in February. And I don't think I got any mosquito bites there- got a few in the hotel though!

I would strongly suggest against the all day trip with Abe's if you don't love kayaking- I never want to see the inside of another mangrove channel from a kayak again!! It was at least 50% kayak, and the meal on the beach was take out. It was a good time, just not really what we expected.
cocontom is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 03:13 PM
  #4  
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Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 46
Thanks for the tips. Sounds like we can manage the kayaks, but kids might like boat. Impossible to figure this stuff out without hearing from people who have been there!
needavacation is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 03:40 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 111
Ha! I feel that way about all my trips - the "figuring it all out" is a challenge. So worth it, but still a (fun) challenge. =)

Enjoy your trip!
travelhappyfamily is offline  
Jan 14th, 2008, 04:40 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,870
I've only done the pontoon boat, which I loved and would recommend to anybody. We opted not to do the kayak tour for several reasons, including not really being interested in spending that much time in the mangroves and our shoulder discomfort after a few minutes' worth of paddling.

I don't remember mosquitos being a nuisance during the bus ride or the pontoon part, but I wish I had brought mosquito repellent to wear afterwards because we stopped for dessert afterwards at an open air restaurant and got some bites then. In case you weren't aware yet, you're not allowed to wear insect repellent with DEET in it in the bio bay because it's so harmful.

We had plenty of room for towels on the boat. We had maybe 20 people on the pontoon with us, not including the two crew members. We didn't find it crowded at all, especially not once we were in the water.
ejcrowe is offline  
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