For those who have longed to explore the Nisqually Delta and nearby islands by kayak, a new business will get you on the water and paddling through the pristine waters.

Kayak Nisqually: Puget Sound Adventures, just opened and is providing sea kayak tours for the South Puget Sound.  

Tours range from three-hour sunset and bioluminescent algae plankton tours, to six-hour day tours crossing the Nisqually Delta and across to South Sound islands, to two- and three-day all inclusive tours camping at different locations throughout the Puget Sound.

“The Nisqually Reach is a fantastic location for a naturalist eco-tourism company,” founder Sam Kaviar said. “The Nisqually Reach has gorgeous views of Mount Rainier and the Olympic mountains from the water, it is teeming with unusual birdlife, and thanks to the hard work of so many dedicated neighbors and community members is undergoing a historic recovery of porpoises and whales visiting the area. The land and waters here also offer a fascinating look back into history.”

Kayak Nisqually is an eco-tourism company based in the south Puget Sound owned and operated by Kaviar and associates. 

“We are committed to bringing you the finest service in premier wildlife watching, sea kayaking safety, and knowledgeable interpretation from highly trained biologist guides,” Kaviar said.

“Sam is the absolute best,” wrote educator Clair Purtell to Kaviar. “My three girlfriends and I went on a daylong tour with him at San Juan Islands last summer. We were on a Pacific Northwest tour and that was by far our favorite part of the entire trip. Sam is so knowledgeable, relaxed and fun. We felt safe and secure with his help. I actually contacted Sam recently, hoping to schedule another trip with friends and family. I can’t wait to get back on the water.”

Kaviar is a dedicated biologist and sea kayaker of the Pacific Northwest. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, studying the diversity of wildlife in Washington state. Kaviar worked for the United States Geological Survey as a researcher of the Nisqually Delta and Nisqually River where he carried out research from his custom-built kayak.

Kaviar trained as an expedition sea kayak guide in the rugged waters of the San Juan Islands under the tutelage of the esteemed sea kayaking eco-tourism company in the San Juans, Sea Quest Expeditions, where he guided for four seasons before spending a year as a Fulbright Scholar, studying endangered endemic three-toed pygmy sloths.

If You Want to Go:

From the North

Take Interstate 5 south to exit 114. Continue until you see a gas station on your right and take a right onto Meridian Road Northeast. In 0.5 miles you will come to a traffic circle and take the first exit staying on Meridian Road. In 2.1 miles take a right on 46th Avenue, then in 0.2 miles take a left onto D Milluhr Drive Northeast (there a sign indicating a public boat launch), then proceed straight for another 0.5 miles until you arrive at the Luhr Beach parking area.

From the South

Take Interstate 5 north to exit 111 and keep right at the fork towards Galaxy Way Northeast. Take a left on Martin Way for 1.4 miles until you see a gas station on your left and take a left onto Meridian Road NE. In 0.5 miles you will come to a traffic circle and take the first exit staying on Meridian Road. In 2.1 miles take a right on 46th Avenue, then in 0.2 miles you will take a left onto D Milluhr Drive Northeast (there a sign indicating a public boat launch), then proceed straight for another 0.5 until you arrive at the Luhr Beach parking area.

The Tours

Bioluminescent Kayak Tour

Paddle in the sunset and watch as bioluminescent diatoms light up your strokes, and hear the sounds of the delta at night, and donate to a great cause.

One-hundred percent of proceeds will be donated to the Nisqually Reach Nature Center. Participants must bring a headlamp, and shoes that can get wet; all other safety gear will be provided by Kayak Nisqually.

This is limited to the first 10 people to confirm for each day. Please email adventure@kayaknisqually.com to confirm.

Cost is a $40 suggested donation, with cash or check made out to Nisqually Reach Nature Center.

The tour is 7:30-10 p.m. daily. 

Day Tour

Day tour the South Puget Sound known as the Nisqually Reach by kayak. Learn about the largest salt marsh restoration project on the West Coast. Enjoy world-renowned bird watching, ample seals and sea lions with pups, teeming salmon runs and the possibility of whale encounters from orcas and porpoises to gray whales and humpbacks.

The tour starts 11 a.m. daily. Cost is $69.

Two-Day Camping Trip

The two-day camping trip by kayak will provide adventure, connecting with wildlife and learning how communities have come together to protect this watershed and Puget Sound. The group will camp in a pocket estuary on a south Puget Sound island. Enjoy an evening under the stars with delicious dinner and breakfast all while being regaled by your biologist kayak guide.

The tour starts 11 a.m. daily. Cost is $199.

Three-Day Camping Trip

The three-day camping trip circumnavigates Anderson Island and the McNeil Island Correction Center island. Land on exposed shoals, ride currents, learn about marine biology and the history of the Puget Sound basin from an expert biologist and kayak guide.

The tour starts 11 a.m. daily. Cost is $299.

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