John Gray's Seacanoe February 2016 Newletter

John Gray's Seacanoe

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Sotar Kayak - The Sea Explorer

SOTAR KAYAK

THE SEA EXPLORER

I built my first kayaks from plywood in my family garage in California.  Those first kayaks were great fun, but certainly did not have the technology of our custom made “Sea Explorer” kayaks – made by the World’s premier white water raft manufacturing company – SOTAR – in Grant’s Pass, Oregon, the heart of white water rafting.

When you see a SOTAR it may look like any other inflatable boat – but take a closer look.  There are no seams – the “fabric” is electro-welded together.  There is no glue anywhere.  This includes not only the 11’ inch tubes – which provide extreme stability – but the floors and spray skirts on both and stern.  To complete this beefy sea caving machine, the spray skirts have hand-holds for pulling these inflatable kayaks onto the support boat or hauling the kayaks across sand beaches.

We are now on kayak number 64 and most of the boats are still in service. When I did a cost/benefit analysis it was obvious that we save big money over renting kayaks or buying cheaper models from the general marketplace. Repairs are rare.

We never capsize.  It’s virtually impossible to capsize a Sea Explorer. Lead guide “Sonnie” invented the Kayak obstacle course race during paddle breaks where he flips the SOTAR’s over, ties them in a row of six, and the guides and guests see how far they can run before falling into the sea.  With all this abuse, not one SOTAR has ever received any damage!

I paddle an Ocean Kayak and in the Hongs I sometimes get stuck in the mud on low tides, but the SOTARs are still free to navigate even with the guide and two guests in the boat.  On high tide, guests can lie down flat with their feet under the spray skirt as I tell them “Turn your head sideways – it’s cheaper to repair an ear than a nose” as I have to bail out of my hard-shell and swim under the rocks.

When traveling on trips to places like Tarutao National Park we just fold up the SOTARS and they become the size of a suitcase – which also makes them great for loading on airplanes.

The Sea Explorers are also great camera platforms. Guests obviously want to take photos in the Hongs (tidal lagoons) and caves, and they can be comfortable while taking photos knowing their cameras won’t go swimming.  The Sea Explorers are so stable because the deeper the tube goes into the water the more stable it becomes – making our sea cave traverses safe without dramas.

Thanks to SOTAR’s factory installed signage we have customized branding all over the SOTAR kayaks – that never comes off.

If you are interested in buying a Sea Explorer, forget it!  SOTAR has the integrity NOT to see a Sea Explorer to anybody except John Gray SeaCanoe.  However they do have other models of their own for the general market.

If you are interested in an inflatable kayak I highly recommend you to the SOTAR website at http://sotar.com/

Hong by Starlight

Hong by Starlight
Lunch & Dinner : Round Trip Transfers

Enjoy an afternoon of sea cave exploring literally inside Phang Nga Bay’s marine geology, - including the caves and hidden lagoons John Gray found in 1989. Great nature and wildlife surrounds you...

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Day in The Islands

Day in The Islands
Phuket Private Charter Day Trip

We added this second day trip of self-paddle kayaking for satisfied caves/hongs customers who want more, and for claustrophobics.Throw some kayaks on the cabin and "pai teau"...

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Expedition-Express

Expedition-Express
Phang-Nga Bay : 2Days/1Night

A Week-End Getaway for regional adventurers, an overnight transfer to Krabi, or a night out of crazy Patong, the Expedition Express packs your brain with a minimum Twenty-Eight Hours of Top Quality...

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Mini-Expedition

Mini-Expedition
Phang-Nga Bay : 3Days/2Nights

Combine our Khao Sok Mini-Expedition with our famous Phang Nga Sea Kayaking Mini-Expedition for an excellent week of Thai mountain and sea adventure. Combine Khao Sok with our 7-Day...

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Khao Sok Ntional Park

Khao Sok National Park
Khao Sok Ntional Park : 4Days/3Nights

Khao Sok is Thailand’s largest lake, artificially made by a hydro-electric dam. We depart from the dam by longtail boat and never see any trace of civilization until we return...

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South Thailand Adventure

South Thailand Adventure
Phang-Nga Bay - Tarutao : 7Days/6Nights

Spend 3 days exploring Phang Nga Bay, overnight near the Peninsula's summit at a waterfall/wildlife sanctuary with a mountain cave and jungle stream, then finish with 3 nights and days at Tarutao in the Far South...

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