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Kayaking exercises the body, relaxes the mind

Some kayakers are in it for sport

others say it's about fun or serenity

Health & Fitness

September 28, 2003|By Martha Thomas | Martha Thomas,Special to the Sun

When Gjerde gets out on the water, it's generally a relaxing break from his two restaurants (Spike & Charlie's and Joy America Cafe).

Paddling around the Inner Harbor, he said, "gives you an amazing perspective on the city." He recalls one evening in late summer. The lights were on at Camden Yards; the barges docked beside the Domino Sugars plant loomed above him. Gliding up to pilings near the Tide Point office complex, he saw egrets perched on each wooden post thrusting out of the harbor. The birds took off, flapping their wings above the smooth water. This, Gjerde pointed out, is not an experience you would have at the gym.

Pick up the phone and start paddling

Ultimate Watersports, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Hammerman Area. Offers Summer-Camp Programs for Kids, Events for Corporate Groups, Tours and Classes in Kayaking at All Levels, as Well as Kayak Rentals. Kayak Storage Is Also Available. for More Information, Call 410-335-5352 or See Www.Ultimate Watersports.Com.

Chesapeake Paddlers Association. The group has 450 paddlers, most of whom own their own boats. They meet weekly in Baltimore- and Washington-area locations. They also offer weekend trips and workshops for new paddlers. For more information, see www. cpakayaker.com.

Canton Kayak Club. The group has about 40 boats at four locations around Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Members, who pay $100 per year ($175 for two), are entitled to use kayaks whenever they please, April-September. For more information, see www.cantonkayakclub. com.

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