Tommy Kaestner of Montauk has surfed massive waves in Australia and led eco tours and guided spearfishing expeditions in the Virgin Islands, so a kayak touring business in his hometown seemed the logical next step.
He started his business, TomahawK Tours, earlier this summer with a fleet of four ocean kayaks. But don’t let the name of the company put you off, as the kayaks are suitable for any body of water, including Lake Montauk, Fort Pond Bay, Napeague Harbor, or Mr. Kaestner’s traditional route, which starts at the beach at Gosman’s restaurant and goes around to Culloden Point, past Navy Beach, and over to Rocky Point on Fort Pond Bay.
The tours cost $75 per adult and $45 for children and run about three hours. “I like to take it nice and slow,” said the young man, who wanted also to incorporate a hike through the woods on the tour but found that there are too many ticks this year.
During a touring session, which can be arranged for any time and anywhere a boat can float, Mr. Kaestner, who’s lived in the hamlet since he was a sixth grader, gives a lecture on the history of the area. He uses vintage photographs to illustrate how much things have changed over the years. He points out various species of birds, including cliff swallows that nest in the holes you often see in the cliffs of Montauk, and identifies other wildlife and trees for his customers.
“I try to do a little pictorial,” he said, as Brandy, his dog, chomped on a Frisbee in his hands.
Certified as a New York State-licensed guide and ocean lifeguard, Mr. Kaestner spends three days a week lifeguarding on the ocean beach at Gurney’s Inn. The rest of his time is spent surfing. “I’m a water man,” he said, face white with sunscreen.
He will take the kayaks out on the ocean if it is a flat day. He said a tour from Ditch Plain Beach past the Warhol estate, the Montauk Lighthouse, and various nature preserves would be “awesome.”
He offers a number of different launch spots and, weather permitting, customers can choose the site they would like to tour. Since he gives a brief lesson before launching, the tours are suitable for young children and adults of all sizes and experience, he said. For a reservation he can be reached at TomahawKtours@hotmail.com.