Mid June 2007 in Chicago. We did a day kayaking trip on the Chicago river.
Picked up the tandem kayak from Chicago River Canoe & Kayak at 10 am. We had called ahead to book it earlier in the the week and that was probably a good idea. They seems to run out of them pretty quickly on a nice summer day.
Paddled up steam along the so called North Shore Canal. The water isn't exactly pristine and a great number of signs along the banks remind you not to swim, not that I understand how you could come up the idea to in the first place.
Despite the grubby water there's a surprising range of wild life along the river. We saw several deers grazing along the river edge, complete un-afraid of humans so we could glide past just a few yards from them.
Other things we saw were turtles, very large fish (carp or catfish?), colorful fish that looked like ornamental goldfish and birds.
After a lazy hours paddling we reached Wilmette. Checked the rather spectacular Bahá'í Temple and walked down the beach at Gilson Park to grab a simple lunch in the beach cafe there.
They have a good range of different catamarans for rent at the beach. I'll have to go back there and try that out on a windy day for sure.
The whole tour took us about 5 hours at a rather leisurely pace.