I’ve had the kayak out a number of times now and am dialing in my photography setup. I found that splaying the tripod across the top of the cockpit is much better than having the legs inside. This way, I have more room for my own legs and cargo and I can slide in nice and close to the camera. I added some hooks to the inside so that I can keep the tripod nice and secure given the weight and expense of the photo gear. I can control the kayak and casually paddle while facing the camera with ease. I just lay the paddle across my legs while shooting which works well. If I have a long distance to cover and don’t want to take the setup down, I’ll turn the other way to avoid striking the tripod while paddling more aggressively.
Things are working out well! I’ve got some great photos of herons and pelicans already – much better than the past years of trying to get close by foot.