-- Last Updated: Mar-01-13 12:06 PM EST --
It is not a kayak that is appropriate for whale watching,. The fact that whales are there is incidental.
It is a kayak that is needed to safely paddle the area you are going to be at.
Rec boats are good for protected, calm water where you don't get far from shore (should a rec boat flip, it is often impossible to get back in while on the water, so you need to swim to shore). Are these the conditions where these whales are at?
Quite possibly not. Whales generally like deep water, and open water (where wind waves could form). Not very conducive to a rec boat.
But, it sounds like you may be taking part in a guided tour? If so, you should go by what the tour company says. If they say you can bring your own boat, then you should be good to go. If they strongly suggest or require that you rent a boat, then rent you should.
Note - the skirt likely would not do anything for your boat, beyond keep some spray out. Should you get waves over the combing, that skirt will pop off and you will take on water.
On jacket, if you are talking paddle jacket - definitely get whether you do this trip or not. Having appropriate clothing to paddle is always a good investment. Appropriate means clothing that will keep you comfortable when paddling, and alive should you flip over and/or get soaked, so it needs to be able to handle both air temps and water temps.
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