Wow! Very interesting that there are so many solo kayakers! I love to read the accounts of solo paddlers. Guess I am fortunate that my husband & I love to do the same things. He is not only a great dive buddy, but a great paddle buddy. However we both understand the need for space. Even when we kayak together, we may split when one of us goes to check out something of interest and the other keeps on course, but we keep an eye on each other.
We're both intersted in traveling for longer period of time by boat. From what I'm reading here and elsewhere, all this advise works for paddling with a partner as well as solo.
Do agree about yackity people...we tend to go with a more quiet crowd on the water or get way ahead (or behind) when the chatter starts. Communication is great, but there is something almost reverent about paddling silently and absorbing everything around you. We believe that paddling is a "sense"-ual experience.