Alex, I think it does matter where you paddle. I have never kayaked on the ocean but I do on the Great lakes. Kayaking on the Eastern side of Georgian Bay in Ontario Canada is absolutely beautiful. You can be kayaking amongst literally hundreds of islands. From the vantage point of maybe 2 1/2 feet above the water as you sit in your kayak islands blend into eachother making it very difficult to distinguish them from one another. It now becomes very difficult to keep track of where you are and a kayaker can become easily disoriented.
Although I always have my deck compass and a gps, often enough they aren't even used because I am able to follow a shore and keep track of landmarks. There are no obstacles to create any confusion of where I am.
So basically all I am saying is I think it is a wise idea to always have a compass and know how to use it when the situation calls for it.
I mostly use topo maps too.
Life is a garden. Dig it.