Sea kayaking

Trip Start Aug 10, 2013
Trip End Aug 31, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Today was an early start for us.  We needed to be at the Sea kayaking office in Southwest Harbor for 8am ready to be taken off in our shuttle at 8.30am.  We arrived and joined one other family with 2 children, a couple and another lady with her son, so 12 in total, making 6 kayaks.  Brian, our guide for the morning equipped us with a dry bag for our kit, life jackets and a skirt for the kayak to stop us getting wet legs.  The sea kayaks we were using are quite different to the kayaks we used on the Saco river last week.  These have two separate compartments to sit in and with the skirt, you are completely enclosed in it.  They also have a rudder which makes steering a lot easier, operated by foot pedals in the back compartment.  

We all piled into the mini bus and before long we were at Seal Cove on the south west of the island.  It was a perfect day, clear blue skies and a calm sea.  I slid in and Brian adjusted the rudder pedals for me, Robert hopped in the front and after a bit of fiddling the waterproof skirts were on and we were being launched backwards into the water.

Being able to steer the kayak with the rudder is so much easier than with the paddles.  We found the kayak very responsive.  I was glad we had picked the early slot for our trip as it was quiet and warm but not too hot at this point.  Brian was full of useful information on the island and the wildlife.  He pointed out double crested shags (a diver),  common loon (Great Northern diver to us), guillemots and various other seabirds on the way.  As we were heading into a little beach on one of the small islands (Bartletts island), we spotted a couple of seals in the water ahead of us and then 3 osprey flying between the tree tops just above us.

We pulled in after almost 2 hours paddling onto the beach to 'hang out'.  I got out of the kayak and could hardly walk for a few minutes, my legs felt so stiff sitting in the same position with knees slightly bent using the foot pedals.  A few brave souls, the boys and Phil included waded into the cold but clear water.  There was great excitement as Brian had found a group of live sand dollars, so the boys were able to see and hold one of the live creatures and compare to the shells that they have been collecting on the beach.  The live ones are a lot bigger with tiny tendrils round the edge that they use to move about.

Back in the water, it was a shorter paddle of 30 minutes or so to the landing point where the mini bus and trailer was waiting for us.  There is no hanging about with these guys, the kayaks were loaded straight up and we were off back to Southwest Harbor.  Brian showed us where we had been on a nautical map and confirmed we had travelled around 5.5 nautical miles which by my reckoning is about 6.3 miles, not a bad mornings workout!

We made a couple of stops on the way back, first the Little Notch bakery in Southwest harbor for some blueberry treats, a scone for Robert and I, a turnover for Phil and James opted out of the blueberry theme and went for a whoopee pie (2 chocolate cookies with cream in the middle).  The next stop was the lobster pound at the end of the drive here for some lobster rolls.  It is a bizarre little place, a shack with 50s music playing from some speakers.  It was a bit of a wait as everything is made fresh, so I waited while Phil and the boys went back to get unloaded and I walked back when they were ready.  The lobster rolls were delicious and so fresh.  I have decided this is the way to eat lobster rather than trying to crack claws and so on.

we have had quite a few full days, so for a change decided to have a complete chill afternoon, making use of this wonderful house, so we spent the afternoon sitting on the deck reading and watching the world go by on the sea in front of us.  The bottom of Somes sound here is not overly busy , but there is a constant to-ing and fro-ing of lobster boats, fishing boats and lovely sailing boats.  A nice chilled glass of wine and a lovely afternoon.  It is nice to get out and about, but nice to occasionally stop too. 
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Janet Geoff Burden on

You will be super fit when you get home, glad you had time to chill though. Pics have been really good.

Zoe on

Your Bingo wings have had some work out! Well done. Fabulous pictures....
I leave for Boston tomorrow and am headed to Mount Washington Hotel for Labor Day weekend so will be reviewing your things to do from your previous blog!!

cusan on

(Lyn) fantastic day trip, the sea looked amazing....

cusan on

Ahhh, so jealous! Sea kayaking is something we are desperate to do. Tegz is doing her second BCU award in October and Io is doing his first canoeing award. The rest of us are novices. Definitely on our list of things to do, we had looked at going on a course in Croatia recently but didn't have enough time so ended up in Italy. Looking at your photos I would definitely look at doing it here when we return, the sea looks so calm. Luce

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