Coastal Kayaking

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Two years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a three week kayaking adventure off the coast of Maine. During these three weeks, I was able to experience nature at a whole new level. My group, which consisted of seven other high school and college kayakers along with one guide, was able to travel between thirty to forty miles per day. Every day, we paddled steadily across the choppy waves, in search of new sites.

The coast of Maine is much different from any place that I am used to. Its natural beauty is hard to match, and it is definitely a heaven for any kayaker. Maine’s coast is very rocky, and it is lined with thick pine and hemlock forests that give off a scent which mixes with the ocean air, creating a crisp and refreshing aroma. The cool ocean breeze always seems to be present, and it never hesitates to bring in a thick morning fog which creates an eerie atmosphere and acts as an obstacle for navigation.

Kayaking on the ocean can be a long and slow process, and it requires lots of patience. When we weren’t paddling, we were spending our time preparing meals or setting up camp. The sea can pose serious problems such as sudden rain storms and crippling waves. Kayaking on the sea can be dangerous, because you may be far from the main shore when a problem arises. There were times when we traveled for days without seeing the shoreline of Maine. Instead, we camped on smaller islands lying far off the coastline. By isolating ourselves from everyone else, we were able to see more wildlife and view nature from a whole new perspective.

Maine’s wildlife is as vast as it is diverse. I can’t think of one day that we didn’t see something new. We always heard the chattering of gulls, and we often saw otters happily playing near the rocks. Between barnacle covered stones, we would find crabs frantically scurrying to find new cover. We watched birds varying from ospreys, eagles, and puffins soaring high in the sky and diligently guarding their nests. Like an arrow, an eagle would drop from its perch and snatch a struggling fish out of the chilly water. Steadily climbing back to its nest, the eagle would then feed its waiting young. A distant echo and spray would sometimes fill the air. We were once lucky enough to spot the owner of this high rising water fountain, and one evening we came within 100 yards of a curious finback whale. The whale surfaced for a large breath of fresh air and paused to check out our boats. After a few brief seconds the whale lazily rolled over and returned to the frigid depths. Only ripples remained.

The coast of Maine is truly an amazing place. My adventure there has left me with many memories that I will keep for the rest of my life. Maine’s rocky coasts are a great place for anyone to explore. All you need is a good sturdy kayak, and I can guarantee you will see something new.





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MrStew said...
Jul. 15, 2009 at 4:03 pm
Excellent work, Richard! Are you paddling this summer?
 
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