Sea Kayaking and Camping on Maine’s Coast (part 2)

10 July 2014 / By

Our Sea Kayaking Two Day Island Overnight Trip with Maine Kayak was an incredible experience.

Tom and I selected a campsite overlooking the bay on the southeast edge of the island. We set up our tent, blew up our sleeping pads, and arranged our sleeping bags. After unpacking the few items that we packed into the dry bags, we took one of our nips and found a place to relax on the rocks that encircle the island. The afternoon of kayaking was a casual paddle, so we weren’t cardiovascularly challenged. However, we both felt a little sore. The nip helped relax our muscles, in addition to massaging Tiger Balm into our muscles. After relaxing for a while, we decided to walk on the rocks along the edge of the island. Crow Island is a peaceful retreat. Beautiful, pristine, wooded grounds cover the majority of the island. The lapping of the water onto the rocks and the sound of birds singing created a calming atmosphere. After our stroll, we joined the group for a nourishing dinner. Prior to dinner, we snacked on cheese and crackers. Usually Maine Kayak will also provide a bottle of wine to complement the appetizer, but since it was the first trip of the season it was forgotten.   Dave prepared a delicious meal of salmon, orange chicken, couscous, an Asian inspired cole slaw, chips, pineapple, and double chocolate chip cookies.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter dinner, we decided to walk off some of our meal. By this time, the water was getting higher, which left fewer rocks to navigate. This lead to a more challenging walk. Luckily, Tom has rock climbed and was able to teach me how to read the rocks and figure out where to get a good foot hold and ideal places to grip with my fingertips.  Also, we both were wearing Keen’s McKenzie water shoes which had excellent traction to help us with our hike.  Once we reached our campsite, we secured our last nip and lounged on a rock. We savored each sip of the Grey Goose vodka and enjoyed the beautiful view. Dave then found us and led us to a spot on the island that provided the best view for watching the sun set. It was an amazing end to the day.

Although we applied bug spray to our skin and clothes, we must’ve missed some spots. The mosquitos were out in full force and biting through our clothes. From what Dave told us, it is unusual to have so many bugs as there is no stagnant water on the island. Since we didn’t have anything to do, and I was annoyed by the bugs, Tom and I decided to call it a night. It was only 9PM. Once again, since there is not campfire, it is a necessity to bring something to spend the time and socialize. Wine would be great. If you don’t drink, bring something small and packable such as a deck of cards. Or bring a light book. I actually thought about bringing my iPad to read, but didn’t want to risk it getting wet. In hindsight, I wish I brought it. With nothing to do, we just went to sleep.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe next morning, we woke up early and saw the sunrise. Once again, it was absolutely breathtaking. The bugs were still out in full force, so we returned to our tent and dozed off and on until about 7AM. The sleep wasn’t too restful for me. Even though we had sleeping pads, it was an uncomfortable night. When we couldn’t stand being in the tent any longer, we applied a ton of bug spray and packed up our gear. I decided to wear long pants and a long sleeve shirt to minimize sun exposure since the day was sunny without a cloud in sight (I’m pale and even with applying SPF 70 every 2 hours, I still get color). Tom and I don’t really eat breakfast, so we skipped the meal and went for a walk instead. If you like breakfast, no worries. Dave cooked up blueberry pancakes and had fruit and coffee available. I actually brought with me a Quest protein bar and ate half of it since I knew we had another full day of paddling ahead of us! By the way, I highly recommend this bar! I had the tasty banana nut muffin flavor and it provided a ton of protein and fiber to fuel me for the morning of kayaking.

After breakfast, we packed up the kayaks and left Crow Island exactly as we found it, leaving no footprint. It was a glorious morning for sea kayaking in Maine! The sun was out and the waters were calm. Although we paddled a lot the previous day, surprisingly none of us were sore. Once again, we saw a bunch of wildlife, including a seal that popped up near us. After about an hour, we stopped at a beach and walked around to stretch our legs. We then set off for our lunch site which was another hour away. We were kayaking in a more heavily travelled waterway, so we had to be on the lookout for motorboat traffic. Instead of uninhabited islands, we were passing islands that many called home. The inlet that led us to our lunch restaurant had many anchored boats. You can tell by the boats that this is a wealthy vacation destination. Crazy, beautiful boats!

The place where we dined on a lobster lunch was a fantastic seafood shack. Tom and I shared a 1.5-2lb lobster, some steamed mussels, and corn bread. The lobster was delicious. We are very particular about how lobster is prepared, and they do it well! It is easily over cooked, but this lobster proved to be succulent and tasty! The mussels were disappointingly small, but the corn bread provided the perfect complement to the lobster.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter lunch, we headed back to the kayaks for our final afternoon of paddling. On our way back to where we launched, we took a detour to an island where Dave typically finds eagles. As we approached the island, sure enough, we saw an eagle in its nest. We got out and took some photos before the eagle flew away. As we were getting settled back into the kayaks for the final leg of our journey, a boat passed and the waves soaked Tom and me before we could get the spray skirt secured. We were drenched and sitting in a puddle of water! Thankfully, we only had an hour to go before we reached our destination.

The last portion of our journey was tiring. Two days of kayaking were catching up to us. My hands were starting to develop blisters, so I was constantly trying to change hand positions on the paddle. Luckily, we arrived back to the launching point before I truly developed blisters. When we got back to the Maine Kayak office, we all changed into fresh clothes and used a real toilet for the first time in two days. The trip was amazing, yet exhausting. I’ve never experienced as much closeness to nature as I had during that weekend. I have discovered a love for kayaking, but after this trip, I think a full day would be sufficient for me. I’m also curious about “regular” camping (one that has campfires and more “comforts” other than what you can pack into a kayak). Altogether though, the trip was amazing and I highly recommend everyone try the trip at least once. The trip truly bonds the group and where else can you experience such incredible natural beauty?!

Go on a trip with Maine Kayak. They are true professionals and can help you select the right trip for your needs. If you just want to spend the day on the water, there are several half and full day options. However, if you really want to be close to nature, there is no better trip than the Sea Kayaking Two Day Island Overnight Trip!

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