The Maine coast has an amazing variety of fascinating features starting with the expansive salt marshes to the south and stretching up the spruce-covered islands of Pen Bay to the Bold Coast beyond (downeast)--and on this trip we encounter and enjoy many of them from the water.

We sea kayak from the protected waters surrounding Chewonki Neck to the bold shores of Pemaquid Point, past the granite cliffs of Harbor Island to the spruce-covered islands of Penobscot Bay. Along the way, we see busy working waterfronts, pristine islands, fishermen on their rounds, harbor porpoises, whales, lighthouses—in short, we come to understand why this coast is so famous.

Note to participants: Maine Coast Kayak is designed to be the perfect introduction to our Boatbuilders program.

A Focus on Skills & Leadership

We spend time training and preparing at Chewonki before heading out on our journey along the coast. Launching at Chewonki’s waterfront, we paddle downeast all the way to Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. We each carry gear in solo expedition sea kayaks, the modern version of the Inuit skin boat, and we spend the majority of our nights on islands. Early morning travel on the waters of coastal Maine is a rewarding experience. Vast seascapes and abundant wildlife create lasting impressions.

Participants learn expeditionary sea-kayaking skills, including paddling strokes, wet exits, group travel, and weather reading. As the trip progresses, paddlers acquire expertise in navigation and saltwater camping, and eventually, each takes on a leadership role. Throughout the experience there is a strong emphasis on learning coastal ecology and maritime history. Kayaks ply waters where bigger, sailing boats may not venture, so we enjoy wonderful interactions with sea life.

As with all Chewonki wilderness trips, “Leave No Trace” skills underlie our approach to the environment in which we travel. As a result, participants learn to live and travel responsibly in the outdoors. Participants with little or no experience will find comfort, meaning, and challenge in our simple lifestyle.

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