You know those cool, adventurous families that spend their holidays in the national parks, going camping and rock climbing?
Well, we are not that family. At all. We are the risk-adverse and cautious family. No roller coasters, no white-water rafting trips, no scuba diving, no city bike rides. Get the idea? BUT for two days in Maine, we took a little walk on the wild side and … went kayaking. We started out very gingerly by taking the house kayaks out in the back yard (back harbor). It only took us about two hours of nagging Dad until he agreed to do it. As Dad’s footwear makes painfully obvious, we are not very familiar with kayaking. This became even more obvious when we tried to row the boat like a canoe. A man on his own deck next door shouted over that each person is only supposed to have one paddle. He at least was amused by our kayaking efforts.
We were deathly afraid of being run over by a lobster boat, so we paddled in little circles, and only ever went a few feet out of the harbor.
But after getting a small taste of kayaking, I yearned to explore deeper waters. So we looked up the local campground that offers kayaking lessons and booked a morning of guided kayaking. It was all very professional: they gave us water shoes, life jackets, kayak skirts and maps. We had a little safety lesson and then our guide took us (and another couple) out on the water.
At first it was so foggy that you couldn’t see too far ahead. When we’d cross open water to reach the next island, we’d line up and race across, listening out for lobster boats. Once we reached the next island, we could relax a bit as we’d then hug along the coast line. At one point, a little seal popped its head up behind our boat. Overall, it was amazingly beautiful and relaxing. No one was hit by a boat or tipped over. When we were on the (surprisingly warm) water among the pine trees, rocky islands and fog, it felt like we were really experiencing Maine.
And in the end we got what might be my favorite selfie ever from our tour guide!