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I spent all of Memorial Day weekend in Maine, living in a tent and paddling all day. I’d go to sleep shortly after sundown, and rise shortly after the sun came up.

I caught a ride up with VB and JJ, of Wind Against Current fame. JJ and I participated in a skills seminar while VB would take off early in his Feathercraft and come back to be quizzed about where he went. Lots of islands, generally, and in some cases astonishing distances.

We got a late start on Friday, hitting lots of holiday weekend traffic out of the city and all the way up to Boston, nearly. After that, things thinned out, and we plowed through New Hampshire and on up to Maine, driving down a series of country roads to the AMC’s Knubble Bay camp, arriving at midnight. While there was a cabin to stay in, we opted to set up our tents in order not to disturb anyone – only to realize the next morning that nearly everyone was staying in their tents.

What followed were three days of paddling experiences I’d never gotten before, under John Carmody, a highly rated coach based in Booth Bay, and his assistants, including Carl Ladd, John Ozard, and Caroline Zeiss. I’ll post about each day shortly. It was a great experience.

Curiously, it was all women students as well, except for some of the coaches. We also had a broad range of skill and experience levels, a few 3 Stars in there, but also people who primarily paddle flat water.

When it was all done, I threw all my stuff into a fellow paddler’s automobile and caught a ride to the airport, where I rented a car, bumped to an SUV gratis, and drove to NYC, arriving around 1 AM. I am convinced I would have made it by midnight if I hadn’t gone on a quest for a lobster roll. It was worth it. I showered, slept, and got up early the next morning to trade out the car for another to drive to my employer’s New Jersey office.

Anyway, good times. The season is most definitely upon us.

Published in 2014 Backpaddle Camping Kayaking Sea


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