- Information Packet for a 1-Day Trip -
To make sure you have everything need before your 1-Day Trip, please print a copy of this Information Packet and read it through before you arrive at Driftwood Kayak. Please complete our confidential Medical / Liability Questionnaire (see below) online before you arrive for your trip.
Driftwood Kayak is located at Hardy’s Hill House, 17 Hardy’s Hill Road, Deer Isle, Maine, which is about an hour south of Bar Harbor.
From the north, take Rte 15S towards Deer Isle. After the causeway on Rte 15S in Deer Isle, go up the hill, turn first left on to Hardy’s Hill Road.
From the south, take Rte 15N from Stonington, take a right just before the going down the hill to the causeway onto Hardy’s Hill Road. Look for the Driftwood Kayak sign after the rise and slightly to the right.
- Plan for the day
The 1-Day Trip is centered around you - the plan will also depend on weather and sea conditions as well as the paddling experience of the group. We’ll meet at Hardy’s Hill House at 8:30am. Please be considerate of others and show up on time, thanks J! We’ll spend 30 minutes or so reviewing the nautical chart for the area we’ll be paddling, discussing weather, your expectations for the day and we’ll also fit everyone with a kayak, paddle and gear (PFD, spray-skirt, dry-bag etc).
We’ll provide transport for you to the put-in at Stonington (20 minutes) or Nuskeag Point, Brooklin (30 minutes) or, alternatively, you can take your own vehicle. Unless you decided in advance to bring food with you, we’ll make a stop on the way where you can buy sandwiches and snacks at a market deli which you can carry with you in your kayak. Both Stonington and Brooklin have market delis which do a variety of sandwiches.
At the put-in, we’ll spend 20 minutes or so reviewing paddling technique and safety procedures followed by some close-to-shore paddling where you can get used to your boat and also practice the basic paddling strokes. For more experienced paddlers, we’ll leave the put-in promptly; for novices we’ll have more practice time.
We’ll paddle from island to island throughout the day and we’ll follow the island coastlines, getting out of our kayaks on one, two or more islands. We usually stop for snacks / lunch / ‘bathroom breaks’ three times during the course of the day. However, we may take more or less than three breaks – less if you want to cover distance and in that case we can snack on the water; more if you want to get out to beachcomb, swim, sunbathe, explore, etc. Our paddling pace will depend on you, we don’t have to follow the clock except that we’ll plan on being back at the put-in, with the kayaks loaded on the trailer, by around 4:00pm - 4:30 at the latest. Depending on how the group is doing, we may be back any time before 4:00.
- What you should bring
- Water - bring a total of 2 liters per person (including your favorite soft drink) and drink throughout the trip to stay hydrated. Hydrate before we leave and after we get back at the put-in.
- Sealed sandwich / snack containers.
- Sunblock - preferably SPF30 or higher, which you can apply at the put-in and at stops during the trip.
- Cellphone - probably best left at home but if you do bring one, use a waterproof case – LifeProof is one of the best.
- Camera - preferably waterproof. Again, for a non-waterproof camera use a reliable waterproof case or alternatively store using two small dry-bags when not in use.
- Medications e.g. an Epipen bee-sting kit - if you are carrying your medications with you, kindly inform your Guide where they are located - either on your person or on the boat.
- Sunglasses - do bring them along, since glare is greater on the water. Preferably bring a neck-cord or neck-strap to attach to your sunglasses so you don’t lose them.
- Spare clothing - see below.
- What you should wear
- Wear synthetic clothing (or SmartWool). Cotton stays cold when wet, so please no cotton tee-shirts or cotton shorts. Wear layers - synthetic sports underwear / bathing suit, polypropylene / Lycra / polyester shorts and a top with long sleeves are perfect. If you have neoprene shorts and top, bring it. Bring a light nylon jacket, which you can stow in your kayak if it’s a warm day.
- Maine waters are cold, even in August, so bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet. If you have a light fleece top, bring it. We don’t plan to get wet, but be prepared so that if you do get wet, you’ll have something dry to put on. We’ll provide you with a dry-bag so you can stow your extra clothing in your kayak.
- Wear a baseball hat or a hat with a brim.
- For footwear, wear neoprene booties or old sneakers which will protect you from sharp rocks on islands. Open-toed sandals are not recommended since they get filled with small stones and shells when you walk on beaches.
As you may know, the weather in this part of Maine is…variable. In June, cool mornings and evenings are the norm. In July and August even on warm days, afternoon breezes can be chilly. Overcast, misty mornings can turn into brilliant sunny afternoons; sunny mornings can be followed by afternoon downpours. Fog is quite common, particularly later in the season, and we will discuss how we’ll deal with fog on the water before we encounter it. We’ll discuss the current weather forecast before we leave in the morning using NOAA predictions which we’ve found in the past to be reliable.
Tidal range in this part of Maine can be ten feet or more, which means that a narrow sandy beach at high tide can become a quarter of a mile of soft mud at low tide, so we’ll put in and take out at a location with the tide in mind. Our paddling route will depend on the direction of wind and currents and on the tide.
- Medical / Liability Questionnaire
After you reserve your trip, we ask that you provide us with some basic medical information about yourself, and others in your group, which may impact your ability to participate. This includes letting us know about any allergies you may have (such as to bee-sting), whether you are carrying medications with you on the trip and whether you have any joint or muscular issues.
Please complete the online Confidential Medical Questionnaire and Liability Release Form for each member in your group before the day of the trip.
You can find the online form on the driftwoodkayak.com website - go to ‘Trips’, select ‘One-Day Trip’, then scroll down to the ‘Liability’ section at the bottom of the page.
- Cancellation Policy
Reservations are final and we will paddle rain or shine. However, if there is a high likelihood of a lightning storm in the forecast for the region we will cancel and reschedule the trip.
- Text message
I will text you the night before to confirm the trip and to give you a weather snapshot.
If we exceed your expectations, gratuities are appreciated.
- Final Word
Plan on having a fantastic time on the water - look for seabirds, seals and dolphins, notice the tides and the winds throughout the day, appreciate the stillness in the air as you paddle away from shore. And imagine these islands as they once were - lonely peaks of mountains towering over a wilderness of ice-age permafrost.
“We need the tonic of wildness…at the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because it is unfathomable”
- Henry David Thoreau, in ‘Walden: or, Life in the Woods’.