New book highlights self-directed kayaking trips in Southern Maine

New book highlights self-directed kayaking trips in Southern Maine

The southeastern corner of Maine, an area roughly bounded by the Kennebec River to the north, the Androscoggin to the west and the Saco to the south, is a region rich in possibilities for paddling on inland and sheltered coastal waters.  These rivers, fed by numerous small streams, springs and ponds, lead downstream to saltwater marshes opening out into Casco Bay at the southern tip of the Gulf of Maine.  As well as a displaying a rich diversity of plant life, the resulting wetlands are populated with a plethora of animals – a wide array of migrant birds (herons, cormorants, terns and ducks), several species of small amphibians (frogs, toads, newts) and reptiles (turtles and lizards) as well as small, and some not-so-small, mammals, like moose, deer and bear.

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New book on sea kayaking covers basic skills, paddling techniques and trip planning

New book on sea kayaking covers basic skills, paddling techniques and trip planning

It seems the last thing an already well informed and enthusiastic sea kayaker needs is one more ‘how to’ book on sea kayaking.  The basics are well covered in classics like Derek Hutchinson’s ‘Expedition Kayaking’ and John Dowd’s ‘Sea Kayaking – A Manual for Long Distance Touring’, and specific kayaking skills such as navigation can be learned from books like David Burch’s ‘Fundamentals of Kayak Navigation’.   As in all outdoor activities, ‘learn by doing, then repeat’, is preferable to reading about it.  But once in a while a book appears which stands out above the rest and ‘Sea Kayaking: Basic Skills, Paddling Techniques and Trip Planning’ by Dan Henderson may well be one of those books.  If you’ve read the rest, you might find that this book picks up where the others leave off.  And for novice paddlers, while not every chapter in the book might appeal to you, there’s a lot here that would.  

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Fascinating book by John Huth discusses navigation in a whole new way

Fascinating book by John Huth discusses navigation in a whole new way

Book Review: "The Lost Art of Finding Our Way" by John Huth 

Reviewed by Peter Jones

         I recently reviewed "The Lost Art of Finding Our Way" by John Huth for Atlantic Coastal Kayaker magazine and for readers who have not yet read the review in the magazine, here it is: 

         This is a highly unusual and ambitious book.  Though written by an academic - as well as being an avid sea kayaker, John Huth is Donner Professor of Science at Harvard – “The Lost Art of Finding Our Way” is intended for the general public, specifically with sea kayakers and small boat enthusiasts in mind.   It attempts, under the general theme of  ‘navigation’, to pull together such diverse fields as physics, earth and planetary science, cognitive psychology, the neurosciences, anthropology and history.  But don’t be intimidated: somehow Prof. Huth has done it and done it well.

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