Peter’s guided kayaking trips are the single best thing to do on this island. Period. I’ve lived here part-time for a few years and a recent overnight trip introduced me to one of the best, most experienced, competent, and thoughtful guides that I’ve ever run across. Peter combines his passion and stewardship for the natural world with the hands-on know-how to teach kayaking skills that boost your confidence. If you’re a novice, you’ll learn a lot and have a great time. If you’re an experienced paddler, you are in for a treat. Peter is a great teacher - patient and observant. This is simply the best way to see the coast and islands. In the orientation, you’ll learn some basic safety and see where you’ll be paddling from island to island. Watch the sea, the tides, the wind, the weather and see what’s out there with new eyes. Truly get away. The gear and the food is every bit as top-flight as the guide. What’s better than a cup of great coffee at daybreak on a coastal island? Stop reading these reviews and book this now. You won’t regret it.
Susan T. (Stonington)
8:00 AM Peter and I met to start a six hour outing. Since it was midweek and early June Peter was able to arrange a private day on my birthday with perfect weather and sea conditions. I learned new paddling techniques as well as safety, map and tide conditions. Peter was great in his knowledge of the area, pacing the paddle between short stops on small islands and he was super encouraging as I've never really paddled beyond Stonington Harbor. Extra bonus was seeing ospreys dive for fish and a seal that came up right in front of the kayak. The equipment is new and top notch and the day was the beat of my week in the area. Coming from Israel to kayak with Driftwood is already on my list for next year but I can't wait to do an overnight 2 day next time. GO WITH DRIFTWOOD KAYAK if you really care about personal attention, safety and tailor made trips for your level of paddling.
“Peter’s expertise and introduction to basic kayaking techniques made us feel confident from the very start. ”
— Mary Ellen K. (Munich, Germany)
“Peter was a great tour guide, teaching us techniques for paddling, informing us about the different islands we visited, and how to “leave no trace”. We saw a lot of uninhabited islands and took a very cold swim at our own private beach. Peter is sincerely interested in catering to the interests of his customers vs. other kayak tours on the island that seem to just want your money. Highly recommended!”
— Madeline S. (ME)
“We have done many kayak trips and rentals and I can say confidently that Peter was one of the most experienced and organized guides we’ve ever had and his equipment is top-notch. ”
— Chris R. (GA)
“I had such a great day that I’ve already booked my trip for next summer! It’s safe to say that I’ve conquered my fear, and I’ve even considered purchasing my own kayak, as a result of this trip. I also spent the night at Hardy’s Hill House, which was comfortable and perfect for a solo traveler.”
— Chris M. (Portland, ME)
“A full day we had of paddling around the islands, stopping for picnics and observing the seals. What a great day and the knowledge of the sea, the islands, conservation and environment are all of Peter’s passions to share throughout the day with you. Ask questions all day or just enjoy the beauty of the coast line and harbors, you choose and Peter will guide you. We are forever spoiled and will return for more trips around the coastline with Peter. Thank you! The kayaks and equipment, top of the line to boot. After meeting Peter, wouldn’t have expected nothing less.”
— Steve B. (Kansas City, MO)
“We spent the day kayaking with Peter, and it was a wonderful experience for all of us (my husband, 11-year-old son, 13-year-old daughter, and me). Peter was so knowledgeable and patient. He did a wonderful job tailoring our experience so that it was the right level for our kids, but was still an exciting adventure for all of us. Penobscot Bay is probably one of the nicest, most beautiful places to sea kayak I can imagine. I am not an expert, but his equipment was top notch, which made the paddling easy and our experience more comfortable. I had been worried that our younger son would lose steam, and he was usually out ahead! I can’t recommend Peter enough and we hope we are lucky enough to do another trip with him at some point.”
— Liz B. (Berkeley, CA)
“Peter is passionate about what he does, and provided me with all the details to prepare for the trip. The website calendar and booking system, as well as the online waiver are so convenient. We stayed the night before our day trip. After talking to us in the morning, Peter decided with us on what route we take for the day and we were given very detailed safety lessons before we set out. I especially appreciate his effort during the whole day to prepare us for our future independent trips. We learned a lot and improved our skills in a few hours. We navigated around a few islands and landed on 3 to take breaks or do small hikes. We saw one seal, a few eagles and ospreys up close. Peter made us feel very safe during the whole trip.”
— Alex Z. (Montreal, Canada)
“We spent 36 hours on Dear Island, ME, and the best part of the trip was the kayaking. Peter, owner and guide, was professional, thorough in prep and instruction, sensitive to our needs as novice kayakers, and had a good personality as well. He is very well educated and knowledgeable about the area and the islands.
We started the day at his place on the island, had some land lessons, reviewed the nautical chart, then talked about safety and emergency procedures. Having been kayaking in quiet inland waterways before, but never deep water, this was very reassuring to me.
Hi s equipment is top notch. No plastic kayaks here - fiberglass sea kayaks. Once on the water things were challenging, but Peter has a calming manner and gives explicit, corrective instructions which helped us move along quickly. Every step was challenge by choice.
It turned out to be a beautiful morning and most enjoyable. Definitely returning to Deer Isle and definitely going kayaking with Peter again. Maybe next time - an overnight? ”
— Jean L. (Rutlidge, PA)
“I learned so much as Peter gave us our safety tips and instructions in preparation for the trip. Peter is an exceptional guide, very knowledgeable, easy-going, unobtrusive and fun. Not your run of the mill tourist trap!!”
— Paige P (PA)
“Our day with Peter on the sea was incredible! At our launching point, we unloaded the kayaks and had a quick (10min), helpful paddling lesson on land before getting into our kayaks. We paddled to and around several islands throughout the day, stopping at a few islands here and there for a snack/lunch/break.
Peter was an excellent guide, always alert and responsive. We had limited sea kayaking experience prior to this trip, and we felt very safe and prepared with Peter’s guidance. He gave helpful tips for paddling and positioning within the kayak when we entered choppier/faster currents. He never strayed too far from us and always made sure we were doing ok. We appreciated Peter’s approach to the day, which is that we should learn something about kayaking and be engaged in the process (e.g. moving kayaks, getting in/out of kayaks safely, tips for not capsizing). If there are specific goals you have for the day, Peter is more than happy to help you achieve them. For example, we asked if we could try a deep water rescue after an intentional capsize, and he was very willing to teach/demonstrate.
We had an absolutely beautiful day on the water— get ready for natural beauty as you’ve never seen before. Words really can’t describe how majestic and peaceful the land/sea is from your vantage point in the kayak. It’s an amazing way to see the beauty of Maine! This was no doubt the highlight of our trip. And we excitedly look forward to our trip back— hopefully for a several day kayaking/camping trip.”
— Aileen C. (Philadelphia, PA)
“What an amazing experience! We stayed for two nights at Peter’s place and booked a full day kayaking trip well in advance. Peter was excellent in communications and informed as a few days before our trip that the forecast didn’t look too good. Even on the evening of arrival the chances of kayaking the next day were small due to bad weather with predicted thunderstorm. But the next morning the danger of lightning had moved away and Peter asked us if we wanted to take the trip although it was rather cold, foggy and rain was just around the corner. Of course we said yes and thanks to his helpful advise for clothing and his very insightful preparation of the day it was wonderful. Starting of with the boats from shore we first did some technical training on efficient paddling before heading out into the mist. Suddenly there was an island which couldn’t be seen from starting point. The atmosphere was stunning and evereything looked like in a ghost story. The whole kayaking trip was just one big experience. We had mist, rain, wind, but suddenly also sunshine. Peter as a guide was excellent. ”
— Michael H. (Berlin, Germany)
“Peter is very knowledgable about the surrounding area, which made our experience that much richer. He easily made alterations to our schedule as the three of us tired quickly. I highly recommend kayaking with Peter over renting a kayak on your own. It is very affordable compared to similar excursions.”
— Peggy R. (New York, NY)
“Peter is a first rate certified Maine guide, and is a very knowledgeable and patient teacher. Our kayaking experience before the trip was limited, and Peter got us up to speed quickly. Peter has excellent equipment and took the time to match equipment to our ability and physical needs. The Hardy’s Hill House stay option is excellent; the B&B is spotless and nicely appointed.”
— Andrew D. (CT)
“Peter was the perfect guide - knowledgeable, well-prepared, a natural teacher, and with an obvious love for the area.”
— Ara G. (NY)
“I cannot speak highly enough of my wonderful experience with Driftwood Kayak. Peter’s equipment is top class and he takes pains to match you to the right kayak. I learned so much. Peter is a patient teacher with deep experience and knowledge to share. And the bay itself is so rich in beauty with many private little islands to pull into with sweet sandy beaches, and Peter made sure we rode the tides perfectly. I stayed over at Hardy’s Hill House with a great bed, clean and located on its own lovely small island. I plan to return next summer for another amazing adventure.”
— Sandra W. (NH)
“Peter took this novice and turned me into a more competent kayaker. If you are looking for an amazing experience contact Peter!”
— Laurie R. (MA)
“We have both kayaked before, so we wanted something half-day that would provide a short intro and then get us into some small coves. What we got was wonderful. First, Peter went over sea kayaking safety and the game plan. Then, we took the boats down and put into the water. We kayaked around and went to Sellers Island for lunch. Peter told us all about the islands and about this cool kayak trail they have where you can camp for free on these small islands. We wandered some more after lunch and started heading back. You can book rooms at the house and we would have done this if we’d known about it before we booked our other accommodations. It was really a lovely trip, and we hope to pass through again someday.”
— Danielle H. (PA)