Two- or Three-Day Kayak / Camping Trip
The island archipelago in this region of Maine offers some of the finest and most scenic kayaking on the eastern seaboard. Rocky inlets, low-tide sandy beaches, sheltered coves, pine woods reaching down to the water's edge - this will be the environment you'll be paddling in for two or three days. The islands are accessible only by kayak or small boat and on the two- and three-day trip we'll explore ten or more of them - mostly by kayak but some on foot.
On a three-day trip we'll set up a base-camp for two nights on one of the islands on the Maine Island Trail. On Day 1, we'll paddle the outer islands of the Merchant Island ring; on Day 2, we'll map out a 'journey' to explore the northwestern side of Isle au Haut. On our last day we'll break camp and head back via the islands closer to the mainland, stopping for an afternoon swim in a fresh-water watering hole on one of the islands. We'll plan on being back at the put-in by 4pm.
Days 1 and 2 of a two-day trip will be similar to Days 1 and 3 of a three-day trip.
Trips are offered every week from Memorial Day weekend thru Labor Day Weekend. Three-Day Trips are scheduled on Tuesdays and Fridays. Two-Day Trips are scheduled on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Any other day, call to schedule. Check the Calendar before you reserve.
We'll meet at Driftwood Kayak home base at 8:30am. After an orientation session, we'll practice loading kayaks with gear, then we'll drive to the put-in at Stonington Harbor. First we'll do some on-the-water practice in sheltered water, then head out to the inner islands before stopping for lunch. From there we'll go directly to one of the Maine Island Trail islands to make camp which will serve as our base for 1 or 2 nights. In the afternoon we'll explore some of the Merchant islands. In the evening, we'll do our best to cook a mouthwatering dinner.
After a nourishing breakfast, you'll spend the morning paddling through the outer Merchant Islands and south to Isle au Haut. We'll find a sheltered spot for a lunch break. In the afternoon you'll get out on islands to swim, find a secluded beach for some sunbathing or we'll explore one or more of the islands on foot. Mid-afternoon and it's time to return to base-camp. We'll have another fantastic dinner and if it's a clear night you can star-gaze, watch the sunset before nodding off to the sound of the water lapping on the beach.
You'll enjoy another great breakfast then, after breaking camp, we'll explore the inner Merchant Islands on our way back to Stonington. You may also want to perfect your paddling technique - learn how to do a stern rudder or practice a deep-water rescue. We'll stop for a swim in the late afternoon and plan on being back at the put-in by 3:00.
Day 1. Same as Day 1 above.
Day 2. Same as Day 3 above.
No previous sea kayaking experience is necessary and the overnight trips are suitable for beginners through intermediate paddlers. For beginners we'll start slow with some flat water practice and you'll find that your paddling technique and confidence will steadily improve throughout the day. If you're a seasoned paddler we'll spend less time on orientation on Day 1 and will probably cover more distance throughout the trip. The trips are suitable for active singles, couples and families with teenage children (age 14 and up). There'll be a maximum of four paddlers in the group.
Food quality and food variety is really high on our 'must have' list and we'll do the cooking, though you're welcome to help out. If you have particular dietary requirements, let us know ahead of time and we'll do our best to accommodate you. Food will be locally sourced where possible and we'll do our best to prepare nutritious and mouthwatering meals.
What we provide
- pre-trip Information Package which tells you what you'll need to bring including recommended clothing.
- transportation to and from the put-in.
- meals and snacks for your sea kayaking trip starting with lunch on the first day through to lunch on the final day, though you're welcome to bring along your own supply of extra snacks.
- tents, and all camping gear - cooking equipment, tarps, lamps etc - for the campsite, all except sleeping bags and sleeping pads. If you'd like to rent a sleeping bag and a pad, let us know (sleeping bags will of course be freshly laundered).
- shortie wet suits available for rent at a nominal cost.
- sea kayaks, paddles, PFDs (life vests), spray skirts and dry bags.
- safety equipment and communication equipment, permits and / or approvals for overnight camping.
- Maine state taxes are included.
- two (or three) days with a professional Maine Guide who has more than five years paddling experience in this region.
2-Day - $350/person
3-Day - $525/person.
Please read and sign a confidential Medical Questionnaire and Liability Release Form prior to departure. You should do this online when you book your trip. Just click here for an online Form.