Peter: Owner & Sea Kayaking Guide
Christine and I are co-owners and I’m the principal guide and instructor at Driftwood Kayak. I’ve been a kayaking enthusiast since high school in Wales where I learned to build skin-on-frame and stitch-and-glue kayaks. As a teenager I paddled on rivers like the Usk and the Wye and also in the Bristol Channel on the South Wales coast. In more recent years most of my kayaking has been along coastal New England and especially here in Maine.
This will be Driftwood Kayak's fifth season on Deer Isle. We started kayaking here after I discovered the endless possibilities for exploring the islands of Stonington and Deer Isle. While I was a graduate student at the University of Maine (many years ago), we spent family vacations camping on Deer Isle and for the past ten years we've owned and operated Hardy’s Hill House as a weekly summer vacation home to New England families. Now we offer the house to kayakers for accommodation 'by the night' before or after we go out on a trip.
It’s important to me that I have the right credentials and affiliations so I can provide you with the best possible kayaking experience. I'm a registered Maine Guide in Sea Kayaking, formerly an Instructor in Coastal Kayaking (ACA) and a Wilderness First Responder (SOLO). I'm also affiliated with Maine Association of Sea Kayaking Guides and Instructors, Maine Island Trail Association, American Canoeing Association, Deer Isle - Stonington Chamber of Commerce, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Island Heritage Trust.
To give you a taste for what we do here at Driftwood Kayak, I'd like to describe a particular day which stands out as being one of the lasting memories of last Summer. This trip was on a day when the fog was so thick we couldn’t even see Harbor island from the put-in at Brooklin, which was just a couple of hundred yards from shore. We were a party of three and Michael and Marina had just flown in from Germany…read more
Christine: Co-owner, Hardy's Hill House
I spend most of the summer with Driftwood Kayak at Hardy's Hill House. I'll do my best to help you enjoy your stay and prepare for your kayak excursion. And I can also provide information about Deer Isle, Stonington and fun things to do while you're in the area.
When you're not kayaking you can stroll down Ferry Lane to Eggemoggin Reach to swim or sunbathe - it's just a five-minute walk from the house. Stonington is a fifteen-minute drive and we're about five minutes from Deer Isle center. If you have time, there are numerous antique shops, art galleries and restaurants as well as public walkways through woodlands along the shore. Stonington has an active summer theater (The Opera House) featuring movies, plays and musical performances. Off-island destinations include Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Castine, and Blue Hill. You can find out more about the area from our ever-growing collection of maps, books and brochures.
(Christine is the children's author Christine Brodien-Jones. Her latest book of fantasy and adventure for 10 year-old readers and up, 'The Glass Puzzle', was published in 2013 by Random House. She is currently working on a new book which is set in South America.)
Derek: Kayaking Coach
I am a quintessential out-of-doors kind of guy and enjoy doing anything where I can see the natural world up close. Kayaking is one way to observe nature as it was meant to be, stripped down to the essentials of water, rock and vegetation. And sometimes that includes animals - sea mammals, birds - of course - and the smaller creatures that live at the border of sea and land, in the inter-tidal zone. I try to pass on my ideas about the natural world to my students to help them discover some of the secrets of nature for themselves. (Derek is the proud dad of beautiful four-year old twin girls. He holds Masters degrees in Geographical Information Systems and in Education and teaches science and technology in the Boston Public Schools system.)