A Family Adventure

Tyson, Emilie & Isaac


September 2, 2009
Emilie Phillips

The first excitement of the weekend was an e-mail my parents sent. For a bit we were thinking we would need to drive up to the middle of nowhere Saturday. After some conference on the cell phone and map pointing, it was determined that we could drop the stuff off at an inn they would come to on Tuesday. I started baking cookies, and Tyson looked at itineraries to get there, and then back to the Maine coast on sunday. Luckily Tyson had an epifany that we could ship the box to them rather than delivering it in person. So that changed our day from needing to be on the road by noon, to just needing to have the box at the post office by noon. And then we finally remembered that I had scheduled to take my motorcycle to the shop for carb cleaning that morning — oops.

Sunday we went up to Maine to spend the day kayaking with Fred. We had met Fred once before last time we went kayaking in Maine. He was the guy who taught us the balance brace and hand roll. He also makes Greenland kayaks and paddles. Tyson had commissioned a paddle. So we were going to pick that up plus try out more of his kayaks.

We started out doing rolls on a local pond. I tried one of his kayaks that was 15 inches wide. It was not as unstable as the 17" surf ski, though it still required some attention. Surprisingly it was actually harder to roll than some of the wider kayaks with lower coamings. I tried to work harder on my off side which ment I had a lower success rate than if I had stuck with my on side. Also, the difference in buoyancy between salt and fresh water was noticeable. I definitely came away with plenty of stuff to practice if only I had an appropriate boat.

Then that afternoon we went to the local surfing beach to see what waves tropical storm Danny brought. The answer was on one side of the beach, big plunging waves that would have just trashed us without any ride. And on the other side, they were all refracted waves, but spilling nicely. So if you were maneuverable enough to get on a wave, it was a decent ride. We started out in the tandem, but that was not able to catch the waves. And when we went out for a second run, we got knocked over by a big peak that formed to our left. This time, I ran out of air and bailed. We body surfed in a ways and then paddled the last bit to shore.

So then Fred let us try out his boat in the surf! Tyson went first and had a blast. He managed to carve some turns on the waves, which we have never really done before. Then when I went out, I got one ride in which looked impressive on video, but I got flipped over and washed on shore like some drift wood. That kind of demoralized me for the rest of the evening. So then I tried to catch smaller waves with lesser success, and still got pummeled inshore by the breaking waves. I made all the rest of my rolls, though.

Photos and video