The sailors leisurely left Ram Island in the late morning to make our way out to open ocean. Our destination was Seguin Island, a small land mass located 2.5 miles from the mouth of the Kennebeck River, home to the second oldest lighthouse in Maine. The wind was at our backs, the sun was shining in a cloudless sky, and we were making our way across a glassy sea. After a calm sail we unloaded into our dinghies and rowed to shore. We were welcomed to the island with smiles from the tenants. We walked a few of the small trails circulating the island in the gorgeous afternoon light. Some of us took photographs to document our journey, while others simply took in the surroundings and enjoyed the salty air. We cooked a delicious meal of savory mac and cheese. The night sky was possibly the clearest I had ever seen it and we spent the rest of the night learning about different constellations and looking out into the vast Milky Way and beyond. We finally turned in for the night, but not before a little acoustic guitar and harmonica session from our leaders Scott and Tom. As cliché as it sounds, it was truly a night to remember.
– Leo Turpan, East Hampton NY
After a long day of sea kayaking we approached our campsite in a small cove. As we turned in to the cove, we saw that our fifty-foot rocky climb to the site was covered with slippery seaweed. The thought of carrying our ten fully-loaded kayaks up the treacherous rocks to the sandy shore was daunting. Thirty minutes later, with a few cuts and scrapes, we arrived at our home for the night. The day had been challenging and tiresome, but it was rewarding to finally sit down, rest, and take in a beautiful Maine afternoon knowing that it was well deserved.
– Claire Manny, Millbrook NY
We approached the last stretch of our eight-hour day of canoeing with relief. A mile and a half didn’t usually take too long to paddle, and our campsite was waiting on the other side. This time, however, the circumstances were different. We crossed a lake against strong winds and four-foot swells. I was terrified that we would flip and lose our coolers, backpacks, and dry bags.
The first boats touched land in about two hours and I could see them hugging each other and cheering us on. I remember the look on everyone’s faces when we had all reached the shore: pure happiness. Looking back, we felt so connected as a group – it was the best moment of the entire trip.
– Allie Cullen, Schenectady NY
Waking up each morning at Chewonki’s Big Eddy campground to Ryan’s banjo got us pumped up and ready to hit the rapids. On the first day of whitewater kayaking we learned to perform a wet exit and hold our paddles correctly, inching closer to becoming whitewater professionals. Over the course of the trip, foreign terms like “peeling out,” “ferrying,” and “rolling” became second nature to all of us.
On the second day we tackled “Horserace,” a gauntlet of five back-to-back rapids. The final rapid, called “The Stallion,” proved to be a fun challenge, pouring us through wave trains that sent water up to smack us in our faces. We paddled downstream into a cove and were rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and changing fall colors.
– Maddie Kay, Brunswick ME