Select Page

There is nothing like a small craft warning to inspire you to take your playboat into the ocean. This Fall, the Maine coast has received the east coast flow of swell and wind from the multitude of hurricanes coming from the south Atlantic. As a result, there have been a number of small craft warnings that have lead to great paddling – surprisingly great.

The lucky combination of being able to look from my window to the swell just outside Seal Harbor at Bowden’s Ledge and the abundance of inclement Fall weather meant that I could watch conditions and pick my moment to go out. In a second, I could grab my boat and head to the town dock for my put-in! Walking my shuttle is dreamy and sure beats driving! Besides some of my local paddling friends like Brett Ciccotelli and Bob DeForest as well as Juerg occasionally, I had the very good luck to have the paddling company of Alex Nicks on a bunch of occasions.

Alex joined a number of Sullivan Falls paddles as well as some of the small craft advisories in Seal Harbor and I got to show Alex a bit of the Maine coast while we enjoyed some terrific swell. On November 1st, I celebrated the start of the month and daylight savings with a solo paddle in Seal Harbor in a gale and small craft warning. The gusts up to 35 mph made paddling against the wind extremely challenging but being able to surf the 6-8 foot swell in the harbor was a first and a unique treat.

The normally calm Seal Harbor Beach had some terrific crashing surf and plenty of opportunities for good wave rides! Even though it was just me and seals with a crowd of seagulls on the beach, it was a terrific adventure! During this Covid summer and fall, staying in one place has presented some very unexpected and fun close to home kayaking opportunities – what an awesome and astonishing surprise!