Scratch kayaking off the bucket list

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I knew from camping and hiking at Cape Chignecto Provincial Park in Advocate Harbour that the area was spectacular, but it was a few years ago when I saw pictures of kayaking around the park that I knew I just had to add it to my 'bucket-list' of things to do.  

It was earlier this summer that I met Jeremy Bradley, a Winnipeg native and host of his own radio show airing on 40 stations across North America.

He was doing a travel feature on Nova Scotia for his show and I had the pleasure of showing him around a bit while he was here.

I decided to take him along the Parrsboro shore en route to my dream sea kayaking excursion. We didn't have a lot of time to stop and smell the roses but we did manage to snap a few photos for Bradley's website along the way.

The first stop was Five Islands Lighthouse Park.  As I pointed out the dozens of bank swallows that darted all around us, Bradley calmly proceeded to inform me of his phobia of birds.  Needless to say I decided to cut the stop a little shorter than expected and we continued on to the Fundy Geological Museum for some shots of their new exhibits and to have some fun with the dinosaurs and giant prehistoric bugs.

With little time to spare we scooted down to the Parrsboro harbor before making the rest of our way to Advocate Harbour.

I wanted the radio host to have an appreciation for not only how far the Fundy tide goes out at low tide, but also for how low it gets (vertically). To make my point we walked to the foot of the fishing wharf, where I explained that hours later we would be completely submersed by water with fishing boats bobbing above our heads.

We passed many sites and attractions along the way (Partridge Island, Age of Sail Museum and Spencers' Island to name a few), but we couldn't be late for our tour departure.

We arrived at our checkpoint in Advocate Harbor and picked up our life jackets, dry bags for our cameras and spray skirts before continuing a bit further down the road to our launching point at the 'Eatonville' entrance to Cape Chignecto Provincial Park.

It was an absolutely gorgeous day and I was excited to paddle to the magnificent red cliffs that were visible in the distance. We were all paired up in our double kayaks and I graciously agreed with Jeremy to sit in the back and control the steering despite the fact that it was my first time in a real sea kayak, too.  Anne Grabinsky and Else Marie Ostermann were our guides and they gave us a quick dry-land orientation before we got out on the water.

The scenery was out of this world. In fact, I think Bradley regretted electing me to steer.  The beauty around us was so distracting I forgot to do my job once or twice. Thankfully the fellow kayakers in our group didn't seem to mind the occasional bump. Oops.  

"The scenery was out of this world." Devin Trefry

There were so many incredible photo ops that it got a little bit frustrating trying to dig the dry bag out every minute to get the camera only to find out that the photos didn't quite do justice to the awesomeness that we were experiencing.

After about 90 minutes so on the water we arrived at the beach of Eatonville Harbor for lunch. We took a few minutes to explore while Grabinsky and Ostermann prepared the most scrumptious picnic I have ever tasted.  

I am typically not a big fan of salads but this was culinary magic with cubes of cheddar, dried cranberries, fresh picked lettuce from Ostermann's garden and a maple vinaigrette dressing that was to die for.

In addition to the hearty salad we had homemade beer bread and wild blueberry muffins, salmon on crackers and tried some dulse, too. Even the instant coffee prepared onsite tasted gourmet. The amazing thing was that all of this had been transported there by kayak.

As we got back to our boats we squeezed back into our spray skirts, which now felt more like how I would imagine a pair of Spanx might feel.  Feeling like a couple of stuffed sausages as we began paddling away Jeremy and I started to develop a case of the giggles which turned out to be about the worst thing we could have done to add to the situation.

After some deep breathing exercises we managed to calm down to enjoy the leisurely paddle back to our starting point. I lost count, but I am sure we must have seen at least 12 bald eagles soaring above us that day. Thankfully they were far enough away that they didn't freak Bradley out.

I have travelled to many places and have perused many exotic destinations in travel magazines and I can honestly say this trip, without a doubt, measured up among the best.

Visit NovaShores Adventures on Facebook for endless photos that will support this claim.  

Regretfully, while in the area I didn't have time to stay for dinner at the Wild Caraway (another item on my bucket-list). On the bright side, I have another great excuse to return again soon.

 

 

Devin Trefry is the marketing director of the Central Nova Tourism Association. He lives in Debert.

 

devin@centralnovascotia.com

 

 

Organizations: Fundy Geological Museum, Sail Museum, Central Nova Tourism Association

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Chignecto, Advocate Harbour Winnipeg North America.He Nova Scotia Eatonville Partridge Island Debert.devin

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