Planning your trip to Nova Scotia’s LaHave Islands to come kayaking or standup paddleboarding with us? In addition to our nearby beautiful coastal towns and villages, there’s plenty to keep the outdoor enthusiast happy here on the South Shore.Read More
Paddling Nova Scotia and the North Atlantic Blog
We’re nearing the end of November…the sun sets by 5pm in Nova Scotia, there is ice on the pond in the mornings, all evening activities at home revolve around a toasty wood stove. We have been working steadily this fall, planning for 2019, our sixth season kayaking and paddleboarding on the South Shore. Our planning process includes reflection - What was amazing about this past season? What are our guests telling us they love most about our business? How do we build on our strengths? It also includes time spent playing and improving our skills: kayaking on the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore, surfing new waves, SUP river runs, a yoga teacher workshop in New York, some exciting food pilgrimages and home cooking experiments. Lobster dumplings anyone?
At Cape LaHave Adventures, we craft unforgettable trips and courses because we believe in the worth of experience. In fact it’s a common value all of our guides share. Whether we spend our time paddling, practicing yoga or surfing, we let our passions feed and instruct us on how to offer experiences that are unforgettably awesome. In 2019, we are focusing in on what we are most passionate about. Here’s a preview:
We’ve been pleasantly surprised that our longer multiday tours have become our most popular. While there is a perception that people are taking less time to unplug, we’ve found there is still a significant thirst for longer, immersive wilderness experiences. What great news!
In 2019, we’ll continue to offer our Newfoundland Icebergs & Outports trip. This trip is always a highlight of the season for us - with an opportunity to visit the incredible landscape of the northern coast of Newfoundland at the height of iceberg season. We’re also planning a recon to a second Newfoundland tripping location on the South Coast for 2020 — stay tuned!
Our Epic South Shore trip has continued to be a hit, allowing guests to experience the wide diversity of paddling on the South Shore, from the LaHave Islands, Blue Rocks, Stonehurst and Mahone Bay. We’ll offer two departures this coming season.
2018 was our first year offering our LaHave Islands Glamping Adventure. We had so much fun with the multiple adventure options this trip affords: kayaking, standup paddling, beach & SUP yoga, hiking and snorkelling. We noticed that with all of the options available on this trip, adding an additional day to the itinerary will let our guests experience it all. Depending on your schedule, you can now book a 2, 3 or 4 day Glamping Adventure for 2019.
The multi-element experience of our Glamping Adventure has inspired us to bring the concept into other trips we offer. It feels so good to use your body in different ways, and to experience a place from multiple perspectives! Our 2019 season will kick off with a new multiday offering in tropical Panama. Isla Coiba Recharge will let you experience this incredible part of the world through kayaking + SUP + snorkelling + hiking + yoga. There’s also an option to add a surf camp to round out the experience, with local legend Michael Mckenzie. This winter getaway has us itching to trade our wetsuits for rash guards and soak it up!
This is just the preview - we’ll have more exciting news about our 2019 day tour and course offerings for you soon. In order to focus on offering you the best paddling adventures, we have decided to simplify for 2019 and close our second location in Mahone Bay. We’ve enjoyed our Mahone Bay shop, but after three years on Main Street, we feel that we no longer need our town location to help us reach you, our fellow ocean-loving adventurers. We’ve had some fun moments of fame this past year in the LaHave Islands: we’ve been featured in Outside Magazine and the Guardian, we’re part of a reality travel show on Amazon Prime, and CBC keeps dropping by. There’s a buzz - the experiences we’re offering are world class. Seek us out and you won’t be disappointed!
While much of the world gears up for Black Friday and holiday shopping, remember it’s is not about fancy gear or the latest high tech gadgets. Sure, quality gear can enhance your experience - and we pride ourselves in keeping our equipment in top shape - but what are you doing with your gear? How are you spending your recreation time? That’s what you will remember and treasure. Let’s make this season about presence not presents. But of course, if you’d like to give the gift of an awesome paddling experience, we won’t object :)
Enjoy the holidays and see you in 2019!
Sarah, Scotty and the Cape LaHave Adventures Crew
Many of our guests ask us where to stay and eat on the South Shore before and after their paddling adventures. There are tons of great options nearby, depending on your preferences. Here’s what we recommend:Read More
Hey paddling friends! Its already been a few months since we closed up shop for the season in Nova Scotia. We’ve made the long commute south to guide sea kayak trips in Antarctica again. We’ve had some incredible wildlife encounters so far - massive pods ofRead More
It's time. We're rising off salty gear one last time and packing up for the winter.
It's hard to pick out just a few highlights from what was an action packed 2017 season, but a few epic 'firsts' come to mind:
- We were happy to host SUP River and Tour Instructor Training with Mark Scriver, the first time these courses have been offered in Nova Scotia. Stay tuned for River and Touring skills courses in the future!
- We led 8 incredible days of kayaking and camping in Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland after the pack ice was too thick in the Bay of Exploits. Luckily Scott knows ice after 5 years of working in Antarctica! We're excited to return to Newfoundland again in 2018.
- We led a 6 day tour from the LaHave Islands to Mahone Bay with stops in Blue Rocks and Stonehurst. It was so epic, we've added it as a new regular offering for 2018!
- The South Shore School Board brought 70 grade 8 students sea kayaking for the first time ever, giving local youth a great day on the water in their incredible back yard.
Our regular offerings were busier than ever this season, including our shoreline clean up events that we partnered on as part of World Ocean Day. Our yoga day tour and multi-day escapes in the LaHave Islands also continued to be in demand, with their unique blend of adventure and relaxation, and interest in Stand-up Paddleboarding continued to grow.
We are so grateful for our talented guides. We also want to give a huge thanks to all who came out to paddle with us this year! We are convinced that we have the best jobs in the world, jobs which wouldn't exist without your sense of adventure and love for wild, salty places. As we wrap up our paddling season in Nova Scotia, we are filled with gratitude for your enthusiasm and continued support.
Stay in touch and stay tuned for winter updates...tales from Antarctica, South Shore winter surfing, dogsledding and whatever else our guides get up to. Plus we'll keep you updated about our 2018 offerings. We've got some exciting things in store for you. Don't worry, it won't be long before the Dublin Shore seals are calling to you to come back for a 2018 paddle adventure.
Sarah, Scotty and the Cape LaHave Adventures crew
The Cape LaHave Adventures team has grown! It’s our fourth season now on the South Shore, and we are so psyched that our little-paddling-business-that-could has such incredible people backing it up these days!
Scott and I have taken up a lot of air time so far, as the owners of Cape LaHave Adventures. We thought you should hear about some of the other people responsible for making the magic happen too. We certainly could not do it without them.
This year we have former guides returning: Paul with his patient coaching and unbeatable seal spotting record (I hear he has some kind of in with the head seal), Logan with his local lore and boundless enthusiasm for all things salty (I dare you to try to not get excited chatting about life on the water with him!). Robert and Marlene are travelling this season, but we’re eager to welcome them back for next year. Matt is busy running his own paddling business in his new home of Shelburne these days, but we are happy to root him on, and collaborations are in the works for future Paddle Canada trainings.
New to the scene - You may have already had the pleasure of meeting Duff, our resident karate expert who juggles phone calls, bookings and rentals from our Shop in Mahone Bay, all while remaining genuinely friendly and cool. We've also welcomed some new guides to the team. There’s Kyle who brings years of school teaching, surfing, and meditation training to the water, to make for a tour that is both educational and intuitively the right vibe. We scored Gavin off of a Tall Ship this summer - he's a lyrical spirit, with all the guiding skills in droves. There’s also Jill, who brings years of outdoor experiential education experience and mad group facilitation skills. We are also lucky to lure Crystal back into the guiding world from nursing. She brings great guiding experience from BC, as well as a background in training Wilderness First Responders. We are also excited to work with Andrew this year, who is a personal trainer & ran his own Wilderness SUP touring company in Scotland before making South Shore Nova Scotia his new home.
What incredible talent helping us out this year! And these are just the front-line folks! You often hear about how it takes a village to raise a child. Well, apparently the same is true for a small business.
If you haven’t had a chance to meet our growing team, I’m sorry, but you are missing out. They are an exceptional cast of characters! Often our guests want to know our guides' personal stories. Who becomes a guide and why? Looking at our team - it’s a diverse group, but there are common threads - our guides are people who love helping people have fun on the water. They have in-depth knowledge of the areas we operate, top notch paddling and leadership skills, and enthusiasm in droves. What a crew to surround ourselves with! If one of us isn't on the water with you personally, we know you’re in incredibly capable hands, and we also know you’ll have a blast!
Enjoy your time on the water this season! From our growing family to yours,
Sarah, Scott & The Cape LaHave Adventures Crew
We're excited to be teaming up with The Bluenose Coastal Action Centre and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg on two shoreline clean up events this June - one in Mahone Bay and one in the LaHave Islands!
Here's are the details:
Mahone Bay Shoreline Clean Up
- June 8th, 2017, 10am. Meet at the Mahone Bay Marina.
LaHave Islands After-Work Community Paddle & Island Clean Up
- June 16, 2017, 6:30pm - Sunset • Meet at the far end of Crescent Beach, Crescent Beach. Weather permitting.
Come join us as we paddle to islands in this beautiful archipelago and collect any trash we come across along the way. Boat support will be provided to help transport collected garbage.
We welcome you to bring your own kayak or canoe, and join us free of charge. We will also be offering sea kayak rentals at discounted rates of $25/person, tax included.
Please allow time for gearing up so we can depart at 6:30 pm. To register call 530-3285 or online at www.modl.ca
To reserve a kayak rental, contact Cape LaHave Adventures, firstname.lastname@example.org, 902-693-2023.
We hosted a clean up in the LaHave Islands with the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg last June, 2016. It was a blast AND we collected a whole fishing boat full of garbage.
I hope you can join us this year at either or both of these events!
Sarah & Scotty
Scott and I are back in Nova Scotia after a few months of work and play in Antarctica, South Georgia, the Falklands, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Phew! Travelling can be tiring, but also so refreshing. Now that we're home, we’re rediscovering familiar places with curiosity again. February on the South Shore has never looked so good! We’re visiting rivers that have recovered from their summer drought, watching eagles while running in the sand, and discovering perfect skating ponds.
As strange as it may sound, Antarctica, and the places we frequent along the way have begun to feel familiar to us. We started our travels with the usual this year; We got sunburns and stuffed ourselves with asados with friends in Buenos Aires; We celebrated Christmas and the New Year amidst penguins and ice with our adopted family of staff and guests from all over the world; We took some quiet time to ourselves on the chilled out beaches of Uruguay. This incredible migration is not new for us, but we’re lucky - for work we are surrounded by people who are stoked to be travelling, experiencing incredible places for the first time. Their energy is contagious. They help us remember - the places we visit regularly are truly incredible.
And then we decided to head off in a new direction - to the Pacific side of northern Patagonia - Bariloche and Chiloe to be precise. We soaked up stunning landscapes of the Andes and pacific islands. We met beautiful people. We let ourselves be curious and unscripted. We put down the guide book and hopped on ferries to islands that we knew nothing about. We followed the advice of convenience store staff and ended up on a stunning (and gruelling!) hike with not another soul to be seen for days. We tried the regional specialities - some of which were out of this world delicious, and others that became a source for heartburn and laughs.
Now we’re home, and we’re still a basking in the light -- exploring the familiar with fresh eyes. In yoga, we often talk about beginner mindset - where we turn off auto-pilot and approach our practice with openness, curiosity and awareness. Perhaps traveling can also help us be beginners, in how we inhabit a place and move through the day. We didn’t escape on our holiday. We went off-line and arrived.
At home, I’m spending more time being playful, immersing myself and having fun on the beautiful South Shore. February can often feel like a dark, isolating time here, and it seems easier than ever to feel overwhelmed by negative news. Yes, the light is weak and the skies are often grey. But have you gone outside and noticed how beautiful all the different tones of grey are? Have you noticed the warmth and humanity of the people that surround you? You don't have to smile about the state of the world, but please, take care of yourself. When I talk to friends and family who have likewise just arrived home from their own adventures, I recognize their travellers' high. What a privilege to travel for pleasure! Let’s make it last. Let’s be curious and present in our day to day. Let’s be beginners.
We feel so grateful to be back guiding tours in the incredible LaHave Islands again. This year we decided to take the leap and venture into Mahone Bay with more kayaks and a fleet of shiny new Starboard standup paddleboards (SUPs). Wait…what? Yes, a lot of kayakers turn up their noses at SUPs. Maybe some of you are among them. We have to admit, we used to be among the SUP doubters too! We were first tempted to give it a try as a platform for yoga (well Sarah was tempted). A paddleboard, it turns out, is an amazingly playful AND peaceful platform for an outdoor floating practice! It’s a great way to reconnect with your core during your practice and stay focused…or else be reminded to focus with a little surprise swim!
It also turns out that SUPs are really fun to paddle too…even for us kayakers! After long days out guiding in kayaks, or days seated in the office (yes unfortunately adventure companies involve office work too), we love getting out enjoying our incredible surroundings on the South Shore by SUP. It’s great to stand up! Paddleboards offers a new perspective. From a board you can gaze down into the tide pools and feel the movement of the water surface underneath your feet. A lot of paddling skills transfer over – blade control, bracing, edging, trip planning, risk assessment– and there are fun new skills to try out, like jumping into surf stance to catch a wave or to pivot around in a quick sweep stroke.
Many folks think that it’s going to be tough to balance on a SUP – but it doesn’t have to be at all! There’s a wide variety of board designs from super stable all-round boards, to boards designed for SUP surfing, racing, touring, whitewater, fishing…the list goes on! All to say that with the right board, SUP can be very beginner friendly, plus there are lots of new challenges to be had in the sport, if that’s what your looking for. Plus if you fall off playing around on your SUP, there’s no need to deal with a swamped boat – bonus! As long as you have the board attached to you with a leash (a safety must!), the board stays beside you in the water, you kick you feet like you were hoisting yourself out of the pool and you hop back on!
We still love our kayaks, but we’re also really enjoying sharing our SUP discovery with others this summer on the South Shore. Really though – you shouldn’t take our word for it. Try it out for yourself – especially you skeptics! We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
We have a fleet of high quality SUP rentals for you to take out for a spin, plus we're hosting a Starboard Demo Day in Mahone Bay on July 18th, 2016 (4-6pm), where you can test out a wide range of boards and different layups. If you are interested purchasing a board, you are welcome to try out a variety of boards before you buy - the cost of a one hour rental can be applied the sale of the board! We have inflatable and hard Starboard SUPs in stock. We’ll also be offering lessons and SUP yoga classes next month, so stay tuned for details! In the meantime, here is some SUPiration for you, if your curious, or already bitten by the paddleboard bug.
• This interview with Whitewater SUP guru Mark ScriverWe’re super excited that Mark is coming to Cape LaHave Adventures this July to teach an Advanced Flatwater SUP Instructor course.
• This article about SUP in Antarctica, by Meghan Roberts. (We snuck into a few pics … can you spot Scott and I?) Meghan operates her own SUP company in West Virginia Mountain Surf Paddle Sports LLC. Check out her offerings when you’re in her neck of the woods!
• Pups who SUP! Instagram feed
Yoga and sea kayaking… say what? This month I’ve given myself the task of trying to articulate some of the links I see between yoga and outdoor experiences. For many of us, we know these links intuitively. We have experienced the connections between the calming effects of a walk in the forest and the peacefulness of a post yoga cup of tea. What are the relationships between the two? Moreover, how do we talk about these connections?
A Context of Disconnection Many of us lead lives that are increasingly disconnected from the both the present moment and the natural world. We sit in front of computers in offices. We recognize more corporate logos than local plants. We buzz to work at high speeds via cement, steel and rubber. We return home to continue to live out significant amounts of our lives online, with our minds and fingers bouncing around interacting online, while our bodies barely move an inch. We are caught up in our personal dramas and alienated from our surroundings.
Re-connecting Through yoga practice, we are invited to shift our attention back to the present. We begin to connect with our breath. We learn to observe subtle sensations in the body. The churning of our mind begins to fade to the background as we focus in on the present. We experience being supported by the ground beneath us. We inhabit the experience of a yoga pose with awe and wonder, like a child playing in the grass or gazing up at the sky. Our bodies are full of life. Through yoga, we begin to experience ourselves, and our place in the natural world.
Outdoor experiences likewise have the potential to bring us back to the present moment. The rustling of pine needles, the warmth of the sun’s rays shinning through the trees, the waves lapping at the shore — many of us seek solace in these experiences. Our to-do lists and unpaid bills fade into the background. As we gaze out on the endless ocean horizon, it’s unclear where the sky ends and where our awareness begins. As in yoga, the Self begins to fade, as we immerse ourselves in our connection to our natural environment.
This is not to say that we cannot find peace in cities, that cities are bad, or that modern life is doomed. But rather that yoga and outdoor experiences can play a therapeutic role in our contemporary society, allowing us to feel part of nature. They help us place our individual troubles and lives in context. Coleman writes, “The natural world perennially invites us to become so attentive that we lose all sense of ourselves and merge with what we are observing […]We can rediscover our place in the natural order of things and transcend the sense of alienation that comes from feeling separate”. The goals of having a regular yoga practice; to cultivate mindfulness, unity and peace in the present moment can be complimented by outdoor experiences.
So there you have it - my attempt to put the experience of connections between yoga and outdoor living into words. These experiences are quite close to my heart, and something I love to share through Cape LaHave Adventures' unique kayak & yoga experiences. I hope it inspires you to roll out your yoga mat, to get outside. Here’s a poem and some photos to wrap it up. I've also included links to great books on the topic, if you want some further reading.
Thanks for checking in! Sarah
The birds have dissolved into the sky And the last remaining clouds have faded away We sit together the mountain and me Until only the mountain remains. Li Po, Zazen on Ching-t'inig Mountain
David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology
Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild
We're back online!
We have wrapped up another season of guiding in Antarctica. After several busy months aboard an expedition ship amongst the ice, penguins and seals, it is good to return to a slower pace.
We're currently catching up with life after a brief interlude on the Atlantic coast of Patagonia - you know, the centre of hustle and bustle. Friends and fellow adventure guides Berna Urtubey, Fernando and Mariana Soria (Abramar Buceo) and Pablo Passera (Patagonian Explorers) have been showing us the best of this incredible landscape, with seemingly endless hectares of undeveloped coastline, inhabited by curious sea lions, magallenic penguins, guanacos, rheas, and the occasional herd of merino sheep. We have picked our way through the thorny bushes and wild thyme of an arid desert ranch, marvelling at giant fossils of ancient oyster shells from the time of the dinosaurs, and arrowheads from the local indigenous peoples come and gone.
This place is a reminder that our sense of time, of self-importance and of basic reality is situated and temporary. It's wonderful to get away, to breath into the space of these vast, open wild places, to gain some perspective. As we ease our way back from the vastness of Antarctica, we are again humbled by the natural landscape.
Now we're back home in beautiful Nova Scotia, dealing with stacks of unopened mail (apologies!), catching up with friends, family, updating our website, and preparing for another awesome season of Cape LaHave Adventures. We'll have stories to share from Antarctica, and photos (of course!), plus dates and details for our east coast offerings. We're so privileged to experience many coastal landscapes for work. We are also grateful to have time to experience and enjoy the places and people in between.
A belated happy 2016 to you all.
Sarah & Scott
We’re packing up and shipping out, after a season of paddling in the LaHave Islands and throughout the North Atlantic. There wasn’t a dull moment this year. Although the snow was still pilled high when Sarah returned to LaHave in April, it wasn’t long before she was out paddling the icy shorelines as winter gave way to a late spring. Then it was off to Cape Chignecto on the Bay of Fundy for a reconnaissance trip with some good paddling friends. Scott returned from a month long trip in BC in May and two days later he was on the road again, as we headed north for a 14 day expedition to Newfoundland’s Northeast coast. We covered over 101 miles of coastline in total and lost track of the sheer number of icebergs we encountered.
In our incredible backyard archipelago, our day-trips were more popular than ever this summer, and the seals more numerous as well! We’re thrilled that word seems to have spread about the beauty and accessibility of kayaking in the LaHave Islands, and we feel exceptionally privileged to help visitors and locals to enjoy being on the water here. We had more requests for full day and multi-day trips this season too, as well as sea kayak and yoga adventures. The Paddle Canada courses were a splash too with lots of great folks coming to get into sea kayaking for the first time, or to improve their skills.
Our sunset paddles were also more popular than ever. We spent a record number of calm magical evenings on the water with delighted guests from all over the map. We had visits from fellow kayakers, John and Brisa, from Spain who invited us to come join them at Pagaia – a sea kayak symposium along the Costa Brava in Spain. We also were visited by the Mike Evin and his band while they were on tour. After a great paddle and a refreshing swim, Scotty’s band, More Please! played a show with Mike at the Company House in Halifax.
It’s wonderful to see that increasing numbers of people are interested in taking the time to unplug and immerse themselves in the sea life of the LaHave Islands area, be it for an evening, a day or a long weekend.
Autumn has brought some northerly winds; leaves are turning and the wild cranberries are ripe. We’ve been enjoying the bounty of our new vegetable garden (fed by the local seaweeds of course!), along with treats from the sea. This month we hosted our last community paddle of the season along with a BBQ potluck and oyster shuck. Despite the high winds and cooler temps, folks came out and helped us shuck 200 of Nova Scotia’s finest oysters. We feasted on seasonal dishes that everyone contributed and warmed ourselves around the fire as the party continued on into the crisp, clear night.
We’re still buzzing from all the fun, but alas it’s already time to wash our gear and put it away for the season. Then on to the task of packing our bags for 2 1/2 months in Antarctica and two weeks in Argentina. Hmm - a couple of t-shirts, bathing suits, long johns & a balaclava should do…!
We are already excited for next season with trips dates already planned for the Bay of Exploits, Newfoundland, as well as multi-day trips, day trips and Paddle Canada instruction in the LaHave Islands. New for 2016 will be Stand-Up-Paddleboarding (SUP) and a full-day guided Hike & Paddle. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date and don't miss our sales! Please excuse any tardy replies for the next few months, as we will be on the high seas of the Southern Ocean until Febuary.
All the best and happy paddling,
Scotty and Sarah
We've been back guiding kayaking trips in the LaHave Islands, on Nova Scotia's South Shore for over a month now. It's our second summer here, and it's off to an amazing start. It's been so great welcome back many familiar faces who have returned for more summer adventures here, as well as to get on the water with new paddling friends who are exploring the area for the first time. Everyone seems to agree - there's so much to see and do in the area! We have incredible beaches, world-class paddling and camping, a thriving community of local artists and musicians, great food and of course that refreshing sea air. The best advice: if you're thinking about visiting for a day, come for two days, and if you're thinking about visiting for the weekend, come for the week. You won't run out of great things to do. The only danger is that you might just choose to stay for the entire summer or longer! It's a dangerous place that way... Here are some of our kayaking highlights in the South Shore from just the past few days:
Earlier this month we had the pleasure of guiding a three day multi-day trip in the Bay of Fundy, along the shoreline of Cape Chignecto Provincial Park. This seldom visited coastline features the highest cliffs on the mainland of Nova Scotia, impressive sea stacks and rock spires, sea caves, and of course the incredible tides of the Bay of Fundy. In addition to the unique geology, the coastline has a rich history. From our camp at Refugee Cove where we found evidence of an old mill, we hiked up to French Lookout, where the Acadians kept a watchful eye out for British ships. All in all, a fascinating coastline to explore. Many thanks to all of those who joined us for a great adventure!
Here are some pictures from our 14 day trip in the Northeast coast of Newfoundland this spring. What a trip! We explored the protected waters of Dildo Run, and then circumnavigated New World Island. We threaded our way in and out of protected waters as we made our way around, paddling through a number of narrow straights or tickles (our favourite: Gut Tickle). We then concluded our trip with a few days in the beautiful Bay of Exploits. We paddled through history (both Beothuk and European), and watched as countless icebergs drifted our way from Western Greenland, riding the Labrador current. The Northeast coast and it's people are truly incredible! We had great travelling companions who enjoyed our shock at all of the jokes about Nova Scotians that we learnt from the islanders. We made a few new friends who promised to visit us in Nova Scotia...if they run out of gas on the way to Toronto! Ha! Thank you all for a fantastic time. We'll be back!
We just got back from an early spring trip around Cape Chignecto, in the Bay of Fundy. We had big tides, incredible cliffs & waterfalls, beautiful camping, good food and great laughs. What an amazing place to paddle! We're looking forward to returning to guide a three day trip here in mid June.
We've made our way back to the northern hemisphere again. We're on opposite coasts at the moment - Sarah has returned east to prepare for the coming Cape LaHave Adventures season and Scott has headed west to work another adventure therapy progamme with Coastline Challenges. We're looking forward to reuniting for our new Maritime adventures soon. We'll kick it off with in late May with an epic 14 day sea kayaking expedition in Newfoundland, followed by a 3 day trip in the Bay of Fundy along the stunning Chignecto coastline (check out our Guided Sea Kayak Multi-Day Tours for more info, and let us know if you'd like to join us!). After that we'll back in the swing of things in the LaHave Islands again, in mid-June.
It's going to be a busy and exciting season, so we thought should take the time now to look back through some photos from last season in the LaHave Islands. There were so many amazing moments in just one season! Things were so busy that we didn't have a chance to share any of our trip photos from our multi-day tour late last August. What a great group of people! What a great trip! See you on the water!
We’ve returned for another season of ice and sun in Antarctica, working aboard Quark Expedition’s Ocean Diamond. More than a month has flown by already. It has been pretty action packed, with zodiac cruising, camping, kayaking, climbing & skiing and the newest adventure option – stand up paddle boarding (SUPing). It’s been great to see the first Antarctic SUPers on the water, with their tall silhouettes gliding around bergs. Some of the kayak guides are convinced that it’s really just a lot of standing around (!), but whether you sit or stand, it’s magic to travel through the landscape here self-propelled, with penguins and whales passing by. Antarctica yoga classes seem to be getting more popular all the time too – and while practicing yoga isn’t typically something to brag about, it’s not everyone can say that they tried their first downward dog aboard a ship in the infamously rough Drake Passage. Our next voyage is a 23 day trip to the Falklands, South Georgia and Antarctica. It’s always a season highlight for us, so I’m sure we’ll have more photos for you soon. In the meantime, here are some icy pics of the season thus far.
En route to guiding in Antarctica this year, we took two weeks to explore the northwest of Argentina. In the provinces of Salta & Jujuy, we soaked up the heat of the desert and mountains before heading into the ice. The landscape blew us away – cacti the size of trees and a truly magical pallet of minerals and stone, eroded into jagged scalloped mountaintops. We convened with the locals & llamas for Christmas. In fact we stayed for as long as possible, before having to gun it down to Ushuaia several thousand kilometers to the south. It’s not good to miss the boat! Now it’s off to a different kind of desert to ring in the New Year. We’ll try to keep the photos coming & keep you up to date about our 2015 offerings. Hope you enjoy!
Sarah & Scott
Lobsters and the lobster fishery is an important part of the Dublin Shore and LaHave Islands communities. We were reminded of this on a recent paddle at the start of the local lobster fishing season - lobster trap markers sprung up with the start of the season and the waterways were busy with fishermen were out in their boats, working away. It seems like a good time to brush up on some fun lobster natural history info and celebrate our popular local invertebrate friend. I hope you enjoy!
Lobsters as food
Many of us already know that lobster wasn't always considered a gourmet delicacy. Did you know that in the 17th & 18th centuries, laws were passed forbidding people to feed servants lobster more than twice a week. They were also served in prisons and often used as fertilizer. In the 19th and 20th century, when fresh lobsters made it onto the plates of our urban taste makers thanks to improvements in infrastructure, they began to be thought of as a delicacy.
Lobsters & fashion
Helmets worn by Roman warriors immortalized the strength of the lobster. Around 1630, a new Turkish helmet, the Zischägge, or "lobster tail", was being used in Eastern Europe. It had overlapping steel plates over the neck guard, providing both protection and ventilation for the neck. The bowl (head cover) was fluted and had a single adjustable nasal bar, similar to the rostrum (most frontal part) of the lobster.
Lobsters as medicine
During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, lobsters were used for all sorts of medical conditions. The most seemingly random: "Their gastrolith, a calcareous "rock" found in the stomachs of lobsters preparing to shed their shell, was used for eye inflammations and as a remedy for stomach aches and epilepsy". (www.lobsters.org)
They can be HUGE
The largest lobster recorded was caught off of Nova Scotia, and weighed 44 pounds, 6 ounces. It was 3 feet, 6 inches long. Scientists believe it was at least 100 years old!
Lobsters have two different type of claws, the crusher claw and the pincer claw. Some crush with their right, and some crush with their left. It's reported that 10lb lobster and bigger can shatter a glass pop bottle with a pinch of the claw. If a lobster ever pinches you, you can close the lobster’s other claw to be released. We have not tested this this.
A Caridoid Escape!
In general, lobsters travel by slowly walking on the sea floor. However, when they flee, they swim backward quickly by curling and uncurling their abdomen . This is known as the Caridoid Escape Reaction, which is also observed in krill, shrimp and crayfish. A speed of 5 metres per second (11 mph) has been recorded by lobsters.
Molting sounds tough!
Adults lobsters molt three or four times a year. During this process the lobster grows a new soft shell underneath its old hard shell.
"It then hides in a rocky crevice for protection, bends into a V-shape and shrinks its extremities. It withdraws from its old shell, sometimes even self-amputating a claw or leg in the process. The lobster will begin to regain its larger size and the new shell will begin to harden. Missing legs or claws will regenerate" ( http://thisfish.info/fishery/species/atlantic-lobster/ )
Shells and flavour
New-shell lobsters have paper-thin shells and a lower meat-to-shell ratio, but the meat is very sweet. However, the lobsters are so delicate that the market for new-shell lobsters strictly local to the fishing towns where they are offloaded. Hard-shell lobsters with firm shells, but with less sweet meat, can survive shipping, so they command a higher price than new-shell lobsters. Meanwhile, old-shell lobsters, have a coarser flavour, but can be shipped by air anywhere in the world and arrive alive, making them the most-expensive.
Lobsters may come in a variety of colors besides the usual blue-green, including blue, yellow, red, and white. Only the white lobsters (true albinos) don't turn red when cooked.
Additional sources consulted, in no particular order: