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90 Bells Cove Road
LaHave, NS, B0R 1C0
Canada

(902) 693-2023

Sea kayaking and stand up paddling (SUP) adventures in Nova Scotia and Canada’s North Atlantic Coast. We offer guided day tours in the renowned LaHave Island Archipelago and the Mahone Bay Islands on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. For those who prefer a self guided tour, we also rent kayaks, paddleboards and canoes. We also offer multi-day expeditions in superb locations across Atlantic Canada, as well as outdoor education, yoga, paddling instruction and other custom group programs and tours. Everyone is welcome, no experience is needed!

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Paddling Nova Scotia and the North Atlantic Blog

World Ocean Week Events

Sarah Hrdlicka

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, info@capelahaveadventures.ca, 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

Travellers' mindset

Sarah Hrdlicka

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. 

Happy February,

Sarah

Salty perspectives...

Sarah Hrdlicka

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!

Gliding along island hopping on a Starboard touring SUP

Gliding along island hopping on a Starboard touring SUP

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.

Paddle Canada SUP Instructor Training, LaHave Islands

Paddle Canada SUP Instructor Training, LaHave Islands

 

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 inspirational SUP Yoga video by the folks at Wanderlust

The book on SUP

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 & the Outdoors

Sarah Hrdlicka

LaHave Kayaking 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

Photo by Marcin Ryczek

via http://seenthelifeivehad.tumblr.com

Further reading

David Abram, Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology 

Mark Colman, Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery

Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild

 

Patagonian coast

Sarah Hrdlicka

Patagonia meets the Atlantic

Patagonia meets the Atlantic

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

End of Season Reflections

Sarah Hrdlicka

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.  

Newfoundland's north east coast

Newfoundland

 

Then it was back to Cape Chignecto for some more Bay of Fundy fun before returning to LaHave in mid June to guide paddlers closer to home.

Bay of Fundy

 

Bay of Fundy

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.

 

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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.

 

South Shore Kayaking

 

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.

 

Ahh shucks that was fun!

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

Back in the LaHave Islands

Sarah Hrdlicka

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:

Chignecto and the Bay of Fun-dy!

Sarah Hrdlicka

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!

Thank you Newfoundland!

Sarah Hrdlicka

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!  

Bay of Fundy Spring Preview

Sarah Hrdlicka

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.

 

Sunny Island Times

Sarah Hrdlicka

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!

Return to the South

Sarah Hrdlicka

Kayaking south of the Antarctic Circle 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.

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Desert Interlude

Sarah Hrdlicka

Cafayate, Salta
Cafayate, Salta

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!

Happy Holidays!

Sarah & Scott

Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy
Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy

What do you know about lobsters?

Sarah Hrdlicka

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! The Turkish Zischägge, or "lobster tail" helmet Source: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/360358407657620997/

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!

Source: http://www.pemzo.com/5-facts-about-lobsters-that-will-amaze-you/

The Crusher

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.

The crusher! Source: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/a-maine-lobster-with-a-large-claw-stephen-st-john.html

 

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.

Albinos

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.

 

Lobsters can be 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.Source: http://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g319809-d318703-i42363454-Exploris-Portaferry_County_Down_Northern_Ireland.html

 

Additional sources consulted, in no particular order:

http://smallscales.ca/2014/02/11/sea-legs/

http://smallscales.ca/2014/01/14/wf/

http://lobstercouncilcanada.ca/blog/

http://www.lobsterfishinginnovascotia.com/lobster-fishing-facts/

http://speedylobster.com/facts/

Fall reflections

Sarah Hrdlicka

We’ve just returned from a 6-day exploratory canoe trip in the Tobeatic. We crawled down the Shelburne river in low water, harvested wild cranberries, marveled at the fall colours and finally started to take a moment to reflect on what a whirlwind year we’ve had. It was a scramble, from Antarctica to Nova Scotia for our inaugural trip as our new company on the Canada Day long weekend.  After our first successful trip, road signs were erected, friends and family continued to come and go, new clients appeared and somehow we were deep into the swing of the summer tides in no time. In addition to the enthusiasm of our first clients, who chose to take a trip with the new outfitter on the block, we were exceptionally lucky to have the warm welcome of new neighbours, who showered us with food and friendship in exchange for the entertainment we seemed to offered, coming and going in our kayaks.  We shared much fun on the water too, with new paddling friends. We established ourselves as strange floating beasts among the local seal population. The kingfishers, terns, eagles and herons all got to know our voices, and us theirs. Then, almost as quickly as it began, it seemed fall arrived. Summer homes on the islands closed up for the season, and surfers started to drool with the occasional increasing swells. All of a sudden we had emails about booking flights for wintertime work and the leaves started to turn. Taken along the Shelburne River, Nova Scotia:

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Scott is off to BC soon, for another month of tripping with adjudicated youth (yep – you paid to go on a trip with Scott in your vacation time, while others get sentenced to go camping with him. It’s a really fantastic programme – but don’t be fooled, you’re still the lucky ones!). While Scott’s in the bush, Sarah will be attempting her first 10 day Vipassana meditation course. By the time the New Year rolls around we’ll be back on Quark’s Ocean Diamond for another round of Antarctic guiding adventures. While we’ll be physically far at times this winter, we’ll be thinking of Cape LaHave Adventures often, and planning out more excellent trips for the 2015 season. A few exciting things are in the works already….including a 14 day sea-kayak expedition in June. We don’t want to spoil the rest – but do let us know if you have itineraries and dates in mind already for next season. It’s going to be big. It’s going to be epic. It’s going to be the most fun on and in the water yet. We hope to see you there!

Have a great fall & Happy Thanksgiving!

Sarah & Scotty

 

2014 Inaugural Trip!

Sarah Hrdlicka

We just returned from our first 3 day trip with the new fleet of boats! The weather and the company of great people couldn't have been better for the Canada Day long weekend. As we paddled along, we saw osprey & bald eagles around some of the smaller islands, shore birds galore including the piping plover out on Bantam bay, and groups of curious seals around the aptly named Seal Point. It seemed like there was a beautiful sandy beach around every bend, perfect for a snack and swim. The Atlantic was just the right refreshing temp to keep us calm, cool and collected under cloudless summer skys. Our fun was fueled by homemade granola & cookies, and delicious camp cookery including a feast of, pesto, local scallops and ocean-chilled wine. A huge thanks to those who who came along for the maiden voyage! We're looking forward to the next trip with you all. Enjoy the pics!

Summer Countdown

Sarah Hrdlicka

We're packing up our home in Montreal, getting ready for our move to LaHave, Nova Scotia! Summer is in full swing in Quebec already - we had our first dramatic afternoon thundershower of the season today, and the first St. Laurent sidewalk sale is this weekend. Classic Montreal summer. A few friends and family from out east have come to visit. They've arrived pale and wearing sweaters. Although it's a bit selfish, it's been a relief to know that we haven't missed too much seaside sun yet! It's been a whirlwind since we've returned from Antarctica in March. Shortly after we returned home to Montreal, we made a quick dash to Nova Scotia via Maine & New Brunswick. We picked up our kayaks en route, and, full of optimism, we drove right into the midst of an ice storm in search of a home for ourselves and our business on the Dublin Shore.

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Having decided we wanted to live along a 5 km stretch of protected coastline, we weren't really sure what we'd find for living arrangements, but somehow we managed to find a sweet little cape cod, just minutes from protected put-ins. We talked with some future neighbours, put the kayaks in the water and, 30 seconds later, made up our minds.

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Since then, we've been looking forward to our first summer in LaHave from a distance. Scott travelled to BC to lead a 26-day youth justice wilderness expedition for Coastline Challenges. Sarah has been in Montreal for the most part, swimming in paperwork and phone calls, making sure Cape LaHave Adventures is in order and that we're stocked with the only the best gear. Scott re-immerged from the woods & has been busy trying to catch up while also orchestrating the release of The Bounty, the debut album by his band More Please! The Toronto launch last week included a bassoon player, and incredible period pieces from a clothing collector (I don't know. Ask Scott). It's been quite the production & full of amazing friends & family. Montreal, Ottawa & Halifax releases are still to come! Don't miss them!: http://morepleasemusic.ca/?page_id=52

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We've been planning all sorts of workshops, trips & special events for Cape LaHave Adventures this summer. We'll also be trying new ways to get the word out (we have a new monthly newsletter that is really going to be awesome! Subscribe to stay up to date on the fun!). We're going to try to post updates and stories here more often.  Most importantly though, we'll be running guided sea kayaking trips very soon (June 28th at the latest) in one of the most stunning paddling areas either of us has ever visited. We really think you should come visit us this summer, and experience paddling the LaHave archipelago for yourselves. There's a reason we've spent the spring dashing about so Cape LaHave Adventures can become a reality. We know you'll understand when you get on the water with us. Hope to see you this summer!

Southern Seas

Sarah Hrdlicka

We've made our yearly migration south again, to guide trips in Antarctica aboard Quark's Ocean Diamond from November to March. There have been so many highlights - singing Weddell seals, calving glaciers, lunge feeding humpback whales, pods of orcas amongst the ice... Oh, did we mention penguins?! Their chicks are little fluff balls now, getting bigger and more gregarious by the day. Early in the season, before the chicks were hatched, our second expedition took us to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula - some of our favourite places on earth. In the Falklands and South Georgia, we communed with rock hopper penguins, king penguins, nesting black browed albatross, long finned pilot whales, fur seals, and elephant seals and their weaning pups. You could spend a lifetime here and still be captivated by the wildlife. We'll spare you the complete list, but suffice it to say that the incredible diversity and sheer abundance of wildlife of the Sub-Antarctic is parallel to none. The beaches of South Georgia are a wildlife bonanza.

The second trip of the season was exceptional on another account - after a sunny two days of excursions, Scotty launched the new More Please! album The Bounty.  He's playing aboard the Ocean Diamond this season for what might be the first album release tour in Antarctica. Good times on the Ocean Diamond! What more could you need? (The More Please! Canadian launch is happening this spring. Look out!)

We arrived at the Peninsula, where mountains soar above the water's edge, and ice is so abundant that glaciers spill over the tops of peaks. The Antarctic landscape is so humbling and raw - it's a privilege to work in such a magical place.

After eight trips from Ushuaia across the Drake Passage to the seventh continent  and back again, we're currently catching our breaths with a short break. I'm sure we'll have more stories when we return. In the meantime, enjoy the photos!

Maritime Adventures

Sarah Hrdlicka

We had great summer in Grand Manan, New Brunswick and on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. We led sea kayak trips for Kevin Sampson's Adventure High. It was a good year for herring in the Bay of Fundy, which meant a good year for porpoise and minke whale sightings.  It also happened to be a good year for the End of Summer music festival there - Michael Feurstack, Weather Report, Jon McKiel and Paper Beats Scissors played ocean-side on a flatbed trailer-turned stage, in the little festival that could (and did) totally rock. After we had satiated ourselves with dulse and few months of island life, we left to enjoy the warm autumn weather and a feast of fresh mackerel on the South Shore. We took some time off to go kayaking at the Keji Seaside Adjunct, Blue Rocks, the LaHave Islands and many islands in Mahone Bay. The LaHave Islands so thoroughly enchanted us such that we are returning to set up shop there in the new year. We met Joe Laird, the long time kayak tour operator in the area. He recently retired, but he is still filled with enthusiasm about his home. He told us all about the trips he used to run, and showed us some of the fibreglass kayaks he designed and built. He even made kayaks with see-through bottoms, so you could watch the lobsters crawl along the ocean floor!

We returned to our apartment in Montreal in October - but LaHave hasn't been far from our minds. We're looking forward to our return in the new year. For now, it's back to packing though. We return to Antarctica to work for Quark Expeditions in less than a week. Even though it's not our first season, it still feels extraordinary to be traveling to such a remote part of the world while the rest of Canada hunkers down for the quickly approaching winter. But more on Antarctica later....

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Coming Soon!

Sarah Hrdlicka

Cape LaHave Adventures is coming soon! We are in the process of getting everything in order so that we can guide you on Sea Kayak trips of a lifetime starting in 2014.