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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

Filtering by Category: Updates

The gift of experience

Sarah Hrdlicka

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:

Multiday Tours

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. 

Isla Coiba, Panama, 2013. We’re excited to return to this biodiversity hotspot this winter to lead several multi-element, soul-soothing getaways!

Isla Coiba, Panama, 2013. We’re excited to return to this biodiversity hotspot this winter to lead several multi-element, soul-soothing getaways!

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! 

Simplify

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!

Sarah will continue to offer both multiday and day tours with beach yoga, to help you stretch out your paddling muscles, and get the most from your adventures.

Sarah will continue to offer both multiday and day tours with beach yoga, to help you stretch out your paddling muscles, and get the most from your adventures.

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








2017 on the East Coast... that's a wrap!

Sarah Hrdlicka

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. 

Happy Fall,

Sarah, Scotty and the Cape LaHave Adventures crew

The Cape LaHave Adventures Crew

Sarah Hrdlicka

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.

You won't find Logan sitting around in his spare time... via Gordon Prince YouTube Capture

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

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

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

 

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.

 

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

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

 

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

More Please Toronto Release

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!