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90 Bells Cove Road
LaHave, NS, B0R 1C0

(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!


Paddling Nova Scotia and the North Atlantic Blog

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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

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



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.



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!  

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.





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:

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". (

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!


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:


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" ( )

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.


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:


Additional sources consulted, in no particular order:

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:





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!

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....



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.