My Book!!

One opportunity that the blog has brought me is the co-authoring of a guidebook, Paddling Southern Maine! It is something in which I take a lot of pride! My writing partner, Sandy Moore, and I have created a book with 54 amazing trips that are within about an hour of Portland! Our motto as we wrote the book was wanting to 'get people to spend the day on the water and not in their cars!'

If you want more information on our book please visit www.paddlingsouthernmaine.com. Sandy and I are available to attend/present various functions/events. Please email me at mainekayakgirl@gmail.com for more information!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

2019 Season is OPEN!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! 

(That's Happy New Paddling Year!!!)  

I am kicking off the 2019 paddling season blog with some photos from my first two trips out this year!   I got out Wednesday 4/17 on the Presumpscot, launching from Lincoln Street.  (Click the link for directions from a previous post.)  Then today I got out and went to Tenny River
Both were PERFECT for what I needed them to be... a way to relax and connect with myself in a way I can only do with paddling... 
This week included the tenth anniversary of losing my mom... the person who inspired me to kayak...  Oh how I miss her... and how lucky I am that kayaking is one of the gifts she gave to me!  

Please enjoy!  (I will make sure to post some new places this year that will include the directions and my other typical format... I just wanted to include some pics and a few notes for this first paddling post... plus, these two locations are probably my most frequently visited, so I didn't think I needed to share again!)  
Happy Paddling! 

[By the way I have had a busy winter!  For my non- kayaking adventures, check out my other blog here!]

My FIRST time on the water this year! 



As I was coming around this corner I wondered if she would be there... and how she had survived the winter...

She survived!  And looks good!  Love this tree!  

THE tunnel!  

There were cows in the fields!  I was hoping they would be closer to the water, but not today! 

This was the only set of Canada geese I saw!  

A well camouflaged cormorant! 


Not sure which kind of bird... maybe a turkey vulture?


Muskrat!

MYRTLE! 

 The Presumpscot was a little chilly on Wednesday... but it was sooo good to get out!  

Then there was today!  I debated about bringing Gladys, but I wasn't sure how conditions would be... so I opted to go solo.. but not before taking time to embarrass her...  by the way... I TOTALLY forgot that this week marked her 3rd birthday!  WHAT?! I am a bad dog momma!  I haven't reminded her yet because I only thought of it today... will celebrate with her this week!  
Despite being less than thrilled for the bunny ears... she is adorable!


(Oh the shame!) 

"Seriously... can we take these things off?"

Tenny River... is one of my favorite places because I always see wildlife!  Today was no exception. 



 I was happy to see some kayak friends on the water, Peter and Sarah!  They have been on the water more than me this year... so far!!  Love that they love it! 



I came home and found that Peter had taken some shots of me too!  (Ignore my bad hair!  ha!  I did not expect to see anyone let alone be photographed!)  







Ok... back to what I saw! 



The water is so clear!




The culvert!  Water was high and moving fast through here.  Paddling from Crescent to Panther was easy... Panther to Crescent was a bit harder!  

I am a creature of habit.  I always have to check to see if the pitcher plants are still here... they are!  (Carnivorous  plant!)

 

 The temperatures today changed a lot from one part of the stream to the other and depending whether or not the sun was out.  I had a t-shirt on under a long sleeved active shirt... and was fine! 


There were a couple of kingfishers flitting about... I got some shots of them which is hard to do, they are so fast! 



There were a couple of iceburgs!  

DUCKS!

At times the water was so calm! 


Turtles were out!  


OK.. This is a good one... bad picture but good story.. I came around this point and looked to my left and saw a beaver... on the shore... man don't hey look cute when they sit like that... I froze... I wanted to take a photo of it on the shore looking so cute.. but I have had a similar experience before which resulted in the beaver charging at me... so I froze... and it decided i was not going to charge or stare at me any longer so it jumped in the water and swam away.  I missed the photo opp... DAM!  
(see what I did there?!) 

I love when I get to see the yellow bellies!  




These guys were not as willing to be photographed... 

Tiny turtle! 

I am SO glad to be back on the water!  

A few things to remember... I am an ambassador for Women Who Paddle!  
PLEASE reach out to me if you are a woman who wants to learn to kayak or if you are a woman who has limited experience and wants to go more to gain confidence!  
Also.. keep your eye on my facebook page, I will be organizing a few paddles.  (A few of them will be exclusively for Fit Maine Social Club, but some will be open to all!)  





Monday, March 4, 2019

Swimming! Lessons for ADULTS! For FREE!

FREE Adult Swim Lessons! 
Six Weeks!
FREE! 
Casco Bay YMCA in Freeport 

You do NOT have to be a member of the Y before signing up. 
You do NOT have to live in Freeport to participate! 


 Okay... confession time for MaineKayakGirl... I love the water... I love being on the water and love being in the water (as long as it is not mucky and there are no plants or monsters trying to grab my legs and pull me under!)  I can swim... and I can tread water all day.... but...here is the confession:  I have NEVER taken swim lessons... never! 

So... my swimming strokes consist of the ever popular doggie paddle or a breast stroke kind of thing... 

A part of the movie The Princess Bride comes to mind...when Princess Buttercup jumps into eel infested waters and Vizzini commands Fezzik, played by Andre the giant, to go in after her...and he replies, "I only dog paddle!" and makes the hand gestures of someone doing the dog paddle!

In recent years I have tried to get some of my friends to teach me how to swim, really swim... where you put your face in the water and move your arms in a windmilly type motion and efficiently move through the water... but schedules have not worked and... I haven't pushed too hard because... in some ways it feels a little embarrassing... to be someone who promotes water sports but doesn't really KNOW how to truly swim...

Well... that is all gonna be behind me!  I have signed up to do these FREE adult swim lessons through the YMCA in Freeport.  The flyer says "This program is designed for all adults -those have little or no swim experience, up to swimmers who want to learn how to rotary breathe."   (Another confession... I googled 'rotary breathe'... it's what I thought it was... face in the water while swimming and then turning your head to the side to breathe...)

So... as we approach warmer months and anticipate getting out into our kayaks, canoes, or on our SUPs... why not gain some skills in the swimming department? Yes we all wear our life jackets/PFDs but... better swimming skills will increase our safety skills!   So... if you are someone who has wanted to learn to swim as an adult... CARPE DIEM!!! 


For More information and/or to register click here


To register online, here is how to do it! 
1.  Go to their website

2.  Become a "Non Member"... follow these steps


You will be asked to make an account as a non member
 using an email address and creating a password.  

3.  Choose Adult Swim from the option of programs available: 

4.  Taking you to this screen...


             ....and Scroll down...  and choose from these classes! 
 
Then sign up!! 


I hope the classes fill up so that they keep offering them!  
Join me!!!  
Happy Swimming!  
(Picture Dory here... 'just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming!')