Sep
19

West Isles Sea Kayak Symposium – The symposium you never knew you wanted to go to, but do!

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The beginning of September this year found me driving up to New Brunswick Canada, and the magnificent Bay of Fundy for a week+ of exceptional kayaking. We met and stayed with some friends on Deer Island, NB, and then headed to Campobello Island which was the home of the 208 West Isles Sea Kayak Symposium. We spend Friday Saturday and Sunday there although it was only a 2-day event. Those of you who travel or paddle the coast of Maine, will see similar, yet even more dramatic coastlines, and add in the up to 50 foot tidal range of the Bay of Fundy, which can be calm and relaxing or fast and furious for current. Landscape changes as the sea literally falls away or rises up beneath you. We saw no end to harbor and gray seals, pilot whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and porpoises.  They were never far from our paths, and at least one seal even bumped into Shannon’s kayak!

The courses that are offered span from gorgeous journeys, surfing, rock gardening, working in strong currents, rolling, etc. It need not be a weekend of adrenalin, but it can be if you so want it. 

The event is organized by Outdoors New Brunswick and Jeremy Cline, who did a fantastic job on this–the second year of the event–and will no doubt continue to expand on it. Solid Coaches, guides, presenters, and participants. Who knew Canadians were friendly!? 🙂

The day the event ended we drove to Nova Scotia to test our skills on the Shubenacadie Tidal Bore. While not part of the symposium, the weekend had sharpened our skills and allowed us to really feel much more comfortable in the high speed, big wave craziness of The Shubie.

Below is a clip from our friend Ben Fontenot from his GoPro of The Shubie from our trip.

We’ll be back for both for sure. I highly recommend considering it as a destination trip! Next time (2020–it alternates every other year with the Bay of Fundy Kayak Symposium) it will be held on Grand Manan Island

Feel free to ask me or Shannon about the experience or logistics!

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