Bruce in kayak.

"We specialize in small group travel, which minimizes environmental impact, increases safety standards and allows for personalized, enriching and authentic experiences."

— Bruce Smith, founder and owner, Seascape Kayak Tours Inc.

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THE INTERN AND THE “ICEBERG”August 23rd, 2010

Hi! I’m Shana Wallace, I’m 17, and I live about 40 miles north of New York City. For a week in July, I interned for Seascape on Deer Island in the Bay of Fundy. I wrote this original blog entry on my last day at Seascape. Now, I’m back in New York in 12th grade, and I can think about my experience at Seascape with a grander perspective. I see how much hard work is put into this business and how much Bruce and Frank and Katinka and the rest of the guides really care about the people and this bay. This place is important, and if you read my guest blog below, hopefully you’ll understand why.

The island that Seascape is located on is a 20-minute ferry ride from mainland New Brunswick, which makes it right in the middle of the Bay of Fundy. Although I live over 500 miles and a ferry ride away, I absolutely fell in love with this part of the world. This specific body of water is a special place for me. In my mind, it really can do almost no wrong. I don’t mind the fog. Or the cold. Or the wind. All I honestly care about is just being here and realizing that I am in a truly amazing place.

This “sense of place” I am able to achieve only in the Bay happened to work completely in tandem (ha ha…kayak joke…oh my) with Bruce’s, and Seascape’s, mission. I was blown away by how much this mindset of being in the moment and APPRECIATING that moment can do to enlighten people’s minds about how they’re living and where they are. And I know this may sound too flowery, but I can’t stress it enough: this water is magical. It is teeming with life and information… and to see people’s eyes and minds light up while on a paddle is absolutely incredible and almost indescribable.

That simple fact is the reason that I can’t wait to bring my family up here in the future. Simply observing how glassy the water is on a calm day or seeing a harbor seal pop up right beside your kayak almost forces your mind to take a step back and appreciate what it is taking in. Even picking up garbage can be an experience here.

What? Picking up GARBAGE? Ew! Gross! Well, yes. Picking up garbage can be gross and I really cannot deny that. I also cannot deny that like many other bodies of water, the Bay of Fundy faces the trash issue. When people drive their boats out into the Bay, drink beer, and then throw that empty can into the water, it doesn’t end there. Animals can choke on the trash or get tangled up in it. Chemicals poisonous to the water can seep into the sand or infect krill and the effects never stop. Why does this STILL happen? I honestly don’t know. I don’t particularly understand why or how people feel that that is okay to do, but wondering about it or thinking bad thoughts about them certainly doesn’t help the issue. At my school, I’m one of the new presidents of the environmental club, so it would seem in my natural mindset to want to work on this issue.

During my first paddle of the week, Bruce noticed my interest in picking up the empty water bottles and pieces of containers on the water and thereby declared that I would be the “Garbage Queen” by the end of the week. And you know what? I think he may have been right. About halfway through the week, during a paddle, our small group came upon a HUGE piece of Styrofoam floating along. And when I say huge, I mean close to mini-iceberg size. And it was HEAVY. If you still don’t believe me, here’s a picture of the two people we went out with as well as myself and our friend the giant piece of Styrofoam.

Bruce and I managed to balance it on the center of our tandem kayak and save one unfortunate incident, (sorry Bruce!) we got it back without issue.

From all of this, I learned simply that this place is important. This water is special, and if you don’t visit it, it just might be ruined soon. It might be destroyed by us, humans, by all of that trash and uncaring people I just mentioned. Don’t waste your time. Just don’t. Don’t make any excuses. Just visit. Who knows? Maybe, hopefully, I just might be back here when you do.

Thanks, Seascape. Really. Peace, love and whales,

Shana

PHOTOS BY SHARON AVRUTICK, FRANK POSTMA AND BRUCE SMITH




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