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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Posts Tagged ‘Bay of Fundy’

Perfect Sunset trip for Facebook winnerAugust 24th, 2010

As the Facebook winner of the Sunset Trip for Two Kayak Adventure from Deer Island, I feel so lucky to have been part of the contest – and then to win, was just wonderful.

My husband and I took our trip on Friday, July 30th. The day was perfect for kayaking with minimal winds, sunny and warm. Bruce and Katinka prepared our group for the adventure with paddling instruction, basic rules for sea kayaking and a look at the maps of our various points of interest. We were honored to have the company of porpoises, several seals and sea birds and a family of eagles. We enjoyed a light snack served on the beach and got to meet and talk to our co-paddlers. Bruce and Katinka were able to answer any questions thrown at them and were very informative of the nature and environment in and around the Bay of Fundy. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and would recommend Seascape Kayak Tours to everyone. We are talking about a potential trip to Costa Rica with Seascape to explore the waterways there….Thank you so much for this unique opportunity. We had a lovely time!

~Beth and Joe Smith, Saint John, New Brunswick, Facebook Giveaway Sunset Paddle


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


Winds of changeOctober 7th, 2009

As always, the busy summer just past is a blur at this time of year. The quiet, peace and solitude have returned to the Bay.

The trees are glowing red and yellow. The cool winds from the north have started to blow across the water. Bonaparte gulls, terns and cormorants have congregated in the harbor to find protection from the open bay and to feed on abundant herring. The marine life has been extraordinary on the bay this summer, a true testament to how special this marine ecosystem is.

imgp1397KAYAKS BEACHED IN FRONT OF A HERRING WEIR, PHOTO BY SANDRA LUKEN

As a part of the community here on Deer Island, I feel it is important to connect with local folks on the working waterfront whenever there is an opportunity. While guiding, I often stop to chat with local fishermen. On one such occasion this summer, I paddled over to a fellow working the weir off Dinner Island. The paddling group was eagerly following the guide in the lead boat, so I made an executive decision to lag behind and strike up a conversation.

“Beautiful day,” says I.

“Shore is,” says he.

Weirs have been the topic of previous blog posts. We always share with our groups that these somewhat haunting structures made from poles, brush and nets are a traditional method for catching herring traced to the ancient Passamaquoddy Tribe. As I bobbed up and down in my kayak on this sunny afternoon, the fisherman shed new light on weir fishing.

“You know, we often get porpoise following fish into these weirs,” he said. I replied that I knew about this and had helped release several harbor porpoise from the Iris weir in the front of Seascape’s base.

porpoise-lift-sarah-wong-photo2

HARBOR PORPOISE BEING RELEASED FROM A WEIR, PHOTO BY SARAH WONG.

“At first this pissed me off, you know,” he continued. “Lots of extra work to get these fellas out of the nets. Then one time I grabbed one innocently by the tail and all of a sudden the porpoise went limp. This made it very easy to release the porpoise from the weir.”

Was the porpoise trusting the fisherman? I wondered.

“You know, then I made an observation,” said the fisherman. “If there were porpoise in the weir, no seals would enter the weir.” Seals will feed indiscriminately in weirs and can damage nets, unlike porpoise, who often find their own way out of the weir. “So I says to myself, ‘Self, why don’t you leave the porpoise in the weir and only help them out if they need it?’ ”

The kayak group was a distance away enjoying an interaction with a pod of porpoise. We made our farewells and I paddled over to join the group.

imgp1391SEASCAPE GUIDE FRANK POSTMA EXPLAINING THE WEIR’S FUNCTION TO A GROUP OF YOUNG PADDLERS, PHOTO BY SANDRA LUKEN.

But I continued to reflect on the conversation I’d just had with the fisherman. Through his vast experience on the water, he had learned an important lesson about coexisting with the many animals that come to the Quoddy region to compete for food. This lesson was a reminder to me that connections on the water are not just about people. If we look beneath the surface, we can see that our connections to marine life are just as vital as our connections to one another.

Seascape has a number of trips left to run this fall from our northern base, but the season is almost over. Fall is settling into the region and the winds have shifted. I will miss the Bay of Fundy as I travel to Costa Rica for the winter. However, I take comfort in knowing that I will be back to assist guests in making meaningful connections to this special place next summer.

Bruce