LOWER PROSPECT, N.S.—East Coast Outfitters guide Morgan Bettens figures there are three types of fun in this world.
Type one is “like when you go to the fair and don’t remember it that much because it was easy fun.”
Type two is “fun that you would look back on because it freaks you out a little bit but you gained something from it.”
Type three fun “is probably not fun at all and you suffer too much.”
Sea kayaking in early October with Bettens and crew on the Atlantic Ocean near Peggy’s Cove is definitely type two fun.
It’s a gorgeous 15 C day with a blazing sun to keep us warm and a northwest wind of 10 to 15 knots that’s expected to climb to 20 to 25 knots.
I know nothing of knots, so gamely get “geared up” with a life-jacket and paddle and listen to Bettens explain how to paddle. I grew up canoeing and it looks like the dozen or so times I’ve kayaked, I’ve used the wrong technique.
Our group launches double kayaks and sets off for a two-hour exploration of the area with the crew from East Coast Outfitters — Bettens, fellow guide Colin Smith and operations manager/guide Adam Zita, who handed out two-page waivers “mostly for EMS if things go completely sideways.”
Bettens calls out helpful advice on the water like “don’t paddle like T-Rex” and “don’t paddle like Air Canada Jazz.” (I don’t actually know what that airline reference means.)
“As soon as you have control of the wind,” Bettens advises, “you have a better day kayaking.”
We alternate between paddling “into the wind” and “with the wind,” and take lots of breaks. Zita points out that this area has been a popular paddling spot since the 1970s…