If you are looking for quintessential Maine with its colorful lobster boat fleet, its rocky coastline interrupted by sandy pocket beaches, its distinct maritime homes and picturesque cottages, and its abundance of ledges, islands, bays and open water to explore, this is your trip.
Based in an historical home located in the heart of this small community, you'll venture off each day to explore protected bays and coves all along the island, spectacular islands with white sandy beaches, some near some far, and paddle through the thoroughfare between North Haven and Vinalhaven admiring the three-masted schooners and they sail on by.
Vinalhaven is located in the middle of Penobscot Bay and is subject to fog, wind, and waves due to its location. H@Outfitters will have control, for the most part, of choosing the paddling route to minimize exposure to these elements but weather can change quickly.
The water is cold in Penobscot Bay so a farmer john wetsuit with appropriate synthetic or wool layers is recommended for this trip. Also one should have at least a handheld compass and chart.
You could encounter waves, wind, fog and other boats. The advantage to this trip is that H2Outfitters has the ability to drive to various put-ins around the island and avoid dealing with challenging conditions.
We just returned home from a 5-day trip exploring Vinalhaven Island with H2Outfitters.
My wife and I were looking at lodge-based kayak trips as a goal to help her recover from some medical issues. This trip fit the bill perfectly.
Our base was the Libby House Inn on Vinalhaven Island right in town, it was a great location and Phil was a fantastic host.
Cathy was our guide, cook, and trip planner, and she was extraordinary! With a list of kayaking credentials second to none, we knew we were in good hands.
She worked up a meal plan for my wife who has a very special needs diet, and Fran was happy with every meal. And I don’t know how she did it but lunches on the water were just like a restaurant, and the dinner meals were better, I did a pretty good number on her pan of Low Tide Brownies. So much for losing weight on this holiday… I wonder if she caters?
On the water, Cathy’s experience really showed, safety was her first goal, having fun came close second, she made some on the fly trip changes to keep us safe, and turned it into a downwind run all the way back to the harbor. During this I noticed that she’s giving everyone tips on paddle strokes, form, how to handle swells and wind, during which I was half-heartedly between a bow rudder and stern draw and heard her say “keep both hands over the water, unless you’re just fooling around…”, she does not miss a thing. We had 4 great paddles with varying wind speeds of 5 to 20 knots with higher gusts, and with different wind directions during our stay, it allowed us 4 very different day trips.
Did I mention how beautiful the scenery is around Vinalhaven, the islands, coves, bays and harbors are like paddling in a national geographic, stunning, never a bad view. Add in the wildlife, seals, guillemots, eagles, osprey, eiders, loons and even a racoon, I’m sure I missed more than I saw.
We will definitely be looking into other trips and/or training with the Head Honcho at H2Outfitters, it was the best trip we’ve ever taken, thank you Cathy and H2Outfitters!