Old Quarry Offers Registered Maine Guide Course

10410866_528413997286753_823576111468112043_n (1)Old Quarry in Stonington, Maine will run a Registered Maine Guide Course at the end of May in time for the summer guiding season. Held at Old Quarry in collaboration with Pinniped Kayak, the course is designed to prepare participants for the State of Maine Sea Kayak Guide Exam. Participation in the course does not guarantee certification.

This 6-day, 56-hour course, held over a four-day weekend (Memorial Day) and a two-day weekend, will cover a variety of topics including risk management, trip planning, group leadership, navigation, safety, island ethics, and minimal impact camping. There will be on-water training in kayak paddling skills, rescue techniques, and towing. If time and weather permit, one night may be spent on an island learning group island camping techniques.

Due to the time of year this course is offered, drysuits are required for all on-water activities. Old Quarry has a few dry suits and many wet suits for rent if you do not have your own. It has dry suits and wet suits for sale as well. Students should be in good physical condition and be prepared for the weather and sea conditions of spring in Maine.
Course Dates: Fri, May 26, 8:30 a.m. – Mon, May 29, 4:00 p.m. & Sat, June 3, 9:00 a.m. – Sun, June 4, 3:00 p.m.
Registration: Contact Pinniped Kayak to register.
Lodging & Meals: Contact Old Quarry to reserve campsites, bunkhouse, meals.
Old Quarry Ocean Adventures is the gateway to the islands of the Deer Isle – Stonington archipelago, with a campground, practice pond, classroom facilities, and two all-tide launch sites. Its Sea Kayak School offers courses for most any experience level.

Spring Migration

Great_Egret_at_Bill_Forward_Pool_-_Susan_BalserOne of spring’s great events is the daily arrival of migrating birds. Some will stay around to breed and nest and others will just stop for a rest and bite to eat before they get on their northward way again. One migrator that sends a riffle of joy throughout is the great egret, newly arrived a couple of weeks ago in our neighborhood north of Boston. One of our favorite marsh sentinels, it is easy to spot, its white frame stands out in the colorless marsh.
Spring migration takes place over a shorter period than the fall migration. Birds are trying to get here quickly and immediately set up shop and reproduce. It’s nice to know we’ll be able to enjoy the egrets’ stately walks across the marsh and white flashes of flight for the summer months to come.
Plum Island just to the north of us is one of the most productive birding areas on the Atlantic Coast and even in the country. Every Wednesday morning, David Moon, Sanctuary Director for Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats Education Center, leads field trips in and around the Plum Island area. The program has been going on for 21 years! And is enormously popular with locals and visitors alike. No registration is necessary, just show up and pay your fee. For more information, www.massaudubon.org, or joppaflats@massaudubon.org
Susan Balser, a Wednesday morning birder regular, has very kindly let us use her photo of a great egret from Bill Forward Pool on Plum Island. Spring is here!