Kayaking trip around Swan’s Island in Maine could have ended badly


With the weather last Sunday and Monday being exceptional, many Maine residents found themselves adventuring, whether it was beach trips, fishing, swimming in a lake or hiking. That’s really when we thrive the most in the area (they don’t call us Vacationland for nothing, do they?)

While for the most part these adventures tend to be low-key and take place within the “buddy system” so to speak, occasionally a Mainer will tackle a solo adventure, as was the case with Reddit user ghill1987. Because wanting to take advantage of the good weather on Sunday afternoon, they decided to navigate the perimeter of Swan’s Island and got much more than they had expected.

While there are certainly ferries to get you around Swan’s Island (and to and from the island as well), ghill1987 was feeling ambitious and decided to go for a paddleboard session around the island. Perhaps the biggest mistake was the delay with which they decided to launch the adventure in general.

“As I came out of the channel near Little Swan Island, I was like, ‘Well, might as well keep going around the island. By the time I got to the southern tip, I was pretty well done, but still a long way from home. I started around 2:30 p.m., didn’t get back to the apartment until 9:30 p.m.

And you can see from the pictures they posted that they ended up kayaking in pitch black towards the end of the trip as well. Definitely a dangerous situation as they probably weren’t properly prepared to be on the water this late at night (lack of light, enough food, coping with strong currents, etc.)

Fortunately, based on their comments on the adventure, they did not face the strong currents in the pitch black of night; however, they said the water was definitely choppy in some areas throughout the trip, with waves crashing in front of the kayak and spraying them in the face.

“The tide was already ebbing when I entered. 4 hours later I was trying to navigate the swamp/grass area around the south end of the island and continued to hit dead ends with about 2 inches of Then I struggled like hell paddling the first quarter mile or so upstream, and the water was still so low that I ran aground and had to take my kayak back to my apartment , about 3 hours after my initial push upstream.”

What started out as a nice little afternoon paddle could have quickly turned sideways, but as ghill1987 put it:

“Many things have tried to kill me over the years. None have succeeded.”

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