Kayaking along the retreating ice

| Tom Driscoll – In, on, and around Sabbathday Lake |

Getting outdoors anytime of year is a best remedy for being stuck indoors.

Kayaking on Sabbathday Lake just as the ice recedes from the shoreline is always interesting and enjoyable on a calm and sunny early spring day, such as last Saturday.

For safety, wear a lifejacket and stay in the nearshore shallows where you can stand up if somehow you flip over.

Kayak with a companion, and of course, this year, keep your distance!

In the springtime, the north shore of any Maine pond or lake always opens up first, as along Sylvan Shore at Sabbathday.

Sometimes you can find an opening and play “Coast Guard ice breaker” even if you are an adult.

And evidence of beavers at work is always apparent along the shoreline.

Waters along the south shores of ponds and lakes recede too, but the snow lingers a bit longer in the woods.

Ice breaking with a kayak in the thin and soft ice along shore is fun.
BUT, never cross one of these deep-water (temporary) crevices with thick ice.
When the wind shifts, the ice sheets push back together, and then you will become literally “in a pinch.”
You could become a catch and release and get famous in the papers, or worse.

Here is that same crack as it appeared back in January when the ice was thick and safe for mountain biking (with studded tires!).

Chandler Mill Pond is also a great place to kayak.  Plenty of easy parking is available at the new paved lot, with a gently sloped paved path (wheelchair accessible) right down to the shoreline for easy launching, or fishing.

We are fortunate to live in New Gloucester Maine where we can easily get out of the house and into the outdoors.

Photos: Tom Driscoll