by Thomas Ledwell
On a beautiful July evening, we met on the beach in North Rustico prepared for our excursion. Kayaks at the ready, we were given a crash course on the dos and don'ts, and in no time we were on the water. We were a small but diverse group: Laurie and Brad, a couple who recently moved from Alberta to PEI and who took the tour on the eve of their wedding anniversary; Cathy, a school teacher from the State of Washington; myself, Island born and bred; and, finally; our well-spoken guide Murray, another Islander.
Over the course of the next three hours Murray led us along the shoreline, designing his tour around our interests and aspects of the landscape and wildlife that we came across. "Prince Edward Island is the most beautiful place in the world," said my kayak-mate Cathy as we moved along the red cliffs. The tour catered to the interests of the tourers and our own capabilities as kayakers. We travelled leisurely along the North Shore, were provided with a midway snack, and then made our way back to North Rustico just before the sun went down. The focus of the tour was enjoyment of the outdoors, at a pace that was comfortable for everyone so that no one missed the passing landscape. It was the ideal way to unwind after a long day, whether as a tourist or as a native Islander.
This half-day kayaking excursion is only one of the many tours offered by Outside Expeditions. The Harbour Passage Kayak Tour out of North Rustico is "our bread-and-butter" says Bryon Howard, owner/operator of Outside Expeditions, but they also offer kayak, bike, and hiking tours from four Island locations, plus multi-day expeditions of Atlantic Canada.
The largest project for Outside Expeditions this summer is The Last Spike Bike Tour, the official opening of PEI's Confederation Trail. The tour travels from Elmira to Tignish, August 7-12.