Kayaking the Coast of Maine Trip Report: Week 1

Paddling / Uncategorized / ZZBLOG POSTS

Last week, Chuck Domenie from Eastern Mountain Sports Schools and his paddling partner Sandra Townsend set off from Eastport, Maine for a 3-week, 300-mile kayaking trip along the coast of Maine. What makes this trip particularly noteworthy is that throughout their journey, Chuck and Sandra will be collecting a total of 8 water samples that they will deliver to Abby Barrows of the Marine Environmental Research Institute’s Center for Marine Studies located in Blue Hill, Maine.

Water samples stored behind Chuck's seat until he can deliver the at the end of the trip.

Water samples stored behind Chuck’s seat until he can deliver the at the end of the trip.

The group responsible for connecting Chuck and Sandra to the Center for Marine Studies is Adventurers and Scientists, a non-profit organization on a mission to turn kayakers, hikers, mountaineers and cyclists into research assistants while they’re in the field. I had never heard of this group until I learned of Chuck’s plans and I’m absolutely fascinated by the concept. As I wrote last week, the water samples Chuck and Sandra are collecting will be used to measure the presence of microplastics and determine what the health risks are to marine life as well as humans. To learn more about research projects that you might be able to assist on, visit the Adventurers and Scientists web site.

tent and wreck

Of course, Chuck’s kayaking adventure is also a great opportunity for us to get some great photos as well as some instant feedback on two pieces of gear that we’re incredibly excited about–the EMS Velocity One tent (above) and the Icarus Jacket for men and women. In the photo above, Chuck pitched his Velocity One tent next to an old wrecked fishing boat along the Bold Coast. So far, the greatest feature Chuck is enjoying about the Velocity One tent is its portability and light weight. At just 2lbs and 14oz, it’s one of the lightest tents we’ve ever made while delivering exceptional protection from wind and rain.

sandy and tents

As for our Icarus jacket, Chuck is getting some good use out of it today on Bois Bubert Island where strong winds have kept them on dry land.

chuck and sign

Chuck grinning and bearing the fact that he’d rather be paddling but can’t due to the weather.

We’re excited about the Icarus jacket because of its go-anywhere-do-anything versatility. The secret to the Icarus jacket’s exceptional warmth to weight ratio and ability to be worn in all kinds of weather is the 600-fil waterproof DownTek Insulation. Unlike regular down that loses all functionality when wet, DownTek retains its insulating qualities like synthetic material.

Chuck and ocean

The end result is an ultra-light high-performance jacket you can wear in wind, rain or snow. We can’t wait to hear what Chuck and Sandra think of their Icarus jackets and passing their feedback on to our designers so they can continue to make them even better. For more photos from Chuck, be sure to follow Eastern Mountain Sports on Instagram!

boats on rocks


Jim Darroch