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Camden Sea Kayaking Tour- Maine Sport Outfitters

Kayaking has become one of my family’s favorite activities. Therefore, when I found out we could go on a 2-hour sea kayaking tour around Camden Harbor we were all thrilled. Our day was lovely, bright blue skies with a few clouds. Even though it was a bit windy the weather couldn’t have been nicer.

waiting for our tour to start, Maine Sport Outfitters
Waiting for our kayaking tour to start

My family was provided with a complimentary two-hour sea kayaking tour of Camden Harbor in order to facilitate this post. All opinions in this post, however, are 100% our own and not influenced by the items provided. This post does contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure policy for more information.

Introductions and Instructions for Kayaking

First, we checked in at the umbrella kiosk on the dock at Bay View Landing behind Peter Ott’s Restaurant in Camden Harbor, Maine. Then we met our tour guide, Thea. After that we made our way down to the pier where our kayaks and gear were waiting for us. Thankfully, Thea is a great teacher and explained everything we needed to know for our adventure. For instance, we learned how to hold the paddle correctly, how to use our core muscles to help us paddle, how to ‘pop’ out of the kayak should we need to as well as how safely to get in and out of our kayaks.

holding the paddle, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Learning how to hold our paddle
correct arm placement on the paddle, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Then learning the correct placement of our hands on the paddle
learning how to hold the paddle, kayaking,Maine Sport Outfitters
Then learning the basics of holding the paddle
How to paddle correctly, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Lastly, learning to use our core muscles to paddle
Sitting in the kayak, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Trying out the fit of the kayak

I was grateful for any and all instructions because it had been a long time since I was in a kayak. Luckily, Thea made it easy with her hands-on learning. She showed us how to paddle correctly and after that, everyone got in our kayaks to try for ourselves. With a few more pointers from Thea, we were all comfortable with our new knowledge and ready to start our adventure around the harbor. Oh, and what a beautiful harbor it is. There is natural beauty as well as man-made beauty out there.

In our Kayaks, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Loaded and ready to go!
Starting our tour, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Starting out on our adventure

Setting off on our kayaking adventure

It was time to head out into the harbor. I was so excited as was everyone else. We stayed in a single line going out and coming back to allow room for the other boats to use the channel. It also was easier for them to see us since we were the smallest boats out there. After we made it out past the docks everyone started to spread out and really try out our new skills. It was a lot of fun trying to keep time with Ainsley’s paddling rhythm. She was much faster than me which was challenging for me at first. Ainsley and I worked on our timing while we paddled past the Camden’s Laite Memorial Beach which is a lovely town beach.

Thea and Laite Memorial Beach, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Thea paddling with Laite Memorial Beach in the background
Paddling around, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Taking pictures and paddling around

Perfecting our kayaking technique

Thea asked if anyone was interested in trying to use the rudder on our kayaks and everyone was game. I found it much easier to turn the kayak with the help of the rudder however, not everyone liked it as much as I did. We kept our rudder down but others had their rudder flipped up if they didn’t like it. Most importantly, we were all enjoying our time on the water exploring the harbor and the shoreline.

Paddling with everyone, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Paddling with everyone

As we turned toward Curtis Island and the Lighthouse, we started to feel the wind more. The wind was coming from the north which was unusual for the harbor. This is when I was very glad to have our rudder. Mostly because Ainsley asked me a few times to turn to where she wanted to go and the rudder made it much easier for us to get there. It was fun passing each kayak and talking to the different people on our adventure.

If you like sea kayaking you might also enjoy whale watching. Our adventure off the coast of Cape Ann, Ma was amazing. We couldn’t believe how many whales we saw. Check out our adventure here.

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Curtis Island Lighthouse

Our tour included our family, Thea and another father and son each with their own kayak. In other words, a small tour which was very nice for all of us. We all paddled out to see the lighthouse closer up, which from the water is an amazing vantage point. We had to work harder than before to get to the lighthouse since the wind was now blowing towards us. Since Ainsley and I are still new to paddling we really needed to keep our timing right. Grateful to Thea for teaching us to work together which made all the difference in our efforts.

Seeing the lighthouse from the ocean was breathtaking. However, I was really happy when the others in the group voted to go onto the island and see the lighthouse up close. This is a special treat not every tour gets. I am very happy we got to see this island and lighthouse. We went up into the light and out on the balcony of the lighthouse. The views are amazing. Since the day was so clear we could see all the way to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Curtis Island Lighthouse, Maine Sport Outfitters
Curtis Island Lighthouse
Cadillac Mountain, Maine Sports Outfitters
The view from the balcony on the lighthouse. You can see Cadillac Mountain in the distance.

Relaxing on Curtis Island

Curtis Island is a small quiet island without any roads. For this reason, only small groups of people come by boat to visit the lighthouse, picnic and relax. The views of Camden and the surrounding coastline are spectacular. Besides the lighthouse, we also explored the shoreline and woods. Evelyn even got a little swing ride which was an unexpected treat for her. Everyone on the tour enjoyed our short visit to Curtis Island equally as did they the kayaking.

Evelyn swinging, Maine Sport Outfitters
Swing time on Curtis Island
Camden from Curtis Island, kayaking, Maine Sport Outfitters
Looking back at Camden from Curtis Island

Heading back to Camden Harbor

Our trip back into Camden Harbor was relaxing with everyone enjoying each other’s company and the views. We all learned a lot about sea kayaking. The funny skirts we are wearing in the pictures are to cover our seats so we didn’t get wet. I’m glad we had them just a few times while we were out admiring the lighthouse. I think I speak for everyone when I say we all were sad to have the adventure end. We had a great time and can’t wait for our next trip with Maine Sport Outfitters.

group photo, Maine Sport Outfitters
Happy Campers at the end of our 2-hour tour of Camden Harbor


Our family had a great time on this sea kayaking adventure with Maine Sport Outfitters. It was definitely a highlight of our trip to Maine this year and a memory we will keep forever. I’m glad we chose this tour. It gave us a lot of new experiences with our girls. You know the trip is good when the kids are already telling you they are ready for the next kayaking adventure before you even leave the dock. Thanks again, Maine Sport Outfitters, for hosting us. We’ll be back again the next time we are in Maine.

For more information on this tour and all the trips and tours that Maine Sport Outfitters offers visit their website here:

Have you ever gone on a kayaking tour? How about a sea kayaking tour? Where was it to? The next time you’re in Maine I suggest you look up Maine Sport Outfitters and take a tour with them. I’m sure you will have the time of your lives, we did.

This Post Has 50 Comments

  1. Denise

    Love the post and your photos. This is my husband and daughter’s favorite new activity. Unfortunately, I have health issues that prevent me from kayaking. 🛶

    1. Leeanne

      That’s a shame, Denise. I guess you become the designated photographer then.

  2. Britni Johnson

    My husband and I love kayaking and finding new places to visit. Definitely adding Camden Harbor to our list. It looks beautiful and so relaxing. Also how fun you got to actually check out the lighthouse up close! Something I’ve never done but want to do. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Leeanne

      Definitely check out Maine Sport Outfitters for your kayaking needs in Maine. They are great to work with. Stopping to see the lighthouse was an added bonus. If you want to see more lighthouses check out my post on the mid-coast lighthouses in Maine.

  3. Kathy Essert

    Beautiful shots from the water. If you don’t mind, what camera do you use? I typically find myself using the GoPro when we kayak and it doesn’t zoom so we are always on the look out for other options.

    1. Leeanne

      Funny you asked about the camera because we have found it’s hard to work the GoPro in certain situations. Most of the photos were taken with a cellphone. The ones of us on the island were taken with my Canon. We put it in the drybag for the trip.

  4. Debbi H

    What a great trip, and your pictures are awesome. I love Maine! My parents used to love to kayak, and they did quite a bit of kayaking in Maine.

    1. Leeanne

      Maine is such a great state for outdoor activities. It’s wonderful.

  5. Alison

    This looks like such a fun spot! Kayaking is something we love doing too, might have to check it out!

    1. Leeanne

      It is a great sport and Maine Sport Outfitters really has great instructors which made our trip wonderful.

  6. Liz

    Thank you for this informative post. My son is going to college in Maine (we are in Florida) and is always looking for something fun to do on the weekends so I am going to let him know of this. I think the weather may need to get warmer, however the temperatures don’t bother him. I absolutely love Maine (originally from MA) and spent summers at Point Sebago. I have a lot of great memories from those vacations so I am a little jealous!!!!

    1. Leeanne

      That’s great Liz. I’m sure your son will enjoy a kayaking trip on the weekend. We’ve been going to Maine every year for the past 17 years and since we find new places to explore and places to bring our girls.

  7. Sara

    This looks like such a fun day trip. I have 4 kids and I’m sure they would enjoy it, but our youngest is only 3, so this might be something we will have to wait a few years to do. Thanks for the detailed review.

    1. Leeanne

      I’m sure when you do go all your kids will love it.

  8. Jewels

    I am saving this for when we go to Maine this summer (pending the coronavirus). Looks amazing! We love kayaking here in Florida so I’m glad to see we can do it up there, also.

    1. Leeanne

      Oh, definitely. Maine is great for kayaking. Get in touch with Maine Sport Outfitters before your trip so you know they have availability for the day you want to go.

  9. Angie

    I loved Maine when we went and my family loves kayaking. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun!

    1. Leeanne

      We did have the best time. It was a great trip.

  10. Robin Buck

    We haven’t been to Maine yet, but it is on our list. Thanks for highlighting a great location and giving info about kayaking. We will definitely remember this when we visit.

    1. Leeanne

      Maine is wonderful and so many ‘snow-birds’ set up their RV’s for the summer along Maine’s coast.

  11. Cathy

    It looks like fun! I especially like the lighthouse. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Leeanne

      Stopping at the lighthouse was an added bonus on the trip. If you like lighthouses you should check out my post on Maine’s mid-coast lighthouses

  12. Brianna Creef

    I would definitely need the lesson beforehand, but this looks like so much fun! My family always used to do things like this over the summer when I was a kid and I have so many good memories because of it!

    1. Leeanne

      It’s great to relive those memories. I have some amazing childhood memories too. Now you know why I like to take my kids traveling and adventuring.

  13. Kim

    This looks like such a great time! I can feel the good energy and sunshine through your lovely photos!

    1. Leeanne

      Thanks, Kim. It really was a great day. Our instructor also made the trip easy and fun.

    1. Leeanne

      It was a great trip for sure.

  14. Alison

    Sea kayaking has become one of our favorite activities too – it’s such a fantastic way to see the sights. Your photos are incredible too, we’ll definitely put Maine Sport Outfitters on our list for when we head up that way, thanks!

    1. Leeanne

      I’m sure you will love this tour, Alison. We had a great time.

  15. Missy

    We enjoy Sea Kayaking. Since we do not own any kayaks, we will rent from local companies. Thank you for this recommendation.

    1. Leeanne

      Maine Sport Outfitters is a great company to take a kayaking tour from. We really had a great time.

  16. Lisa Manderino

    Kayaking looks like a lot of fun!

    1. Leeanne

      If you haven’t tried it, I’m sure you will really enjoy it. It’s a great way to explore the water and coastline as well.

  17. Stacey Billingsley

    What a cool tour! I’ll have to look into exploring an area in a kayak. My daughter would love it. I hope to make it to Maine one day!

    1. Leeanne

      Kayaking is great. And if you make it up to Maine definitely go with Maine Sport Outfitters, they are a great place to take a tour from.

  18. melissa

    So much fun! We definitely need to do this when the kiddos are older! We’ve seen the kayak tours in Portland, but I didn’t know they were in Camden, too. I am certainly adding this to our to-do list for Maine!

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, Maine Sport Outfitters is in Camden which is super convenient for us. They do offer river kayaking tours which might be good for younger kids. You can certainly ask them.

  19. Chantelle

    I love to Kayak! I have never gone with a group before though! This spot looks absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Leeanne

      Chantelle, you would love it. Camden is a beautiful area in Maine and Maine Sport Outfitters is the company to go on a tour with. They have such great instructors and equipment. You will have an awesome time.

  20. Cas

    I’m a wee bit scared of kayaking and getting stuck in one! I’m sure it’s a silly fear but going on a tour would be a great way to overcome it. That area is just so beautiful!

    1. Leeanne

      The opening is quite big. Since we went on the ocean we had a cover that attached to us and snapped onto the kayak so no water would get into the boat if the waves came up. So you see us very tight in there but really there’s plenty of room. I always say if you are nervous about trying something new, always take a lesson or a tour so you have a guide. It’s the best way to learn.

  21. Cindy

    This looks so fun! I really want to try kayaking.

    1. Leeanne

      Kayaking is such a great way to explore and be on the water. We love it.

  22. Michele

    We love kayaking and have done a couple of tours in Florida. So much fun for everyone!

    1. Leeanne

      Agreed, I love that we can go out with the kids. It’s fun for everyone.

  23. Trisha

    This looks like such a beautiful spot! Kayaking is one of our family’s favorite things to do while on vacation. The instructions they give you beforehand are so important! If you don’t follow them you will be sore the next day! 😉

    1. Leeanne

      We love kayaking too. It’s such a great way to explore an area.

  24. Stacie Yocum

    This looks like so much fun! I used to kayak when I was a teen and I can’t wait until my kids get a little older so we can get back to it.

    1. Leeanne

      Yes, we really had a great time. I love that my kids enjoy kayaking and all water sports.

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