Chances are, if you’ve ever been on a SMSKN paddle, you’ve had a chance to meet Cath, who holds the distinction of having attended more SMSKN events than anyone. This summer, we asked Cath to share with us a little bit about her paddling interests and background.
When did you start kayaking?
I began kayaking in recreational style kayaks in Old Town area rivers sometime in the 1990’s. I lived in the Old Town area for several decades, surrounded by rivers and lakes and a magical factory that overflowed with canoes and kayaks. Eventually I expanded into sea kayaking and moved back down to the coast.
What called you to kayaking?
The water is what calls you to kayaking. It calls your name.
How did you learn?
I initially learned by going kayaking with friends or by myself. I also participated in several AMC programs at Knubble Bay, which I recommend to anyone seeking experience and time on the water. I later learned a lot being a “practice student” for other kayakers’ BCU assessments, which provides a valuable learning opportunity. I’ve also learned an incredible amount from John Carmody–he’s helped me immensely.
What was your very first boat?
My first boat was definitely a canoe. You couldn’t really live in the Old Town area without having at least one canoe. It was just wrong.
What do you paddle today?
I paddle a few different kayaks. They are all good!
What kind of paddling do you like to do?
I like camping trips and day journeys with friends. Lately I’ve really loved rock gardening. I also do a little whitewater, and some paddleboarding.
What were some highlights from 2022-23?
Any kayaking is a highlight! An extended trip to Jonesport and Lubec last summer was a lot of fun. Also, trips to Baja and a peaceful trip to an island off MDI with a friend. Really any time getting out with a great group of people.
What goals do you have for 2023-24?
I think I might try to visit the spots along the Maine coast that I’ve missed. I want to work on improving some of the skills I’ve been working on.
Any “bucket-list” kayak adventures?
I don’t have anything specific, but maybe going to Alaska sometime, where I have an old friend who likes to kayak.
How has SMSKN been a part of your kayaking journey?
SMSKN has been amazing. I’ve made wonderful friends, have had great adventures and have learned a lot from others.
What advice would you have for someone just starting out in the sport, or looking to expand their kayaking world?