I'm ashamed to admit, in the past two years I have not gotten in the canoe my parents trucked all the way up to Prince Edward Island. So maybe it's surprising that I suddenly decided we should try kayaking. Outside Expeditions offers group kayaking and lessons at two spots on the island - one at Cavendish, near Anee's land, and one on the Eastern side of the island, on the Brudenell River.
I'd been in a kayak once before, on the Potomac at Georgetown, but somehow, being on a river that was much closer to the sea made me feel like I needed some instruction this time, as opposed to just grabbing a paddle and going for it. A brief lesson for beginners at the location in Brudenell Provincial Park left me feeling better prepared.
We had an odd number, so my dad got a kayak to himself. (He'd never been in one either, but is an old hand at canoeing and rowing.) A couple of hours on the river was just the right amount for our first attempt. Though we kept lagging behind, I think Mom felt more comfortable in a kayak than in a canoe, and sitting in the back, I got lots of practice at steering without a rudder.
If you're comfortable with a longer trip, Outside Expeditions also goes to the mouth of the river, where you might see some harbor seals. We saw lots of birds and even a few purple-ish starfish on the river floor.
Since we were nearby, we stopped for lunch in Murray Harbour, at the restaurant formerly known as Brehaut's. It's now called Harbourview Restaurant - the family that opened the place sold it to their workers, and though the name has changed, the food is consistently some of the best on the island.
Our final stop of the day was a trip out to Panmure Island. I'd been intrigued for a while - the island is home to a beach, a lighthouse, and is the location of a yearly pow-wow for the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet Nations.
While the pow-wow was a week away, we enjoyed driving around the tiny island (there's not much to see on the main road) and stopping by the newly restored lighthouse. We weren't planning on climbing to the top, but when one of the ladies working in the small shop on the ground floor told us they had a used bookstore on the second story, we decided to check it out. Mom and I both ended up with three books for under $10 each. Though it was a little grey and windy by this point, we spent an hour or so chilling on the narrow beach before heading home.