Paddle Lunenburg/Queens

Ocean Notes

Record #: LQR0007
Last Modified: 20 Dec 2018
Last Full Update: 19 Mar 2014


Public Bulletin
Neither South Shore nor the Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association own or control the canoe routes, portages or campsites listed in this guide, and assume no responsibility or liability for the safety of those using the canoe routes, walking the portages, or using the campsites. 
lt is recommended that users approach all canoe routes, portages and campsites in a safe and responsible manner. Conditions can change through fluctuating water levels, natural debris, and logging activity. Arrangements must be made directly with the owners of the portages and campsites. 
South Shore and Lunenburg-Queens Recreational Coordinators/Directors Association are not liable for any errors or omissions in this guide.


Located In South Shore Region
Areas Served Lunenburg County ; Queens County (NS)


Phone 902-275-3490
Contact Chad Haughn, President, LQRCDA

Description & Services

Information These notes provide a few basic pointers about ocean travel but are far from complete. Further reading from the list of books in the Bibliography is recommended. No book however can replace skills and common sense. Ocean kayaking clinics are available from some of the outfitters mentioned in the Appendix. These range from introductory and safety courses to more comprehensive clinics that include navigation. 
High and low tide are about six hours apart (twice daily) and change somewhat in height and time every day. Tide charts are available that give you daily information for each area. The full moon creates higher and lower than normal tides. 
It can be helpful to know if the tide is ebbing (going out), flooding (coming in) or slack (fully high or low). On shore, one way to figure this out is to plant a stick in the sand at waters edge and wait about ten minutes. The tide can come up faster than you think. If you go off to explore, be sure to pull your boat well up the shore and tie off for an extra measure of safety. Nothing like getting left high and dry on an island because the tide has taken your boat. The high tide mark can be roughly determined by observing waterline marks on the rocks or lines of dry sea weed on the shore. 
When on the water, the tide can slow you down or give you considerable extra speed. In certain places like narrow channels, you may encounter river-like currents and need to use skills like ferrying. When paddling, look at the way the underwater plant life is bending in the current to take advantage of the flow or just stop paddling for a moment and see where the current (and wind) takes you. 
The prevalent wind in these two counties according to Environment Canada is from the southwest in the summer and the northwest in the winter. They added that this is subject to change if a weather front is coming in. In other words, the wind direction can change completely within your day trip. It is also affected by the local landscape. For example, cliffs and coves can change the direction of the wind. Get the local weather information including wind direction and speed the day of or the day before your trip if possible and consider how it may affect your route. Once at your launch site, you may have to modify your route plans if the wind has changed direction or become stronger. Winds may be calmer in the morning or evening. 
Fog forms when moist warm air hits the cold ocean water. It may burn off in a few hours or last all day. If you get caught in fog, you may want to wait and see if it burns off. If you are competent with a compass, have a good map and are familiar with the local currents and tides, you may want to try paddling in the fog. This can be an unforgettable experience especially when crossing between two points and being completely surrounded by fog. If crossing open water, remember to factor the tidal current into your compass reading. Consider heading deliberately to the left of your destination for example and then turn right when you hit shore if the currents are strong. 
Lee Shore 
Apparently this term means the windy shore for sailors and the sheltered shore for paddlers. For paddlers, the lee shore (or on the lee) is the shoreline that is protected by hills, trees and other wind blocks making for easier paddling. When it is really windy, pick out a protected route along the lee shore looking for calmer waters. Make use of island hopping, and the tide if possible. Sometimes it is safer to take a longer route along the lee shore than to paddle across exposed waters. 
If paddling in choppy swells, keep the bow pointing more or less into the swell as you paddle along. Try not to get sideways to the swell. Take a zig zag course if necessary to get to where you’re going. In a canoe, it may be helpful for both paddlers to move toward the middle of the boat if possible to lighten up the bow and stern. 
Ramps and slipways 
Ramps are smooth, sloped surfaces used for launching power boats. Trucks can back the boat trailer into the water to drop off or pick up the boat. They are also handy for carrying small boats like canoes and kayaks to the waters edge. 
A slipway is a sloping grid of wooden poles at the waters edge that make it easy to roll larger boats into and out of the water. They are often slippery and tricky to walk on but may be all that’s available in a public area for launching if the wharf is too high.
Eligibility Ages: 16 year(s) and up 
Children under 16 with adults - please use own discretion depending on skill level

Special Information

Established 1998
Tags Canoe/Kayak ; Maps ; NS Trail Guide ; Recreation Categories ; South Shore Connect
Categories - General Boating Safety Education ; Canoeing ; Kayaking ; Maps ; Recreational Oceanfronts