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Meet the paddleboarder travelling around all of mainland N.S. this summer

·2 min read
Mariele Guerrero lives in Dublin Shore, N.S., and began her epic journey at the mouth of the LaHave River. (Kristine Hirtle - image credit)
Mariele Guerrero lives in Dublin Shore, N.S., and began her epic journey at the mouth of the LaHave River. (Kristine Hirtle - image credit)

Mariele Guerrero is spending her summer on a stand-up paddle board, on a quest to circumnavigate all of mainland Nova Scotia.

She set out on June 3 from the mouth of the LaHave River near Dublin Shore, paddled along the eastern shore and then northeast to Canso, before crossing the causeway by car and spending about a week paddling the coast of the Northumberland Strait.

Guerrero is now undertaking what could be the biggest challenge yet: paddling the Bay of Fundy.

Kristine Hirtle
Kristine Hirtle

"I'm planning intensely, looking at the route a lot for that section," she told CBC Radio's Information Morning earlier this week from Amherst.

"Most of the time I'll be paddling so close to the coastline ... and of course I'm planning my days and my paddling times around the current so I'll only ever be paddling with it."

Guerrero spends anywhere from an hour to 11 hours a day on the water, depending on the conditions and the area where she's paddling.

"I'm always prepared to pull off and spend multiple nights in a place if I have to, so I have my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and then I have food usually for about seven to 10 days," she said.

She's no stranger to seafaring adventures, having worked as a sea kayak guide for Cape LaHave Adventures.

Guerrero decided to embark on the summer paddle boarding journey partly as a personal quest and also to raise money for the Nova Scotia Nature Trust. She's documenting her journey, Expedition SUP Mi'kmaw'ki, on Facebook.

When her adventure began in June, she expected the roughly1,500-kilometre trip would take a couple of months — but the ocean has taught her not to get hung up on timelines.

Kristine Hirtle
Kristine Hirtle

"Definitely when I started out, I had anticipated maybe going a little bit faster, but I kind of have learned at this point to let go of any expectations," she said.

Her hardest days so far have been travelling the stretch from Lawrencetown to West Jeddore, she said.

"That whole area is quite exposed, big swells, lots of waves, lots of breaks in there," she said.

Kristine Hirtle
Kristine Hirtle

But Guerrero never feels too far away from her support system on shore, and she's also been joined by fellow paddlers for certain parts of the trek.

She still has a long way to go, but Guerrero said so far it's been an enlightening way to spend her summer.

"I'm just listening to the noise of the water … to the soundscape that's around me," she said. "Thinking about the things that I'm seeing, what's around me and wondering about the migratory patterns of birds or the life cycles of the lobster."

Kristine Hirtle
Kristine Hirtle


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