Bryan Smith/reversing fallsAfter producing the award winning film Pacific Horizons in 2007, everyone kept asking “so what are you doing next?” This is always a difficult question to answer right after a big expedition, film project, or trip, but we had an idea brewing. Lise-Anne and I were keen to come east and document the maritime culture, great sea paddling and people of the east coast. So we started to brainstorm destinations and people to film. Everything from Florida to Newfoundland was on our radar and eventually we honed in on several key locations. With the gracious support of several sponsors and lots of logistics coordination, we had what we needed to hit the road and start filming our next adventure sea kayaking DVD. Eastern Horizons was born. Starting with a trip to Newfoundland to paddle with the icebergs, followed by a 2 month long road trip from North Carolina to Quebec, we were blown away by the hospitality, wildlife and scenery along the way. Here are a few details from the journey and information on the film to come!

Bryan Smith/ filming icebergs

Bryan Smith/cape chignectoBryan Smith/mainelobstertraps

While it is hard to sift through all the experiences on a trip like this and pick favorites, some experiences or moments stand out and will be in my memory for a very long time. I will touch on a few of the high notes here, but for more in depth stories please also visit the Eastern Horizons blog.

Bryan Smith/paddling with bergsPaddling with the ice bergs was a new one for me and I’m not sure it will ever get old. The magnitude of these chunks of ice combined with dramatic coastline of Newfoundland was an incredible start to the trip. We were there early in the season and had to deal with some “weather”, but we saw plenty of burgs! According to most people in Newfoundland this was the best year in ten years for ice bergs. We managed to split our time between Twillingate and Quirpon Island looking for ice bergs. Both are well known locations along “Iceberg Alley”. Bryan Smith/quirpon lighthouseBetween the world class coastal sea paddling and stunning scenery, Newfoundland left a lasting impression on us.

From Newfoundland Lise-Anne and I came home to British Columbia for about 14 hours, before jumping on another plane to North Carolina. In Asheville, NC we hooked up with the P&H and Pyranha crew and got the vehicle all geared up for the trip. The ride we showed up to was unbelievable!

From Asheville we headed to the coast of North Carolina to paddle with Lamar Hudgens in the Barrier Islands. Lamar had been telling me for years that there was a lots of “interesting” water created by the shoals inBryan Smith/team vehicle shot the Barrier Islands, so it was an easy first stop on our trek north. Between the stunning early morning sunsets in the inner coastal water ways and the bouncy water of the shoals, the Barrier Islands had a lot to offer. As we moved north, we set our targets on New York City and Long Island Sound. This area is known for having one of the biggest concentrations of kayakers in the world. New York lead us into Maine where we spent lots of time in the fog! Fortunately we had palnned ample time in Maine, so we managed to capture the famous Maine fog as well as lots of great sunshine. Highlights were Sequin Island, Sullivan Falls, and all the time on the water with John Carmody, Mark Schoon and Mel Rice. Lise-Anne and I were fascinated by all the lobstermen and the unique feel of “down-east” Maine.

Bryan Smith/foggy lobsershack

By the time we made our way into New Brunswick, we had already made arrangements to fly Paul Kuthe in from Portland, Oregon. One of the primary goals in the Bay of Fundy area was to film the Reversing Falls. With current speeds close to 30 knots, the falls were a massive challenge in sea boats. Paul and I spent three days working the magic of the Capella 161. While we never were at ease with the Reversing Falls, we manged to get some epic surfs, big enders and plenty of down time in the big whirlpools. Before we left the Bay of Fundy, we spent several days at Cape Chignecto documenting the extreme tidal range and few days surfing the Subenacadie tidal before. The entire Bay ofBryan Smith/surfing broken paddle Fundy zone produced some stunning images and I certainly would put it in the top 3 places I have ever sea kayaked. From the Bay of Fundy we drove across PEI and took a five hour ferry to the Magdalen Islands. The islands are part of Quebec and had always been on Lise-Anne’s short list. We ditched the vehicle and walked on the ferry with our boats and returned by ferry several days later. These islands are incredible. The majority of the coastline is red sandstone that has the highest concentration of arches, tunnels and caves we have ever paddled through.

That is a quick recap on the highlights of the Eastern Horizons tour. There are several other destinations that will be included in the film as well. We will be busy editing over the next few months and the film will be released at Canoecopia 2009. Stay tuned to the blog for continued details and stories on the film! A big thanks to everyone who helped make this project happen! Bryan Smith/sunset quirpon