Amazing Blue Rocks Nova Scotia Sea Kayaking Experience of a Lifetime

Nova Scotia sea kayaking is an adventure of a lifetime! Out of all my east coast outings, sea kayaking at Blue Rocks Nova Scotia, near Lunenburg, stands out as one of my favorite trips. I’m not going to lie, paddling in the open sea was equal parts exhilarating and scary at first. The beautiful thing about Blue Rocks sea kayaking is all the nearby islands create a barrier to the sea, so the water is surprisingly calm while you’re kayaking in between the islands.

 

Kayaking Nova Scotia Blue Rocks South Shore fun things to do in Nova Scotia

 

My previous kayaking experiences all took place in lakes or swimming pools. To go out paddling in a sea kayak at Blue Rocks was amazing. I was a bit nervous at first but I felt comfortable in the kayak and my paddling skills are pretty good.

 

Beautiful Blue Rocks Nova Scotia - small fishing village near Lunenburg NS

Beautiful Blue Rocks Nova Scotia – small fishing village near Lunenburg

 

Getting to Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

You’ll want to have a car to get around Nova Scotia. Driving along the South Shore region is pleasant due to light traffic, plus it’s scenic with a mix of rocky coastline and beaches.

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia is located in the South Shore region, 8 km (5 miles) from Lunenburg, about a 10-minute drive. From my home base in Bridgewater it took me about 25 minutes to drive to Blue Rocks.

 

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia wharf on the South Shore region of NS

Blue boat at at Blue Rocks Nova Scotia wharf

 

Getting to Blue Rocks from Halifax

Distance – Blue Rocks is 100 km (60 miles) from Halifax

Time – allow 1 hour 15 minutes driving time

  • Take Hwy 3 West to Hwy 103 ramp
  • Use the left two lanes to get onto Hwy 103 W – signs for Bridgewater/Yarmouth
  • Follow Hwy 103 W for 75 km (47 miles) and take exit 11 Hwy 324/Cornwall Rd
  • Turn left on to Hwy 324/Cornwall Rd and continue for 10 km (6 miles)
  • Turn left onto Hwy 332 – signs for Blue Rocks and drive about 5 km (3 miles)
  • Turn left onto Blue Rocks Road and continue 4 km (2.5 miles)
  • Turn right onto The Lane (it turns into The Point Rd) 1 km (.6 mile) brings you to the Blue Rocks dock

 

Nova Scotia sea kayak adventure at Blue Rocks NS

 

Once you get to the Blue Rocks wharf area you’ll notice Pleasant Paddling and The Point General shop with local food and local art, and ice cream.

There’s parking along the wharf and alongside the road. Also along The Point Road before the wharf there are a couple of pullouts where you can park and wander the rocks on the shoreline if it’s low tide.

 

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia fishing boats at the wharf

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia fishing boats at the wharf

 

Learning sea kayaking skills

I recommend taking a class to learn basic kayaking skills, but many kayaking rental shops will allow beginners on group kayaking tours. Be sure to let the guide know you are a beginner when you sign up for the class.

The first thing you may notice about a sea kayak is that it is longer and much narrower than a river or recreational kayak. Usually there is a rudder on a sea kayak and you operate the rudder with foot pedals. You’ll use your thighs against the sides of the kayak to assist in balancing the kayak.

 

Kayaking Nova Scotia with Pleasant Paddling at Blue Rocks NS

Kayaking in Nova Scotia

 

Once I learned how to steer a kayak using a paddle I enjoyed it. Turning the kayak around or moving the kayak backwards is easy once you know how to use the paddle correctly. Like most things in life experience helps, so practicing paddling will help improve your kayaking skills.

 

Kayaking in Nova Scotia is FUN!!!

Kayaking in Nova Scotia is FUN!!!

 

You’ll want to keep your back straight, thighs touching the sides of the kayak, feet at the rudder pedals, your head above the middle of the kayak and you should be good to go. Remember that if you lean your head over the side of the kayak, you’ll tip over!

Holding the paddle correctly is also important. You don’t want to be slicing your paddle through the water with zero movement. Your guide should provide a lesson on the proper way to hold the paddle and basic paddling skills. Always let your guide, instructor, or paddling partner know if you need any help.

 

Sandpiper in the seaweed at Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

Sandpiper in the seaweed at Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

 

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia kayaking

When you go kayaking at Blue Rocks you get to launch right from the end of Point Rd. You can bring your own kayak or rent one from Pleasant Paddling at Blue Rocks, right by the launch area.

I signed up online for a 3-hour afternoon tour with Pleasant Paddling for $67.50 plus tax (total $77.63 CDN $) and this included all equipment plus a cell phone dry bag that clipped onto my life jacket. They offer morning trips and other kayaking tours, lessons, and rentals, check Pleasant Paddling website for details.

 

Sea kayaks at Pleasant Paddling in Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

Sea kayaks at Pleasant Paddling in Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

 

At the start of the Blue Rocks trip with Pleasant Paddling I found the water similar to kayaking in a lake, with gentle waves but mostly calm quiet. The Friday afternoon excursion included only three paddlers, me, our guide Sue, and her brother-in-law, visiting from Ontario.

We paddled between the islands for a while and Sue told us about the rock formations, plant and sea life in the area, historical info and stories. After a break on Rose Island, complete with snacks and beachcombing. Sue is a finder of things on the beach, check out the photo of the heart shaped rock she found.

 

I LOVE Nova Scotia!!! Heart shaped stone - beach find while kayaking from Blue Rocks NS

I LOVE Nova Scotia!!!

 

After our break Sue helped me adjust the rudder pedals on my kayak. When you’re more used to a recreational kayak it takes some getting used to a sea kayak. I like steering with the paddle, but I practiced using the rudder to steer, it only takes a little push on the pedal to shift direction.

 

 

Rose bush at island near Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

We took a break from kayaking at Rose Island

 

Sea kayaking at Blue Rocks Nova Scotia

Settling back into our kayaks we set out paddling towards the lighthouse that seemed far away, but we got quite close in only a few minutes. This is the part where I felt a bit anxious because we kayaked out in the open sea and it was my first time doing real sea kayaking. The waves were gentle, and it was cool to be out at sea rather than hugging the shoreline or tucked in between the islands.

We only paddled out at sea for a short portion of the trip, but we could see and hear the groaner buoy a little further out to sea. It’s an eerie sound the groaner buoy makes. The sound is created by a bellows that is activated by wave motion. Groaner buoys help guide boats from getting too close to shallow waters, and paddlers from getting too far out to sea.

 

 

Kayaking near Jesse Stone house at Stonehurst East Nova Scotia

Kayaking near Jesse Stone house at Stonehurst East Nova Scotia

 

 

Stonehurst and Jesse Stone house

Next we paddled back in between some islands and past Stonehurst East, the location for filming Jesse Stone movies which starred Tom Selleck. We paddled under a foot bridge and right by the red house used in the Jesse Stone films. It’s a beautiful setting and Sue gave us info about the area while we stopped to take a few photos.

Paddling back to the wharf we discussed how we earned our beer that afternoon with our workout on the water.

 

Footbridge to island with Jesse Stone house in Stonehurst NS

Footbridge to island with Jesse Stone house in Stonehurst

 

It was pleasant kayaking with Pleasant Paddling :)

Note: I paid for this kayaking trip with my own funds (as I do for all my travels) and I’m not receiving any type of compensation from Pleasant Kayaking. I enjoyed the trip and I’m sharing the experience with my readers. For more info on various locations for Nova Scotia kayaking visit the tourism website.

 

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia kayaking trip on a gorgeous summer day

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia kayaking trip on a gorgeous summer day

 

Kayaking accessories – what to bring

For any kayaking excursion I recommend bringing the following items:

  • Water bottle – you need to keep hydrated so bring your refillable water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Snacks that are easy to eat and not too messy
  • Sun screen
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Rain gear or water-resistant clothing. I love my Kokatat paddling jacket, pricey but worth it!
  • Water friendly shoes – your feet will get wet, wear something with a decent grip on the soles
  • Waterproof bag for personal items – I bought one years ago and use it whenever I’m on the water
  • Waterproof cell phone bag – I like the type that can clip onto the life jacket
  • Layer your clothing so you’ll be prepared for changes in weather, plus you’ll warm up once you start paddling and may want to remove a layer

 

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia at low tide

Blue Rocks Nova Scotia at low tide

 

Always check the weather before starting your kayaking trip and be prepared for sudden changes in the weather.

Enjoy exploring some of Nova Scotia’s gorgeous coastline while paddling a sea kayak. There are many places to go kayaking in Nova Scotia, including Ovens Natural Park, Cape Breton Island, Bay of Fundy, and more.

When you visit the Maritimes of Canada be sure to add Lunenburg and Blue Rocks Nova Scotia to your list.

 

Nova Scotia sea kayak adventure at Blue Rocks NS

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

7 Comments

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  1. Suzy says:

    This looks like such an incredible adventure! I used to kayak a bit but not in many years. This would be a great way to see this part of the coast.

    • Hi Suzy, thanks for commenting. Paddling is a great way to wander the coast of Nova Scotia and Blue Rocks is exceptionally gorgeous and peaceful for kayaking. Hope you make it out to NS for paddle trip sometime!

  2. I’d love to do this one day! It looks so peaceful and beautiful there. My family has kayaked in some mangroves but never out to sea before. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Thanks for your comment Emma. I wanted to sea kayak for years and I’m so happy I did in Nova Scotia! I want to go back and kayak in other parts of Nova Scotia too. Kayaking in mangroves sounds wonderful too, maybe I will get to do that next month in Florida!

  3. What a gorgeous area Susan. You are living in paradise. Thanks for the fun share.

    • Thanks for stopping by Ryan! I was living in paradise, but left Nova Scotia too soon! Although mid-coast Maine is not so bad either. I guess I need to update my nomad home location :)

  4. Jai says:

    What an excellent post with the amazing experience and beautiful photographs. You have mentioned with good pictures of best-visiting place for kayaking. Thanks for sharing this post here.

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