|Frequently Asked Questions:|
Osprey Hunting ~ Photo by Capt. Winston Shaw ©2015 ~ All Rights Reserved
What's So Special About A Sea Venture Tour?
Trip Fee Schedule
Frequently Asked Questions
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HOW DO SEA VENTURE TOURS DIFFER FROM OTHER BOAT TOURS?
As a guest pointed out to me a few years ago, comparing a Sea Venture Custom Boat Tour with a run-of-the-mill boat tour is like comparing a limousine tour of New York City with a ride on the subway. Sea Venture tours represent a highly personalized and totally “private” alternative to the crowded and impersonal boat trips you may have taken in the past. Departure times, destinations, and the many other details of your trip are all “custom designed” around your personal interests and timetable!
Additionally, income generated by my tours serves as the major source of funding for my research organization, the Coastal Maine Bald Eagle Project. While enjoying your trip with Sea Venture you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you are helping Maine’s majestic bald eagles.
WHAT ABOUT WEATHER REPORTS?
When I give talks on boating throughout New England I am often asked what source I depend upon for weather reports. Ten times out of ten, I pause for a moment and then point to my eyes.
It’s not that I don’t appreciate the efforts of local and national weathermen you understand, it’s just that as Mark Twain once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a moment.”
In other words the weather here on Mt. Desert Island is highly variable and famously fickle. Just because the weatherman forecasts on Monday night that it’s going to rain on Tuesday doesn’t mean that it will. In fact, seven times out of ten it won’t, so don’t panic and cancel your plans for a boat trip, or hike in the mountains, until you actually see the storm clouds gathering and the drops beginning to fall.
And please don’t get too hung up on insisting that the sun be shining brightly on the day of your Sea Venture tour. Some of the loveliest photos ever taken of this area have been shot on cloudy or foggy days. You will also find that wildlife, almost without exception, becomes less jittery and more “viewable” under the cover of a foggy day.
WHAT SORT OF TEMPERATURES CAN WE EXPECT?
The good news is that it is almost always a bit cooler on the waters of Frenchman Bay than it is on land. In short, there is no better escape from the occasional hot, humid, Mt. Desert Island day than a tour with Sea Venture. The even better news is that it is almost never cooler than about 68 degrees F.
Happily, guests on my tours almost never encounter the cool (45-50 degs) conditions commonly encountered by those venturing far offshore in the Gulf of Maine (whalewatch trips, puffin tours, fishing trips, etc.)
HOW MANY OTHER PEOPLE WILL BE ON THE BOAT WITH ME?
When you book a tour with Sea Venture you are in effect reserving my boat “Reflection” for your exclusive use. You may bring along as many family members or friends — up to a six-passenger maximum — as you desire. Or, if you wish, you may leave your cares behind and have the entire boat to yourself.
WHAT SORT OF TRIPS ARE AVAILABLE?
I offer a wide variety of trips offering unique opportunities for:
• Wildlife Observation
Our “Design Your Own Cruise” option provides the ultimate alternative for the guest with something “special” in mind. When you select this option you have the freedom to literally “custom design” every detail of your own tour.
Whatever your preferences, I will do everything possible to ensure that the trip you design is the highlight of your entire vacation! Should you wish to consult with us regarding this “Design Your Own Cruise” option, please contact Captain Shaw at 207-412-0222.
DO I NEED TO MAKE RESERVATIONS?
Trips run from late-May until late-Oct. Due to high demand, I suggest you make reservations as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. You may wait until boarding “Reflection” to specify which trip you prefer, but please specify the amount of time you wish to reserve at the time of booking to safeguard against scheduling conflicts. A deposit of 50% of the trip fee is required on all tours, fully refundable less a small service charge with 48-hr cancellation notice.
HOW LONG DO TRIPS LAST?
I offer a wide variety of pre-planned and custom trips varying from 1 to 8 hours in length. How much time you spend aboard my vessel exploring Acadia National Park and the Mount Desert Island area is entirely up to you.
While I try to leave a bit of free time between bookings it is important that you reserve enough time to fully enjoy your trip with Sea Venture. As in the joke about the dying man not wishing that he’d worked more overtime, Sea Venture guests seldom wish they had reserved less time for their tour. In fact, many of my guests are disappointed when time constraints force us to head for home.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Weather conditions are extremely variable here along the coast. Temperatures range from highs of 90 degrees to lows in the 60s. By all means wear comfortable, casual clothes on the day of your trip, but be sure to bring along warm sweaters or jackets as insurance against the occasional cool sea breezes. Rubber soled shoes are also recommended - sneakers or running shoes are fine.
WHAT ADDITIONAL GEAR SHOULD I BRING?
Bring binoculars if you have them as they will facilitate viewing the many fascinating birds and marine mammals you will encounter during your cruise.
By all means also bring along a camera and plenty of film to record the many breathtakingly beautiful sights you’ll encounter during your trip. Mount Desert Island is known worldwide as one of America’s most beautiful islands. We’ll bet that you will treasure your photos of soaring bald eagles, hard-working lobstermen hauling their traps, harbor seals basking in the warm sun, and picturesque island lighthouses built in the 1800s for many years to come!
WHAT ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR?
Many folks ask me about the realistic limit of telephoto lenses on a small boat. As a rule I find lenses of up to about 500 mm work well as long as your camera is equipped with some sort of image stabilization system. Over the years some folks have attempted to use longer lenses mounted on a tripod but with the boat in constant motion they have not me with much success. Most of the many thousands of images I shoot on the water throughout the year are shot using either a 16-85 mm zoom or a 70-300 mm zoom and I seldom find that I need anything other than these two incredibly versatile lenses. Filter wise a polarizer is often useful when photographing scenes with water or clouds. Some folks have used flash extenders to illuminate birds and other wildlife sitting in tree canopies or other dark areas with good results. In terms of exposure to wet you should keep in mind that we are traveling upon the water and so spray is something to be mindful of. Something as simple as a large plastic bag can be used to shelter camera bodies and lenses from occasional spray, or for that matter a passing shower. Last, but not least, bring along extra memory cards and batteries!!! I once had an excited Mom hire me to speed her down to Otter Cliffs to photograph her daughter engaged in climbing the seacliffs and she was less than pleased to discover upon our arrival that her camera batteries were dead!
WILL I GET SEA SICK?
Although often a problem with those venturing into the rolling ocean swells found far offshore (whalewatch trips, etc.) seasickness is extremely rare on my trips. Nevertheless, folks with a history of motion sickness would be wise to take suitable medication several hours prior to departure time.
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE LIMIT FOR CHILDREN?
Children of all ages thoroughly enjoy my trips and are always welcome. I’ve found, however, that children under six sometimes get restless on trips longer than two and one-half hours. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not your child would enjoy a particular trip.
UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES CAN TRIPS BE CANCELED?
Sea Venture reserves the sole right to cancel or modify all trips in response to conditions of wind, weather and tide. If in doubt about weather conditions on the day of your trip please call 207 412-0222. Deposits will be fully refunded if Sea Venture personnel cancel your trip due to bad weather.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I WANT A “SPUR OF THE MOMENT” TRIP?
While I discourage guests from waiting until the last minute to book a trip, I realize that vacation schedules are complex and that unforeseen events occur. Therefore, I try to remain as flexible as possible and will be happy to accommodate “last minute” bookings whenever my busy trip schedule allows.
For Information or Reservations Call 207-412-0222