Miller has put an absolutely amazing amount of information into this comprehensive, well-written guidebook. The author progresses up the entire Maine coast from Portsmouth Harbor to the Canadian border, providing details on launch sites, public lands, tidal currents, and pretty much anything you want to know before getting on the water. Literally 95% of the coast is explained in great detail, leaving few stones unturned (notably, Vinalhaven and Isle au Haut). Anyone interested in kayaking the beautiful Maine coast should start researching a trip with this guide.
A huge benefit is the author's approach to the book: Miller focuses not on planning your trip for you but on providing enough information to allow you to plan for yourself; the few trip suggestions she gives are for kayakers who prefer shorter, easier days on the water.
The only major drawback, which is only applicable to some paddlers, is hidden in the subtitle: "a guide to day trips...". There is precious little information about campgrounds or island camping, and associated requirements such as overnight parking at launch sites.
Two other problems we should point out are as follows. First, Miller sometimes overstates the danger of certain areas. While the ocean is certainly a very dangerous place and we at NESK fully support providing accurate information and suggestions to keep readers safe, there is no need to instill fear unnecessarily. For example, her description of the Oven Mouth on the Cross River in Boothbay would scare most paddlers away from the area; though when the author paddled it at the appropriate time (within 1 hour of slack water) it was quite tame.
Second, Miller demonstrates a consistent confusion between "slack water", when current is at a minimum, and low or high tide, when the water level is minimum or maximum. For example, she writes of Upper Hell Gate: "the tide keeps ebbing for two hours after low-water slack" when she really means that the current continues to ebb for two hours after low tide.
Even so, the remarkable amount of information and its value in trip planning contained in this book make it an indispensible guide to kayaking in Maine, and we highly recommended it.
-- Daniel E. Smith, NESK editor (reviewed 9/26/03, updated 1/4/05)