Sixteen years ago, Bill Baker moved to the island with a classic lobster boat and 500 traps.
“I was going to be a fisherman and make my living that way,” he said. “I’ve always loved the ocean.”
But plans changed for the Massachusetts native when he began using the Night Duck to give sightseeing tours.
“Then, I started adding more and more,” he said. “I just found my niche.”
Today, Baker offers something for everyone at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures in Stonington. Settlement Quarry, where granite was once extracted and shipped on schooners to Boston and beyond, serves as a striking backdrop. The recreational facilities and campground overlook Webb Cove.
Old Quarry offers tours, classes and rentals for sea kayaking. Visitors also can board the charter boat with their kayaks for trips to faraway islands.
“I always hated the city,” Baker said. “Living on the water is just impossible to put into words. It’s a totally different atmosphere.”
Baker gives visitors an intimate experience with the ocean.
For those seeking a day on the water, customers can rent kayaks or bring their own and either explore the cove or join a guided tour.
More than 60 islands edged with pink granite are reachable within a two-hour paddle from the Old Quarry facility.
“It’s really pretty stuff,” Baker said.
Along the way, paddlers may encounter seabirds, porpoises, seals, osprey and eagles.
Baker tells kayakers to bring a swimsuit and towel for tours that involve island stops with tidal pools.
Visitors also can take the Black Duck for an eight-mile trip to Isle au Haut to kayak around the island’s 75-foot granite cliffs and pebbly beaches.
The vessel can accommodate 19 passengers and has a cabin in case of bad weather.
After a day of ocean adventures, Baker cooks up a lobster bake dinner.
“I feel like this is where I’m supposed to be in my life,” Baker said. “This is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
For prices and other information, go to www.oldquarry.com.