A Family Affair

The Chearinos go outdoor adventuring together. Left to right, meet Travis, 14, Jaime; Megan, 12; Gremlin (in Megan's arms) and Astro.

How do you juggle being a husband…a father…and an adventurer, too? For Mike Chearino of Rhode Island, the solution was simple: get two Sea Eagle Explorer Kayaks and take the whole family adventuring. Dogs and all, of course.

Mark, a police officer at the University of Rhode Island, is a full-time family man and an outdoor-loving adventurer, too. “Two years ago,” Mark says, “I started getting into whitewater kayaking, but I also wanted to spend time with my family.”

What’s a fellow to do?

So what’s a fellow to do? Buy two Sea Eagle Explorer kayaks, of course. A 340X for the kids; Travis, 14, and Megan, 12. Mark got a larger 380X for himself; his wife, Jaime; and their two dogs, Astro and Gremlin.

Mark Chearino shows Astro the finer points of sea kayaking

Astro’s a Yellow Lab and, as you’d expect, “He just loves being on the water,” says Mark. Gremlin’s a dinky 7-lb Chihuahua the Chearinos rescued. “In calm water, Gremlin rides on the Sea Eagle’s splash curtain,” says Mark. In rough water, “We tuck him in under it.”

Hidden agenda

Mark wanted to teach his kids to appreciate and enjoy the outdoors, but he had an ulterior motive, too. “I wanted them to learn independence and teamwork,” he told us. “Two-person kayaking teaches them both.”

From flat water to a raging river

Versatility attracted Mark to the Sea Eagle Explorer Kayak. “I go boating from flat water to raging rivers,” says Mark, “And the Sea Eagle is versatile enough to handle all of it.”

Some days, you’ll find Mike photographing Egrets in a quiet estuary from his Sea Eagle; other days you’ll spot him paddling on Narragansett Bay. And sometimes you’ll see the whole Chearino family shooting down Class II and III rapids in the Deerfield River in nearby Massachusetts.

Surrounded by Striped Bass

The Chearinos camped recently on Cape Cod in their travel trailer. “Both Sea Eagles fold up nicely and fit in the trailer,” says Mark. His kids aren’t into fishing much, but Mark is. He paddled a mile offshore to Race Point and found himself surrounded by of a school of striped bass. “I threw everything I had at them but they just weren’t biting,” he says.

What’s next for the Chearino family? They’ll go wilderness camping in the weeks to come. Later, they’ll take a ferry to Block Island, 13 miles off the Rhode Island coast. Their Sea Eagles pack small so they can go on the ferry as carryon luggage.

For Mark, Jaime, Travis, and Megan, it’s all about family fun, togetherness, and outdoor adventuring. And dogs. Could it get any better than that?

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One Response to A Family Affair

  1. Summer Camp says:

    What a wonderful idea! Kids this days are usually plugged into the cyberworld. Sometimes the only way to talk to them is by giving them a phone call or sending them an SMS. I believe families should include regular activities like these for their children so they would be exposed to nature and bond with their family as well.

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