Learn the basic skills and techniques of sea kayaking during our two-day Intro to Sea Kayaking Weekend Workshop! Designed for anyone new to ocean paddling.
Navigation Skills Weekend Workshop
- Navigation Skills Weekend Workshops
Gain Essential Sea Kayak Navigation Skills in this Two Day Workshop
Learn to use a chart & compass to find your way in the fog, plot a course for an expedition, identify your position using dead reckoning — and much more.
Navigation Weekend focuses on the core skills necessary to navigate on coastal waters, especially when paddling in challenging conditions like those common in Maine, such as strong winds, swift currents, and fog. Students will learn various approaches to navigating with a chart and compass and gain firsthand experience using these skills while paddling on Casco Bay. They will learn and practice taking bearings, dead reckoning, triangulation, crossing boat channels, paddling in low visibility and using aids to navigation. After gaining familiarity with the key navigation tools, resources, and skills during the first day of the course, students will plan a trip for the second day that will give them opportunities to practice what they have learned.
We will be on the water from 9am-4pm each day of the workshop.
- Reading a nautical chart
- Plotting a course
- Taking a bearing, both onshore and on-water
- Following a bearing on the water
- Crossing boating channels and high-traffic areas
- Dead reckoning
- Paddling in fog and other low-visibility conditions
- Using a VHF radio
- Using other electronics (GPS, inReach, phones) on the water
We encourage students to use their own handheld compasses and Casco Bay nautical charts during this workshop. Portland Paddle sells these items, and when you are booking the workshop you will have the option of adding them to your booking so you can pick them up at the start of the workshop. However, we also have a limited number of charts and compasses available for students to borrow.
All kayaking gear is provided for this workshop at no extra cost, though students are also welcome to use their own. Kayaks used for this workshop must be at least 14 feet in length.
Use of the following items is included in the cost of the course:
- Drybag so you can bring along a few items on the water (snacks, phone, warm layer, etc.)
- Deck compass
- Nautical chart
- Handheld compass
Prior experience with sea kayaking is required for this workshop. We ask that students have experience with each of the following:
- Basic paddle strokes (forward, reserve, sweep, draw)
- Wet exits (capsizing a kayak and exiting the boat)