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Women at Sea Weekend Workshop

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Women at Sea Weekend Workshops

Learn & Refine the Essential Skills of Sea Kayaking

This two-day workshop is for women who are new to sea kayaking or are looking to grow as a paddler.

Learn, refine and develop your sea kayaking skills in a supportive, fun atmosphere. This special weekend is for novice to intermediate, female-identifying kayakers who want to feel confident, safe and independent in their sea kayak adventures. Gain the skills you need to expand your adventures on the water.

We will cover basic strokes, power and efficiency, rescue techniques and safety protocols, ocean dynamics, navigation and trip planning. You’ll be invited to accept new challenges and you’ll be supported as you grow and learn.

We will be on the water from 9am-4pm each day of the workshop.


Women at Sea will be led by Suzanne Blackburn, along with one or more of the following instructors!

a man riding on the back of a boat in the water


Suzanne fell hopelessly in love with kayaking in 1980. In 2017 she discovered stand up paddle boards and now has two favorite ways to play on the water. Suzanne has been guiding and teaching since 1996 and is a Master Maine Guide with ACA Coastal kayak Level 4 and SUP Level 2 Instructor certifications. “Helping someone master skills and gain a sense of comfort and connection with the ocean brings me tremendous joy!” she says. Suzanne has paddled the entire length of the coast of Maine three times. She says, “I really hope to paddle the whole coast again. It’s endlessly challenging and inspiring but this summer my sites are set on paddling among the icebergs of the north coast of Newfoundland”

a man riding a surfboard on top of a mountain


Erin, Portland Paddle co-founder and guide, grew up exploring New Hampshire’s waterways by canoe and kayak. When she isn’t on Casco Bay guiding trips or at home taking care of her two young boys, she’s Development Manager at SailMaine, Portland’s community sailing center. Erin is a Wilderness First Responder, a Registered Maine Guide, and an ACA-certified instructor.

a person wearing a hat


Janet bought her first sea kayak in 1993 after a few years of whitewater paddling and many years of hiking, backpacking, and long-distance bike touring, including a solo cross-country trip. The grand-daughter of a sea captain, she loves the wild beauty and challenge of the open ocean and is thrilled to be able to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for sea kayaking with paddlers of all ages and skill levels. She kayaked the entire Maine coast in 2020 and is a licensed Maine Guide and an ACA-certified Level 3 Instructor. In addition, Janet is president of the Southern Maine Sea Kayaking Network and serves as a Trustee for the Maine Island Trail Association.

a man rowing a boat in a body of water


Melanie started kayaking many years ago in the shadow of pine trees in cool New England waterways. But it wasn’t until moving to a desert island off the coast of Los Angeles that she began paddling on the sea. She learned to love exploring by water while paddling around this island, camping on deserted beaches and surfing through sea caves. She became a Registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide in 2018 when she spent her first summer in Maine. Melanie is also an ACA Level 2 Coastal Kayak instructor.