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OCEAN SKILLS WORKSHOPS

Spring 2023 Workshop Series

Welcome to our Ocean Skills Workshop series! On these pages you’ll find many resources related to the topics we’ll be discussing in our online meetings. We will update this page the day after each class with recordings of the sessions and a copy of selected slides. Two weeks after our final session we will close this page.

Please click on the button above (or use this link) to join our workshop on Zoom. If you have any trouble logging on please email us at [email protected]

Each session starts at 6:30pm and ends by 8:30pm. Please log on a few minutes early for the first session in case you have technical issues. We will ask you to mute yourself for most of the session, but there will be times when you are placed in a “breakout room” with other students so that you can work together.

Course Schedule and Handouts

SESSION I: FUNDAMENTALS OF OCEAN PADDLING

February 1

SESSION II: SEA KAYAK NAVIGATION

February 8

SESSION III: TIDES, CURRENTS AND WAVES

Feruary 15

SESSION III: TRIP-PLANNING ON THE MAINE COAST

February 22

Session I Recording

Click below to view our recording of our first workshop. The recording starts a few minutes into the presentation and there are a couple brief gaps due to technical issues. We did not record the “breakout sessions” that involve completing exercises in small groups. You can find a link to the presentation slides above.

Session II Recording

Session III Recording

Sea Kayaking Resources

Nautical Charts

  • NOAA Chart Viewer: Access any U.S. nautical chart using this webpage from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Use the navigation tabs at the top of the map to select the file format.
  • Casco Bay Chart (PDF): The main nautical chart we are using for the purposes of this workshop series.

Weather

  • Live Global Wind Map: A live map showing the current direction that winds are flowing throughout the world.
  • Marine Forecast: The marine forecast for our local region, broken down into specific sections of the coast and offshore waters.
  • Data from Buoy 44007 in Casco Bay: This is a link to the data page of just one of many observation buoys that are scattered throughout the Gulf of Maine.
  • Windy App: A very useful app focused on wind conditions, both current and forecasted.
  • Beaufort Wind Scale: A system used to categorize the strength of wind conditions.
  • Halfway Rock Light webcam: One of many webcams throughout the coast that can be used to gauge current sea conditions.
  • Portland Head Light webcam: One of many webcams throughout the coast that can be used to gauge current sea conditions.

Tides

Safety

  • Sea Kayaker Float Plan: An example of a float plan that can be left behind when you head out on a trip.
  • Coast Guard Boat ID Stickers: All kayaks should be identified with the owner’s name and contact info. These stickers offer an easy way to do that.
  • Launch site checklist: An example of a checklist that could be used to ensure that you have all the gear you need when you head out on a trip.
  • Emergency Contacts: Important numbers to have on hand when paddling in southern Maine.
  • Leave No Trace principles: Sea kayakers in Maine apply these principles in ways that are specific to our unique environment.

Gear

Coastline Access & Camping

Sea Kayaking Incidents

Kayaker’s Voyage to Florida Starts with Rescue off Maine Coast

Deadly Portland Kayaking Trip: Young Women Die in ‘Very Cold’ Bay

Sea Kayak Guide and One of His Clients Die During Downeast Excursion

More Deep Trouble: More True Stories and Their Lessons from Sea Kayaker Magazine

Casco Bay Sea Kayak Rescue Video & Analysis (Youtube Video)

Connecting with the Sea Kayaking Community

Southern Maine Sea Kayak Network: A very active paddling club that offers many ways to get on the water with others.

Maine Association of Sea Kayak Guides and Instructors: This site lists most of the sea kayak outfitters and guides working in Maine

Portland Paddle Meetup: We host weekly group paddles once a week during the summer (free with your own boat)