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SMSKN Workshops with Portland Paddle in 2024

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We’re Offering Two Discounted Workshops for SMSKN Members This Summer

We’ve worked with the Southern Maine Sea Kayak Network‘s skills committee to develop two 6-hour workshops for summer 2024. Our “Open Water Rescue Development” workshop is designed for paddlers who have learned basic rescues but need more practice and development before joining a more advanced course like our Roughtwater Rescue Workshop. And our “On-the-Water Sea Kayak Navigation for Beginners” workshop will provide an opportunity for those with little or no experience with navigation to learn the essential skills and apply them in real time during a paddling trip.

Each workshop is available to SMSKN members for $92, a 20% discount off our standard rates for a workshop of this length. (SMSKN subsidizes 10%, and Portland Paddle knocks another 10% off). Click the link below each description to register.

Both workshops will be taught by Suzanne Blackburn, a longtime SMSKN member who has taught several courses for members in the past.


On-the-Water Sea Kayak Navigation for Beginners

June 14, 2024, 12pm-6pm

a small boat in a body of water

Are you confused in unfamiliar areas of the coast? Do you stay home when the forecast calls for fog? Do you find yourself always following, never leading? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you might be suffering from NNSS (no navigation skills syndrome). Good news! There is a cure!

In this on-water navigation course you will learn and practice basic navigation skills including using a nautical chart, determining your course, taking a bearing, following a bearing, crossing boat channels and adjusting for wind and current. You will learn how to calculate the difference between magnetic and true directions. It’s more fun to stay found than to get lost.

Students are asked to bring a handheld compass and a nautical chart of Casco Bay. These items are also available for purchase at Portland Paddle. (Sharing with one other person is okay).

Click Here to Register ⇒

Open Water Rescue Development

July 12, 2024, 12pm-6pm

Sea kayakers practicing boat over boat T rescues

How are your rescue skills when it really counts? We usually learn and practice T-rescues, paddle float rescues, scrambles and such in calm, protected waters. But what happens to those skills when the wind is blowing, and the water is dynamic?

If you’ve never practiced rescue in open water, here is your opportunity. Come learn and develop your skills with the support of a skilled coach and a sure safety net. Some experience with self-rescue techniques is required. You should plan to wear either a wetsuit or drysuit for this course, and if you don’t have your own you can rent one from Portland Paddle during the booking process.

Click Here to Register ⇒

From $1,185

This expedition for intermediate to advanced paddlers explores the most rugged, wild and gorgeous stretch of the Maine coast — the Downeast region that extends to Canada. The tides are more powerful here, the wildlife more abundant and the cliffs more dramatic. It has all the makings for an epic sea kayaking trip.