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Weekend Sea Kayak Skills Workshops

These two-day workshops are designed to offer students a deep dive into a specific sea kayaking topic with one of our most experienced instructors. They are also a chance to connect with fellow paddlers and challenge oneself in a supportive environment.

Developed as an alternative to our shorter, single-day courses, these workshops provide the time needed to cover a fuller range of skills and knowledge and give students more time to practice and apply what they are learning. Click below for details on each workshop and to view our wonderful instructor team.

Summer 2024 Workshop Schedule

  • Intro to Sea Kayaking Weekends: 6/1 – 6/2 & 7/13 – 7/14
  • Navigation Skills Weekends: 6/22 – 6/23 & 8/17 – 8/18
  • Women at Sea Weekend: 7/6 – 7/7
  • Roughwater Skills Weekend: 7/20 – 7/21
  • Expedition Skills Weekend: 8/3 – 8/4
  • Greenland Paddle Weekend: 6/15-6/16

Our Weekend Sea Kayaking Workshops

Workshop Instructors

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

SUZANNE BLACKBURN

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 I’m going to change it up and hop in a canoe to paddle the Allagash Wilderness Waterway!”

a person riding a surf board on a body of water

JOE GUGLIELMETTI

Joe is a Master Maine Sea Kayak Guide, an open-water sea kayak instructor with the American Canoe Association, and a wilderness first responder. He is also a licensed clinical social worker, and a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Zambia 07-09). Joe has paddled expeditions as far away as Fiji and Zambia, has through-paddled the coast of Maine, and section-paddled from New Hampshire to Nova Scotia. Joe enjoys bringing people of all walks and strokes of life into the marine environment, and he often leads paddlers to his favorite place in the world; the Cushing Island Cliffs, a mere three miles from Portland, where guillemots nest above the wild open sea.

a man riding on top of a body of water

ZACK ANCHORS

Zack, owner and co-founder of Portland Paddle, grew up in Old Town, Maine along the shores of the Penobscot River. He’s been paddling on whitewater and the ocean since he was 11. During his 17 years as a guide, Zack has led countless kayaking and canoeing trips throughout the coast of Maine, and in Mexico, British Columbia, Ontario and Alaska. He is a master Maine Guide, an ACA Level 4 kayaking instructor and a Wilderness First Responder. When Zack isn’t running Portland Paddle, he’s a journalist, writer and teacher.

a man riding a surfboard on top of a mountain

ERIN QUIGLEY

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 ROBINSON

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 riding a surfboard in the water

ERIC NATHANSON

Trips Manager

Eric grew up right here in Portland and first got excited about sea kayaking after a week long trip with a high school program. He is passionate about environmental sustainability and social justice, and really just wants the world to be a happy place for everyone. When not paddling on the ocean or rivers, Eric most enjoys reading, writing, mountain biking, and snowboarding. He is an ACA lvl 3 sea kayak instructor. His craziest adventure yet was 104 days paddling the Mississippi River from source to sea.