Lessons, Classes, and Courses

Kayaking and Canoeing Artfully! Beginner/Advanced Kayak Skills

Location: Stillwater River, Orono, Maine
Instructor: Master Maine Guide, Karen Francoeur, Castine Kayak Adventures

Anyone can make a boat move but in this afternoon paddle on serene Orono's Stillwater River we'll go over the skills necessary to make your boat (canoe or kayak) dance over the water whether its calm or windy. We'll cover basic boat fit and basic strokes and then progress to some advanced techniques that will allow you to take in the scenery when you paddle instead of focusing on getting your boat to stay straight! We'll cover efficient paddling forward and reverse and turning strokes and then focus on using your entire body to become one with your craft. We'll explore the grace of bow and stern draws, sculling strokes and side slips to move sideways and edging to really have your boat gliding gracefully through the water for a great summer of paddling for serenity, exercise or both! Paddle exploring the islands between the dams of Orono and end up in Orono's Summer St. Park. Immerse your senses in the natural art of nature's beauty along the journey, create tangible art in the park at journey's end with impressions from the day through drawing, sculpting, verse or photography to display at Artsapalooza.

Course Fee:
Fee: $40 with own gear/ $55 with gear provided/per person

Full-day Beginner Workshop

Fee: $110 w/gear, $125 gear provided REGISTER NOW!
Essentials of Kayak Touring course is designed to allow you to Paddle Smart from the Start and get geared up for a summer of kayaking exercise and adventures! Great for newbees or paddlers moving from lakes to the sea. In this course we'll cover kayaking basics, from proper boat fit and entry, paddle size and proper use, what boat is right for you, essential equipment to paddle safely, where to paddle with basic map reading skills, efficient stroke technique and capsize and re-entry practice to safely and enjoyably kayak on lakes, calm protected ocean environments, and other flatwater settings. (ACA LEVEL 2) Calendar

Intermediate Workshops

Location: Alamoosock Lake, Orland
Fee: $125 gear provided
Coastal Kayak Basic Strokes and Rescues course is designed to introduce basic coastal kayaking skills and safety. In this course we'll fine tune stroke efficiency and focus on specific strokes for conditions. Re-entry rescue techniques will be practiced!

Location: Castine
Fee: $125 gear provided
This course will help you to fine tune the skills that you have and take the next steps to stroke refinement to increase efficiency, fluidity and control. This is a course you may want to take repeatedly as you'll gain new improved skills each time!

Location: Castine
Fee: $125 gear provided
This course will take us paddling in some coastal
conditions including tidal currents, wind and waves. We'll fine tune your paddling skills to take them to the next level preparing you for a long season of exploration.

Location: Great Wass Peninsula
Fee: $125 gear provided
The Open Water Coastal Kayak course is designed to refine and increase coastal kayaking skills for use in open water currents, wind and waves. We'll practice a variety of skills including rescues at sea.

Location: Schoodic Peninsula
Fee: $125 gear provided
Join us on a full day journey and put your skills to the test. This is a chance to assess your level and determine what you are ready for next!

Rolling your Kayak

Being a safe kayaker means preparing for the worst case scenario! In most cases in Maine that would be a capsize into cold water and the key to safety is knowing how to get back in your boat out of the water!The quickest and most efficient rescue is the Eskimo Roll. You'll learn a variety of assisted eskimo rescues that allow you to stay in your boat. Enhance your boat maneuvering skills while focusing on all the components of the roll.
$50 ($10 boat rental)

Check for summer hours in Castine!
Fee: $50, with a minimum group of 3 people
Privates available: $100 for 2 hours, $50 each additional hour

Kayak Rescue Capsize and Recovery Workshops

Do you really know what to do if your kayak capsizes??? Get ready for a season of safe paddling. Learn how to respond to your own capsize or your paddling partner’s. Discover what your options are for re-entering your kayak from the water. We’ll cover self rescue techniques and partnership rescues. Find out what equipment you should have with you for your safety kit to make every paddle a good one!

Kayak Capsize & Rescue workshop at Alamoosock Lake
A Kayak Capsize and Rescue Workshop will be offered 1-4 pm. To be an independent kayaker an essential skill is self and partnership rescue! Be ready for the unexpected. Learn what you need to know to be a safe paddler so that you can explore in comfort. We'll practice wet exits, partnership rescues and self-rescue methods.
$55 per person/Gear provided $40 with own gear.

Know what to expect when the unexpected happens! This clinic will cover what can cause a kayak to capsize and what to do to recover from a capsize! Plan to get wet in the warm waters of Walker Pond! We'll be exploring T-rescues and a variety of rescues for kayaks including self rescues with Paddle Floats and Rescue Stirrup and pump as well as partnership rescues so that you can be prepared when you go adventuring with your friends! Learn what rescue methods work best for you and you boat! You'll leave this clinic knowing what to bring with you to insure a fun/safe time on the water. Prepare for the worst and enjoy the best!

Location: Walker Pond, Brooksville
Fee: $40 with own gear/ $55 with gear provided/per person

ACA Trip Leader Course

Ideal for club trip leaders, camps and non-profits

This workshop emphasizes trip leading, safety education and rescue options and techniques. Content is geared toward trip planning skills, choosing appropriate equipment for conditions and paddlers. Course is designed for trip leaders in clubs, non-profits, camps, and all other groups leading water based trips. Course will conclude with a written Exam to qualify for ACA Trip Leader Assessment. ACA Membership Fee $10 & ACA Assessment Award. ACA(American Canoe Association) Prerequisite: Basic Coastal Kayak (ACA level 2 or equivalent skills)

Instructor: Karen Francoeur, Master Maine Sea Kayak Guide
Location: Castine and other coastal venues
Course Fee: $250

Maine Sea Kayak Guide Training Course/Advanced Sea Kayak Skills 2021

This in-depth course is designed to prepare future sea kayak guides, fresh-water guides and kayaking leaders and intermediate kayakers with essential skills necessary to teach kayaking, identify potential hazards, make informed decisions, plan trips and manage groups on the waters of Maine and beyond! This course is designed to prepare future sea kayak guides for IFW test and licensing. Topics include: Navigation, essential equipment and its uses, trip planning, group management, wind, waves and weather dynamics, marine environment and rescue strategies. Includes SUP Maine Guide Certification (great course for intermediate kayakers interested in skill improvement!)

“Work” this summer sharing Nature as a Maine Sea Kayak Guide!
​"E​mpower yourself to explore more with enhanced skills and knowledge"

Dates & Locations
2021 Spring Training Session:
Comprehensive 65 hour hands-on course!

May 21-23, Fri-Sun 9-5 Rescue Skills, On water skills, Navigation intensive, Castine, Maine
May 24 & 25, Camping weekend Practical Downeast Maine: Real life skills training on the water: *navigation * wind & waves * tides/currents * camp cooking * camping * emergency plans * towing * rescues
June 3: on Water Scenarios
June 4: Testing Review, Mock Orals
Course Fee: $565 (REGISTER castinekayak.com)
(Potential Guide Positions/submit resume to CKA)

Instructor: Karen Francoeur, Master Maine Sea Kayak/Recreation Guide and ACA Level IV Instructor

Additional Fees: Guide Application Fee, $100 paid to the State of Maine for testing which allow one to test for multiple classifications.
Course Manual: $20
Prerequistites: Min of 50+hours of kayak, at least ACA level 2 assessment, or instructor permission

Additional Fees:
Maine Guide Application: $100 application/test fee for each classification
Course Manual: $20 (for students participating in CKA course)
First Aid Certification: Courses available/required for license
Essential Gear: (kayak rentals/gear available)
Prerequisites: Min of 50+ hours of kayaking/ and equivalent ACA level 2 skills assessment or instructor permission.

Maine’s Sea Kayak Guide License is required and allows for guiding on Marine waters of Maine to head of tide including day and overnight trips for remuneration in paddle craft to include Sea Kayaks and SUPs, Canoes. *Additional Recreation Guide License is required to provide Guided trips on inland freshwater venues including, streams, rivers, ponds and lakes.

More information about becoming a Maine Guide

Video of what to expect

SOLO Wilderness First Aid Course

WFA is the perfect course for the outdoor enthusiast or trip leader who wants a basic level of first aid training for short trips with family, friends, and outdoor groups. It focuses on the basic skills of: Response and Assessment, Musculoskeletal Injuries, Environmental Emergencies, Survival Skills, Soft Tissue Injuries, and Medical Emergencies.

CPR/AED American Heart Association Heartsaver
2 year certification
Contact us for dates

Personalized Training Plans

Your Customized Paddling Plan will be tailored to address your specific paddling desires and your coach’s insights. We will progress you through any specific areas: navigation, water anxiety, improving your body-boat-blade synergy, video analysis, trip planning, safety and rescue, touring, improving your health, and equipment customization. Whatever you choose to work on, we will work on together at your own pace. See the web for time block options or contact us to arrange your personal training schedule.

May 1- Oct 12
1 session = 3 hours
Offered: 9-12, 1-4, 5-8

Number of Sessions Price Per Session Total Cost
3 $150 $450
6 $135 $810
9 $125 $1,125

Add a partner to your plan for only 50% more!