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Dory Story

Nicolle Littrell, MA

Registered Maine Guide Badge

Open Water Rower, Licensed Maine Guide,
Filmmaker & Photographer 

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I grew up in landlocked upstate New York, the granddaughter of a dairy farmer.  My only experience with boats was floating stick versions down the muddy streams on my grandfather's farm that ran down the dirt roads after a rainstorm. That all changed when I moved to Maine in the summer of 1999.

My entre' to the boating world happened when a friend convinced me to move onto his old sailboat, moored at the end of Belfast Harbor. We would often row back and forth (and sometimes swim) between our floating home and the shore.  


I stepped onto a Cornish-style wooden pilot gig for the first time in the summer of 2012, as part of Come Boating!, a community rowing and sailing program in Belfast. I absolutely loved it and became obsessed. Rowing proved to be a vital outlet for me:  a source of fitness and wellness, community and connection.  And did I ever feel strong!  This was really important to me, as a middle-aged woman and single parent. 


All of this came to a screeching halt when the pandemic hit Maine in the winter of 2020 and my beloved community rowing program was canceled (along with everything else). 


So...I bought my own boat, a traditional-style 19'5" wooden Swampscott dory.  I named her Sorciere' ("Witch" in French), inspired by my love of the magical and mythic, with a nod to my Franco-Canadian heritage.  And I've been rowing her ever since!  I row year-round in Belfast Bay and the Passagassawakeag River, part of Penobscot Bay, through all four seasons and in all kinds of weather, wind and waves.    


In June 2021 I became a licensed Maine Guide and launched DoryWoman Rowing soon after, making my dream of taking folks out on the water in my boat a reality!  Through DWR, I offer rowing lessons, nature tours, workout and speciality rows (check out my monthly Full Moon Row).  I also love to photograph, film and write about my rows and share these adventures.

"DoryWoman" speaks to the under-representation of women, traditional craft and rowing.  Do an internet search of "dorywoman" and you'll see what I mean! The term "doryman" is common, however!  As a former Gender Studies professor and media professional, challenging the gender status quo has been a big focus of my career.  And now, rowing!


Despite the name, I welcome all in my boat who are seeking fitness, wellness and adventure on the water!


Thanks for stopping by!  I hope to see you in the boat!

I would love to share my story with your organization or at your event!

Themes/Topics can include:

Women, Traditional Craft and Rowing

The Transformational Power of Rowing

Risk-taking & Following your Bliss

Woman-Owned Business and Being a Solopreneaur

Community Collaboration and Ambassadorship



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