This past week, I reached an important goal: I became a licensed Maine Sea Kayak Guide! "Why Sea Kayak?," you may ask, "Aren't you a rower?" Indeed I am! AND I have big plans for my boat Sorciere, including offering private rowing lessons, small group charters and outings/excursions focused on women's wellness. In order to launch my business (and charge $ for my services) I have to be a licensed guide in the state of Maine. Though it took me a bit to wrap my head around this--rowing and paddling a kayak couldn't be more different (for starters, you go backwards in a rowboat)--I decided this is ultimately only a good thing, in terms of increasing my on-the-water skill-set, knowledge and stewardship.
The Sea Kayak Guide certification covers waters "below head of tide," and that is most definitely where I row my boat! With this license I will be able to brings clients out in my boat on the ocean, up to three miles from land. This can include camping trips, as well! I'll be starting pretty humbly though and keeping it local...there is so much right here in Belfast Bay to see, experience and enjoy out on the water in a small boat.
It's been quite a process pursuing this license. It included several months immersion in learning all things sea kayak and paddling. I completed several excellent guide skills training courses with North Star Adventures and Castine Kayaks, as well as paddling with a few generous friends. Other friends lent me the necessary gear I needed for all of this work in an entirely different vessel! I am so grateful for the education, help and support I received from all of these amazing folks!
When I was handed my license last Wednesday, I asked the office administrator at the Department of Inland, Fisheries and Wildlife (who oversees the Maine Guide program) if she had ever issued a Sea Kayak Guide's license to a rower. She said she hadn't recalled ever doing so! Wondering if there are any other rowers out there who are Maine Guides?
I couldn't be more pleased about being granted my new Guide's license and honored to become a part of the Maine Guiding community. Soon, I'll be launching DoryWoman Rowing in sooth, hopefully in July! Stay tuned for updates and ways to schedule a lesson or charter in my boat!
The photos below were taken in Hallowell where I went out for lunch after passing my exam. What is not seen is during my lunch at Maine Local Market (great sandwiches!), I was seated in the back of the building overlooking the river. As I bit into my sandwich, I saw a HUGE fish jump out of the water! It was a sturgeon...probably at least four feet long. I had JUST identified this fish as part of my exam! I figured this could only be a good sign. That fish rocketing out of the water, seemingly in pure joy...entirely reflective of my inner state!
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