2019 Courses

Fastrack Intensive Course
FastTrack 3-Day Intensive - with Tom Bergh and Liz Johnson

Course is full!

Friday, June 28 - Sunday, June 30

Designed for athletic beginner, novice, and intermediate paddlers, MIKCo’s FastTrack courses have been highly effective at quickly tuning aspirants into paddlers on the sea. FastTrack will push you farther, faster.

Course Information
FastTrack covers the fundamental building blocks of most sea paddling skills and rescues, with an equal emphasis on developing your seamanship: your judgmental skills of navigating, expeditioning, and appropriate bumpy water practice experience. Course-specific teaching methods are geared toward the quicker-learning paddlers willing to work for their skills and decision making. You’ll leave with exercises and tasks to continue your development, and have a basic mental framework for making wiser decisions on the sea.

FastTrack Courses include use of MIKCo’s expedition grade sea-kayaks, all kayaking gear, rescue and safety equipment, paddling clothing (wetsuits and jackets), and study materials. MIKCo provides lunches on all of our courses. On the 3-day courses, we may meet in the evening for additional study or an informal potluck meal around a fire.

Due to the intensive content and variable methodology, MIKCo’s FastTrack courses are designed to be taken more than once. See our FastTrack Course Outline for a summary of topics we may cover in the course. Do not hesitate to write or call with questions about specifics or appropriateness for your interests.

Cost for the 3-day weekend is $450. Lodging in our self-contained apartment may be included at $100/night.

To Register: Fill out the form below, or email or call Liz. Course is limited to 4 students, and requires a minimum number of registrations to run.

“We wished it was 5 days instead of 3.”    Tess J. and Travis S.

Sea Skills for Women with Liz Johnson

Course is full!

Saturday, July 13 - Sunday, July 14

Assistant Coach: Tracy Grieves

Saturday - Getting Started | Sunday - A Journey

Two special days for women of building  comfort, skills, and confidence on the water. Sign up for either day - or both!

Course Information

Saturday, July 13: Getting Started

We will begin the day learning about kayak and equipment options and design, their fit and use, and overall safety practices for paddling on the sea’s protected waters.

After launching from the beach, we'll work on basic strokes for propulsion, maneuvering, and support and recovery as we wind our way under docks, along the shore, and out to islands. Along the way we'll land our kayaks to enjoy a picnic lunch together. We’ll work on linking strokes while paddling in a variety of sea conditions. By the day’s end you should be paddling more like an intermediate paddler! Once back by the protected area by our beach, we’ll have the chance to practice assisted rescues as well as basic self-rescues for those who are ready.

Sunday, July 14: A Journey

Sunday's program will emphasize making wise decisions on the sea. Our "seawomanship" involves gathering, evaluating, and applying our equipment, paddling, and environmental variables. We’ll develop a plan for the day by layering in the weather and sea states, tides and currents, wind and anticipated wave shapes, safety zones and exposure areas. We want you to begin thinking like the Captain of your ship as we plan, prepare and then go paddle and expand our experiences.

Our day journey will likely take us out of the harbor to develop observation and understanding of sea states, waves, and tidal flows. We'll find an appropriate place to land for a lunch break. We aim to layer in the experience cornerstone necessary for you to choose the conditions you and your group are comfortable paddling in. We'll continue to work on our paddling skills and may introduce strokes to increase control of our bow, along with edging and leaning.

Courses include use of MIKCo’s expedition grade sea-kayaks, all kayaking gear, rescue and safety equipment, paddling clothing (wetsuits and jackets), and study materials. MIKCo provides lunches on all of our courses. Contact Liz with questions or for more information.

Cost for each day is $150; or $280 for both days. MITA members receive a 10% discount. For paddlers wishing to stay overnight on Peaks Island, lodging in our self-contained apartment may be included at $100/night.

To Register: Fill out the form below, or email or call Liz.

“I got more out of the course than I anticipated. One thing that I left with that I didn’t expect was confidence.”    Joline H.

paddling a Greenland-style sea kayak
Getting Started in Greenland Paddling

Only 1 space left!

Sunday, July 28

Instructors: Liz Johnson and Humphrey Johnson

An introduction to basic paddling, maneuvering, and bracing techniques using the traditional Greenland paddle. This one-day course is designed to be a stepping stone toward our Maine Greenland Kayak Festival.

Course Information

Greenland paddles are great for rolling - and a lot else besides! In this one day course we'll explore how these traditional paddles can complement your paddling style, even if you typically use a Euro blade. We'll introduce the different techniques you use with a Greenland blade for paddling, steering, and bracing. We will begin by practicing in a calm, protected area; as we become more comfortable, we may head out into more dynamic water to try out our new skills. You will come away from this day with a tangible understanding of the differences and advantages of the Greenland paddle.

Courses include use of MIKCo’s expedition grade sea-kayaks, all kayaking gear (except for Greenland paddles), rescue and safety equipment, and paddling clothing (wetsuits and jackets). You should plan to bring your own Greenland paddle. MIKCo provides lunches on all of our courses. Contact Liz with questions or for more information.

Cost for the 1-day course is $150. MITA members receive a 10% discount. For paddlers wishing to stay overnight on Peaks Island, lodging in our self-contained apartment may be included at $100/night.

To Register: Fill out the form below, or email or call Liz.

Island Camping
Casco Bay Women's Kayak Camping Expedition with Liz Johnson

Trip is full!

Sunday, August 4 - Tuesday, August 6

Assistant Trip Leader: Tracy Grieves

A new adventure offering for women! Island camping along the Maine Island Trail, navigation, trip planning, decision-making, sea skills, and exploring the beautiful islands of the Maine coast.

Course Information
Our journey will begin on shore, fitting and packing our kayaks with all the gear, food and water for our 3-day / 2-night expedition.

Together we’ll apply the short and longer-term forecasts, tide information and sea conditions to our chosen route. As we layer this data onto nautical charts, we’ll begin to understand how all these factors interrelate.

We'll paddle past exposed ledges where seals sunbathe, around wild bird islands raucous with colonies of sea birds, and into rocky coves. Depending on our group and the marine conditions, we may choose to land our kayaks on pristine, white shell sand beaches, take a short walk for ice cream at the store on Cliff Island with its one-room schoolhouse, or visit Eagle Island, the summer home of Arctic explorer Admiral Peary. It will be up to the group to plan our agenda under the guidance of your instructors.

During the 3 days, you will develop a working outline for on-water decision making in light to moderate sea conditions. Seamanship essentially is the route a Captain makes after summing up skills, environment and equipment; it encompasses navigation, rescues, strokes in conditions, trip planning, communications, rules of the road, environmental factors and island ethics such as Leave No Trace camping. On this course, we'll focus on leadership and risk-assessment models appropriate to guiding.

Included is the use of MIKCo's expedition-grade sea kayaks, all kayaking gear, rescue and safety equipment, paddling clothing (wetsuits and jackets), and study materials. Also included are cooking and kitchen equipment, and provisions for all meals from Sunday lunch through Tuesday breakfast. See our list: What to Bring: Courses & Multi-Day Trips.

Cost for the 3-day/2-night trip is $350. MITA members receive a 10% discount.

To Register: Fill out the form below, or email or call Liz.

"My adventure with you and our group has fully supported a 'sea change' in me." Kristy W.

FastTrack 3-Day Intensive - with Tom Bergh and Liz Johnson

Course is full!

Friday, August 9 - Sunday, August 11

Designed for paddlers ready to paddle on their own, to accept the challenge of being Captain of their ship, to push their limits, OR maybe just to see if you are prepared to think and act as a self-contained paddler.

Course Information
Most structured teaching provides the lesson before the test, but as we all know life often gives us the test before we learn our lesson. This  experiential course builds upon this later method; much of our on-water activities will be based on our real world experiences over our decades of paddling on the sea. We will work on your navigation and piloting skill sets in lighter tidal waters. We will hone our rescues in conditions, while figuring out how to lessen the environmental effects. You will increase your confidence and seamanship paddling our modern sea kayaks.

FastTrack is appropriate for those ready to expand their on-water hard skills, judgment,  and applied seamanship. This can be a serious fun course for the committed paddler, and is our recommendation for all those who believe they are ready to paddle in Gulf of Maine waters on their own.

You’ll have a chance to review and practice your skills and seamanship in moderate conditions, and will gain fresh insight into the Four Cornerstones of Success: your Judgment, Skill, Knowledge and Experience. You will leave with more clarity on what to focus on next in your sea training. These exercises - and the sea - will help you expand your toolbox.

FastTrack Courses include use of MIKCo’s expedition grade sea-kayaks, all kayaking gear, rescue and safety equipment, paddling clothing (wetsuits and jackets), and study materials. MIKCo provides lunches on all of our courses. On the 3-day courses, we may meet in the evening for additional study or an informal potluck meal around a fire.

Prior relevant experience required. For MIKCo's FastTrack alumni or equivalent. Due to the intensive content and variable methodology, MIKCo’s FastTrack courses are designed to be taken more than once. See our FastTrack Course Outline for a summary of topics we may cover in the course. Do not hesitate to write or call with questions about specifics or appropriateness for your interests.

Cost for the 3-day weekend is $450. Lodging in our self-contained apartment may be included at $100/night.

To Register: Fill out the form below, or email or call Liz. Course is limited to 4 students, and requires a minimum number of registrations to run.

“I love to come back each year because I can continue to develop my skills while having a ball.”    Paul B.

Paddling Greenland-style
Maine Greenland Kayak Festival

Friday, September 13 - Sunday, September 15

With coaches Cheri Perry, Turner Wilson, Ginni Callahan, Greg Stamer, Dan Segal, Tom Bergh, and special guest Vernon Doucette.

Festival and Registration information.

Register for Courses

Please include where you paddle and how often, what type of sea or water conditions you typically encounter, and what type of paddling you enjoy most.
Please note that you should advise us, either in person, by phone, or in writing, of any physical or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in activities safely.
Payment

Upon receiving your Registration, we will send you a PayPal invoice for the Course Registration Fee.

MITA members receive a 10% discount on courses.

What to Bring, Release, Cancellation & Refunds: The Fine Print

The following information will help you plan for your day with us:

What to Bring: Courses & Multi-Day Trips

MIKCo Course Information

You will be asked to sign MIKCo's Release prior to your course.

If MIKCo cancels a course due to too few participants or due to unsafe weather or sea conditions, we’ll send you a full refund. If you cancel with 21 days notice, we’ll send you a full refund less a $35 administrative fee, 75% of the total cost with 14-20 days notice, 50% of the total cost with 8-13 days notice, but no refund if you cancel with less than 7 days notice – unless we are able to fill your spot from a waiting list.

Health Insurance: We recommend that you have health  insurance, as you are responsible for any medical costs incurred.

Miscellaneous: Under 18 years of age requires special parental consent and minor forms. We reserve the right to refuse services to anyone we feel is a risk to themselves or others.

See our Info page for additional information.

 

Kayaking in Casco Bay