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  1. Hey folks, We're coming out of our virus-shelter and running some courses this month! Hope you can join us for something, including: ACA L3 Instructor Development with Nate ACA L3 and L4 Instructor Updates with Nate and Todd Wright BC Core Coach and BC Moderate Water Coach Training with Todd Wright Full schedule available at www.pinnipedkayak.com See you on the water! Travel to Maine is now permitted with a negative Covid test for MA residents. NH and VT residents are exempt from testing requirements. (Hopefully Massachusetts will also be exempt soon.)
  2. Last week's L4 IDW at Pinniped Kayak was excellent - so excellent that Todd Wright is considering running another one sometime in mid-summer. We are hoping to accommodate a handful of people who wanted to participate in the May event, but couldn't make the dates work. To give some input on our dates for the next L4 IDW, you can comment here, or email me at [email protected] Thanks, Nate
  3. Hello Paddlers, I thought I'd share with you a short essay on where we find our motivations, and how important those are to both enjoyment and performance. First, a couple quick reminders of some upcoming events at Pinniped Kayak: WW for Sea Kayakers in a few weeks; ACA L3 Instructor Training next month; and more of those awesome 3-day Paddling Development Intensives, around lovely Acadia National Park - with a day on the coast, a day getting to know rocks, and a day at Sullivan Falls! Finally, I work more closely each year with a small handful of students, in a Long-Term Student coaching relationship. I have room for one or two more at this point for 2019. If you're interested in learning more, please let me know. Enjoy your spring! Hope to see you on the water.- Nate "WHY AM I DOING THIS??" (A SPRINGTIME REFLECTION FROM PINNIPED KAYAK) Getting lost is more than just a navigational problem for kayakers. If our mind isn’t focused on what motivates us, this whole kayaking thing can feel a bit pointless. This spring I’ve had a few people confide in me that after many years of kayaking, they’ve found themselves in the midst of a kayaker’s existential crisis - some variation of “What am I doing this for?” After kayaking for decades in some cases, routines can become a bit stale; initially thrilling rates of skills development can plateau; once lofty goals may look quite a bit smaller in the rear-view mirror; and sometimes the wake of our friends’ ambitions may have drawn us along on daliances that were more of a shrug than an enthusiastic nod. We may have lost sight of our goals, or simply moved past them. Whatever the cause, when we’re not in touch with what motivates us we suffer a double-whammy effect. We feel less enthusiastic about paddling, and - because state of mind has enormous effects on technical performance - we actually get worse at doing it! (click to continue reading)
  4. Lots of great experience above! One more crossing route that I don't think I've seen mentioned: Depart Stonington town dock; paddle up the west side of the island to a small MITA Island (I think it's called "The Fort") and cross to Northhaven from there. There's less big-boat traffic here than in East Penob Bay, and the open water section is only 3 miles. On the other hand, you're farther from the Hurricane Sound area. Don't miss dinner at Nebo Lodge on Northhaven if you want to indulge in a "civilized" meal at some point in your trip. Awesome cuisine and great cocktails, a few blocks walk from the town dock.
  5. Hi paddlers, Excellent opportunity for upper level instructor training coming up next month. Todd Wright is running a Level 4 IDW at Pinniped Kayak with me, and we can accommodate a couple more candidates. Between Todd's uniquely well thought-out approach to learner-centered instructor development, and the super fun and challenging paddling spots that this area has to offer, it's sure to be an outstanding L4 experience. If you've got any questions, feel free to drop either of us an email at [email protected] or [email protected] or you can reach me by phone at 207-669-2174. Course details are available by clicking here. (This can serve as a L4 update for current L4 instructors who are approaching the end of their 4-year window. And for L3 instructors, taking part in an L4 IDW updates your L3 certification.) Looking forward to paddling with you! - Nate This can serve as a L4 update for current L4 instructors who are approaching the end of their 4-year window. (And for L3 instructors, taking part in an L4 IDW updates your L3 certification.)
  6. Thanks for straightening me out. I've changed Tidal Currents to Thursday, Sept. 5th. Nate
  7. Still flexible at this point. Just let me know what you'd prefer. Thanks, Nate
  8. PADDLING SEASON IS ON THE WAY! You know what I did this week, instead of going surfing during a lovely February thaw? I finished up the 2019 course schedule for you! Proof that even extreme procrastination eventually must end! With all those hours at a keyboard finally behind me, I’m really excited to share another year on the water with all of you! I’ll be kicking off my season at the East Coast Paddlesports Symposium in Charleston, SC at the end of March, and I’d love to see you there. It’s a perfect warm-water venue for those of us looking to escape the New England mud-season. (March 29-31) I’ll start up in my home waters in early May, with a visit from Todd Wright. Join us for a 3-day “Season Opener”. We’ll hit some of our favorite paddling spots around MDI, including Reversing Falls, the spectacular cliffs, and wherever else the conditions take us. You can take a look at the entire schedule at PinnipedKayak.com, and if you have questions about anything, or want to discuss your personal goals for the upcoming season, don’t hesitate to call or email me. I’d love to hear from you. Among our varied course offerings, here are a few highlights: Whitewater for Sea Kayakers - Sure 97% of the earth’s water is salty, but some of the other 3% is actually pretty fun too! Let us introduce you to WW kayaking, to hone your rough water skills, improve your sea kayaking, and give you a taste of our other favorite realm. A hat-trick of our popular "3-Day Paddler Development Intensives" - Designed for maximum skills improvement, it’s sort of a soup-to-nuts instructional feast. We’ll make use of the best training venues that the MDI region has to offer, from Sullivan Falls to Otter Cliffs and beyond. Rocks, Tide Races, Open Water, etc. Available in May, July and August this season. Downeast Journey Training - Wondering what lies beyond the Schoodic peninsula? Come explore a vast coastline of challenging touring opportunities - the Downeast Coast! Nate will again run a fall training expedition to the Jonesport or Machias region for those who want to expand their trip-planning skills, tour through more dynamic waters than they’ve previously paddled, or just enjoy a great fall paddling adventure with a fun group. “Hey! I can see Canada!” ACA Instructor Training and Assessment available at Levels 2, 3 and 4. Sure it’s great for teachers and guides, but the biggest benefits I see from instructor training is the insight that candidates gain about their own paddling. It’s a worthwhile investment in your own personal paddling performance, and it can be a very rewarding process. For those paddlers who are looking to make big strides in their kayaking this year (regardless of your current level), I am accepting Long-Term Students. The most rewarding relationships that I have with students are ones which allow us to consider the long-view, and build a comprehensive plan for individual paddler development, throughout a season and beyond. If you are interested in committing to 6 or more days of instruction this year, I will commit to helping you to make long-term gains in your paddling development, and spending time with you on goal-setting and practice-planning, as well as incorporating some more time-intensive coaching tools like video analysis into our sessions. Please get in touch with me to discuss this possibility in more detail. Now is a good time to think about Equipment needs for the upcoming year. I keep a number of items in stock, including a variety of Werner paddles, Kokatat vests, and Northwater tow systems. And I’ll be receiving orders from Kokatat, Northwater, Snapdragon, Werner, P&H, and Pyranha this spring, so I can help you out with anything I don’t currently have on hand as well. Drop me a line. (Discounts for Pinniped students!) I hope you continue to find adventure in the outdoors this winter, and spend some evenings by the fire plotting grand summertime exploits on the water! See you soon! - Nate (if you'd like to receive occasional email updates from Pinniped Kayak, click here.)
  9. Hi NSPN'rs! I've added a day of Tidal Currents training at Sullivan Falls on Thursday Sept. 6th, at the beginning of the annual MDI paddle trip. Looking forward to seeing you all again! Course size will be capped at 8 this year. Details below. Thanks! Nate http://www.pinnipedkayak.com/sea-kayaking-classes-calendar/2015/9/10/tidal-currents-with-nspn-sullivan-falls-7wlhn
  10. Spring is the right time to strengthen your trip-planning and leadership skills; Be prepared for safe and successful summer adventures! Join us on the scenic and challenging waters surrounding Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. During this 2-day combined training and assessment, candidates will demonstrate their own on-water leadership and group management skills, and be exposed to new concepts and techniques for safely managing a group of sea kayakers while exploring tidal coastal environments. Successful candidates will develop and demonstrate skills to properly plan trips, choose venues, assess a group's abilities, manage play, and resolve problems that arise in ACA L3 Coastal Kayaking conditions (10-15 knots wind, 1-2 foot seas, 1-2 foot surf, 1-2 knots current). All candidates will leave with a comprehensive action plan for continued development of their leadership and personal skills. Complete details and registration info info can be found at Pinniped Kayak.
  11. Whitewater for Sea Kayakers - May 23-25! Our students in previous WW4Sea courses have noticed a distinct improvement in their calmness of mind and ability to control their sea kayaks in rough ocean venues, after spending these three days training in WW kayaks on the river. Geared towards those with previous sea kayak instruction, this introduction to whitewater paddling will help you adapt your existing skills to the river environment and to whitewater boats. We're offering this class only once this season, and we hope you'll join us for a really fun, mind-opening adventure! Hosted by Todd Wright at Saint Michael's College (ACA L5 Sea Instructor Trainer; ACA L4 WW Instructor Trainer; BCU L5 Sea), and humbly assisted by Nate Hanson (ACA L5 Sea Instructor/L3 Instructor Trainer; ACA L3 River Kayak Instructor). More details: http://www.pinnipedkayak.com/sea-kayaking-classes-calendar/2017/2/2/whitewater-for-sea-kayakers-burlington-vt
  12. Sounds about right Mike. Todd has been said to resemble a barrel of monkeys, and I have, at least once, smelled like a barrel of monkeys. Should be fun! Nate
  13. Hello NSPN Folks, The complete Pinniped Kayak course schedule can be found on our website. Highlights can be found in the newsletter below. Today feels like spring! (Update - I put this on my site a couple weeks ago - today actually feels like the miserable depths of winter!) And while a paddling friend didn't quite succeed in tempting me away from my kitchen renovation to join him on the river this afternoon, I'm definitely having a hard time keeping my mind off paddling these days! Spring will be here before long, and with it, all kinds of adventures on the water. I hope you all have big plans this year, and I hope to share a paddling day with you at some point. Among our varied course offerings this year, here are a few highlights: Whitewater for Sea Kayakers, to hone your rough water skills, and get a flavor for our other favorite paddling realm. Two "3-Day Paddler Development Intensives" - sort of a soup-to-nuts instructional revue, making use of the best training venues that the MDI region has to offer. Offerings appropriate for those who are getting started, or have been paddling for a while but have not had a lot of previous instruction. Refine your fundmentals, with me, with Mark Schoon, or with Gordo Wissinger in these courses ranging from half-day clinics to a 3-day journey. Leadership courses at a variety of levels, with everything from navigation workshops, to training for guides, and BCU Sea Leader Training. Journeys from 1 to 4 days, in areas ranging from the islands of Stonington to some of Maine's most challenging sections of coastline downeast. If you have questions, course requests, or any equipment needs for the new season, feel free to call or email me to discuss them. Thanks, and enjoy the rest of your winter! Nate
  14. Hi paddlers, We have space available in a 3-day course designed to help sea kayakers take to the river! By limiting participation to those with previous sea kayak experience, we are able to shorten the learning curve. Instead of starting from the basics, we'll cater this program to helping paddlers apply their existing skills to a new environment, and specialized WW equipment. We'll develop skills and awareness for running and playing on rivers, and explore how expanding into WW paddling can make you a more capable, more confident sea kayaker! And who knows, you might find your new passion. One thing of which I am certain, THIS WILL BE FUN!! Instructional Staff: Todd Wright, (ACA L4 WW IT, L5 Advanced WW Instructor, BCU Sea L5 Coach, ACA L5 Sea IT, and so on . . .) Nate Hanson, (ACA L3 River Kayak Instructor, ACA L5 Sea Instructor, . . .) Location: Based at Saint Michael's College, Colchester, VT Utilizing the rivers of NW and Central Vermont $140 per day, plus $15 for WW equipment from Pyranha, Werner, etc. More details at Pinniped Kayak
  15. The Alden Bird book is a good recommendation. (It's called "Let It Rain".) There are a number of decent WW options all over New England, though some are limited or low in the winter). Good surf and tide races on the ocean in the winter though, (and they never freeze!) Nate
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